You didn't have to be there
The New Left Revisited
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edited by John McMillian and Paul Buhle
Outstanding Academic Title, Choice, 2003
Starting with the premise that it is possible to say something significantly new about the 1960s and the New Left, the contributors to this volume trace the social roots, the various paths, and the legacies of the movement that set out to change America. As members of a younger generation of scholars, none of them (apart from Paul Buhle) has first-hand knowledge of the era. Their perspective as non-participants enables them to offer fresh interpretations of the regional and ideological differences that have been obscured in the standard histories and memoirs of the period. Reflecting the diversity of goals, the clashes of opinions, and the tumult of the time, these essays will engage seasoned scholars as well as students of the '60s.
"From 'Was the New Left new?' to 'Did the New Left die and if so, why?' to 'What was the role of women in the draft resistance movement?' with a dozen case studies by a new generation of leftist scholars, this amazing collection asks new questions and sparkles with new insights and brilliance on every page."
"You'll be amazed at how much you think you know about the Sixties is wrongespecially if you've read the standard works on the subject. This is an agenda-setting anthology, adventurous and rigorous in equal measure."
"This impressive collection of essays re-examining the "New Left" movements of the 1960s is written by a new generation of scholars detached from the events they are recounting. ...This welcome collection challenges the pessimism of former radicals and exposes the opportunism of "the second God that failed," ex-activists turned conservatives. ... An outstanding collection. Summing Up: Essential."
"Well, this is an interesting book for us old fogies who work on the social movements of the 1960s! ...the book as a whole is provocative and fascinating, reshaping our understanding of the new left, democratizing it, perhaps."
"New Left Revisited succeeds admirably...the volume as a whole is a rich repast, for professional historians and lay readers alike."
"Is there anything left to be said about the New Left? The answer is a resounding yes.... John McMillian's useful introduction and Paul Buhle's inspired concluding ruminations provide bookends for twelve original and insightful essays.... Consonant with the best impulses of social history, The New Left Revisited offers detailed, textured, and nuanced accounts of New Left radicalism..."
"Taken together [these essays] create a picture of the New Left as a complex dynamic movement where the socialization of the existing society was challenged by new ideas of what was possible.... an enjoyable, thought-provoking read."
"...an exciting anthology..."
Introduction John McMillian
Part I: Local Studies, Local Stories
Part II: Reconsiderations
Afterword Paul Buhle
John McMillian teaches History and Literature at Harvard University and is co-editor with Timothy Patrick McCarthy, of The Radical Reader: A Documentary Anthology of American Radical History (forthcoming).
Paul Buhle is Lecturer in the American civilization department at Brown University. His most recent book (co-authored with Dave Wagner) is Radical Hollywood: The Untold Story Behind America's Favorite Movies. He writes for The Nation, The Guardian, and The Times Higher Education Supplement, among other publications. He is also editor of History and the New Left: Madison, Wisconsin, 1950-1970 (Temple).
Contributors: David Cochran, Michael S. Foley, Jennifer Frost, Andrew Hunt, Ian Lekus, Peter Levy, Robbie Lieberman, Kevin Mattson, David McBride, Gregg Michel, Francesca Polletta, Doug Rossinow, Jeremy Varon, and the editors.
In the series
Critical Perspectives on the Past, edited by Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig, is concerned with the traditional and nontraditional ways in which historical ideas are formed. In its attentiveness to issues of race, class, and gender and to the role of human agency in shaping events, the series is as critical of traditional historical method as content. Emphasizing that history is itself an interpretation of material events, the series demonstrates that the historian's choices of subject, narrative technique, and documentation are politically as well as intellectually constructed.