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Publishers WeeklyA dedicated conservative, Flynn (Why the Left Hates America) nevertheless traces the history of the American Left-from the earliest days of the colonies-with measured and far-sighted consideration, making a mesmerizing, if selective, chronicle. From Shakers to Socialists, Communists to SDS, Roosevelt's New Deal to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, Flynn acerbically recounts social movements from initial spark to disillusioned embers, each a cautionary tale for anyone swept up by current presidential campaign promises. Flynn points to the American Left's catastrophic misjudgments, such as defending the Khmer Rouge's genocide in Cambodia, embracing Huey Newton and Timothy Leary, assuming that the Russian Revolution would result in a just "People's Society," and supporting yesteryear's equivalent of "Just Say No," the Temperance Movement. The flaw in Flynn's perspective is his assertion that the Left has never had a success; real achievements of progressive social forces-labor unions, women's suffrage, civil rights, Social Security, the Federal Reserve-are unacknowledged. History buffs and sympathetic voters will be absorbed by this detailed, opinionated history of American radicalism's failures, but this account is not the whole story.
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