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Leftward Ho!

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Overview

This first biography of V.F. Calverton gives an intellectual history of the American radical movement from 1920 to 1940 and shows how he and his Modern Quarterly led the forefront in wars of ideas about sex, lit, and party. This lively study of the career and times of Calverton examines basic questions about the relationships between literature and politics, feminist agendas, and political theory in ways that are still relevant. Students of political thought, American history, and American literature will find this biography a provocative one that brings the period alive in new ways.

A short introduction shows how Calverton yearned to be an American Lenin-Cassanova-Pericles. Philip Abbott then follows Calverton's participation in a series of intellectual wars fought in the 1920s and the 1930s. Thus does Abbott reassess American radicalism and the development of American bohemia and socialism. Calverton was the central figure in two efforts to found an American radical republic, both of which were rejected by his colleagues--famous writers and thinkers of his time. One attempt sought to create a republic of being in which participants explored the capacities of sexual liberation as an agent for change. Another involved the creation of a republic of doing in which radical citizens acted out revolutionary roles. This biography of a neglected theorist reevaluates radical projects in politics, psychology, and the arts in America in a seminal period in their development.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

PHILIP ABBOTT, Professor of Political Science, Wayne State University, specializes in the history of American political thought and culture.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction: The Lost Republic 1
'Very Foolish' Calverton
A Lenin-Casanova-Pericles
2 Sex Wars 19
A Quiet Island...For Dreams...
How Many a Strength Hath Fallen Since Thy Fall?
Love as Free and Fancy and Intelligent as Reason
Sex Boys
3 Lit Wars 57
So Red and Fundamental
The New Masses Proliterati
4 Party Wars: The First Campaign, 1923-33 93
The Most interesting Part of the Soviet Union
You Are Driving Me Directly and Inevitably to the Left
I Became a Social Fascist - Overnight
5 Party Wars: The Second Campaign, 1933-40 133
The Modern Monthly Is the One Thing They Fear
In the United States...The Pattern is Different
6 Calverton's War 185
The Madness of Death Eats Like a Cancer in the Mind's Universe
If There Were No Selves There Would Be No Annihilation
Christ, What is Life Worth?
Bibliographic Essay 221
Index 227
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