The Rise and Fall of the American Left

Overview

The American Left was born in America--not, as some would have it, in Europe or the Third World, and the American Left was nurtured by intellectuals and activists who read Jefferson and Whitman before they read Marx or Mao. One lesson this brilliant history teaches us is that the fury of radical innocence and wounded idealism so peculiar to American intellectual history springs from native soil. The American Left is not a single phenomenon but four surprising eruptions throughout the past century:. The Lyrical ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $6.39   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$6.39
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(158)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Hardcover New 039303075X NEW: Packaged Carefully & Shipped Promptly. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Ships from: Berkeley, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$9.20
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(583)

Condition: New
1992-03-01 Hardcover New Hardcover w/ DJ. You are buying a Book in NEW condition with very light shelf wear. Buy it Now! ! !

Ships from: Wilmington, NC

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$50.00
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(215)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

The American Left was born in America--not, as some would have it, in Europe or the Third World, and the American Left was nurtured by intellectuals and activists who read Jefferson and Whitman before they read Marx or Mao. One lesson this brilliant history teaches us is that the fury of radical innocence and wounded idealism so peculiar to American intellectual history springs from native soil. The American Left is not a single phenomenon but four surprising eruptions throughout the past century:. The Lyrical Left, of the First World War years. Sometimes known as "the New Intellectuals," its leaders, born and educated in the United States, were uniformly mindful of America's roots. The Old Left, as it came to be known, wrote its agenda driven by the legacy of World War I, the hopes that had sprung from the promise of socialism, and the clear failure of American capitalism so manifest in the Great Depression. The New Left of the 1960s combined a revolt against the banalities of middleclass life with civil rights fervor and, finally, protest against America's longest war, Vietnam. The result was one of the most unsettled and incoherent decades in American history. And now, much embattled by twelve years of Republican rule, we have the contemporary Academic Left building on unfirm ground, seeking on the one hand to question the traditional values of the West and on the other to embrace the causes of women and minorities long shut out of that tradition whose future may well depend upon Western values. The American Left is no dry-as-dust subject. Its leaders, men and women strong in rhetoric and actions, are among the most riveting personalities of our time--Max and Crystal Eastman, Emma Goldman, Walter Lippmann, Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas, Reinhold Niebuhr, Herbert Marcuse, Mario Savio, Eldridge Cleaver, Sidney Hook, Irving Howe. These lives, so skillfully interwoven into so important an American story, make this book the best available history of its subject.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
About halfway through his thorough and often engaging look at the American left, Diggins ( Mussolini and Fascism ) refers to his subject as ``what never happens twice.'' This brings to mind lightning, which strikes quickly and never in the same place twice. And so it seems with the history of the American left, which Diggins divides here into four periods, or generations--the Lyrical Left, the Old Left, the New Left and the Academic Left. Each phase was relatively brief, and ``there was little historical continuity and even less political sympathy'' among the generations. Diggins is admirably comprehensive; he discusses the left as an ally of the working class and assesses the role of blacks, women and artists in the movement. He also points to the ``values of the American Enlightenment,'' liberalism and the pragmatism of John Dewey, as possibly halting ``the decline and fall'' of the left, a conclusion potentially surprising to some while comforting to others. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
In this expanded version of Diggins's The American Left in the Twentieth Century (HBJ, 1973), Diggins retains his basic premises: that the American Left was based on native radicalism and only came to Marxism later and that its intellectual history can be discussed in terms of generations--Lyrical, Old, New, and Academic. His interpretation of the first three remains substantially the same, while he describes the Academic Left as being composed of New Left students who became academics in the 1970s and now form the ``most significant ideological presence on the American campus.'' Readers looking for a more comprehensive history should go to The Encyclopedia of the American Left (LJ 6/15/90). Diggins's discussion of the Academic Left makes this more up-to-date than James Weinstein's Ambiguous Legacy (LJ 11/15/75), which ends with the New Left. It also makes it relevant to the contemporary controversy about ``political correctness.'' For all political and intellectual history collections.-- Jonathan Miller, Rochester Inst. of Technology, N.Y.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393030754
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1992
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 13
Preface: "A Fearful Monument" 15
1 Theory 25
1 The Left as a Theoretical Problem 27
The Problem of Definition 27
Historical Roles 39
Ally of the Working Class? 45
2 The New Intellectuals 49
Marxism and the Intellectuals 49
"Hail to the New Intellectuals!" 53
The Historical Consciousness of the Left 57
3 Strangers in the Land: The Proletariat and Marxism 62
Farmers and Industrial Workers 62
The Utopian Tradition 72
The Marxist Background 76
Three Leaders in American Socialism 84
2 History 91
4 The Lyrical Left 93
The Greenwich Village Rebellion 93
War and the State 101
The Bolshevik Revolution 106
The Odyssyes of Reed and Eastman 113
Feminists and Black Intellectuals 124
Intermezzo: The Lost Generation 138
5 The Old Left 145
The Depression and the Image of the Soviet Union 146
The Lefts Compared 154
Sidney Hook and the Americanization of Marxism 158
The Popular Front 165
The Spanish Civil War and the Moscow Trials 175
The Dewey-Trotsky Debates: "A Veritable Pharos" as "A Fearful Monument" 179
The Critique of Marxism: Legacy of the Old Left 187
A Tenuous Continuity 201
Marxism, Modernism, McCarthyism: The New York Intellectuals 210
6 The New Left 218
From Alienation to Activism 218
Ideological Origins 222
The Lefts Compared 231
The Civil Rights Movement and the Antiwar Resistance 238
The Counterculture 242
1968: A Year That Shook the World 248
Factionalism and Suicidal Extremism 256
Failures and Achievements 265
The "New Consciousness" and Herbert Marcuse 268
3 Anomaly 277
7 The Academic Left 279
Post-Vietnam America 279
The Left Academy 288
The Feminist Left 298
8 Poetry of the Past: The Rewriting of American History 307
The Old and the New in New Left Historiography 307
Hegel's "Lordship and Bondage" 315
The New Labor History 326
Tocqueville's Shadow 335
9 Power, Freedom, and the Failure of Theory 342
Hegemony, Critical Theory, Deconstruction 342
The World Turned Upside Down, 1989-1990 356
From Poststructuralism to Pragmatism 364
Power and Suspicion: The Enduring Relevance of the Enlightenment 370
Notes 385
Index 421
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)