"The main theme of the author's criticism here is that the young, white, male activists in SDS did not see that they were continuing the errors of traditional American culture by assuming that, because of their white skin, they were necessarily the leaders of a progressive student movement. He argues that the New Left failed not because it radically separated itself from America's mainstream, the claim of a number of important historians of the period. Rather, it failed because it came to mirror that mainstream, and in mirroring American racial attitudes, it ceased to represent a Left. In the end, SDS came to be dominated by the Weatherman and Weatherwoman factions that wanted to 'out-macho' the white working class by brawling with the police and blowing up buildings. As a result, when huge numbers of Americans took to the streets to protest the war in 1969 and 1970, SDS was nowhere to be found. They had abdicated leadership in the most important anti-war effort of that decade. In the end, leaders in SDS were guilty of refusing to work at community organizing, building alliances, and resisting imperialism."
The American Historical Review