Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson
shkarlson
50bookchallenge

  • Mood:

TRY FREEDOM.

Book Review No. 18 is Michael Kazin's American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation.  It's by an academician, and it's well-documented.  It's also readable, and, although sympathetic to the aspirations of the Left, not tendentious.  It's in the concluding passages, however, that the main message of the book, whether as a charge to traditional leftists, or as food for thought for people who err on the side of emergent order, appears.  That's after we've explored abolition, and Class Struggle, and Vanguardism, and Civil Rights, and The Counterculture.  At page 275, "The left was certainly more successful when it sought to expand personal liberty than when it struggled to advance the collective might of workers and the poor."  Collective might is an illusion.  Discuss.

Turn to page 276.



A world of freebooting capitalism has delivered neither material abundance nor social harmony to most of the world's people.  Failed states, religious wars, environmental disasters, clashes between immigrants and the native-born are common features of current history, as they were in earlier times.  But the perception that there is no alternative to chronic crisis except to somehow muddle through exacerbates the problem.

On the other hand, to hope for a vanguard to lead the masses, or to apply pressure from below to leaders, hasn't done so well.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)

Tags: academic, history, politics
Subscribe

  • December 2020 - Books 71 to 76

    71. Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park A young mixed-race girl moves with her widowed father to a fledgling South Dakota town in 1880. This is the…

  • Books 8-9

    The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg My rating: 4 of 5 stars I received this in a Goodreads Giveaway which did not influence my review. I'm…

  • Book #8: The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum

    The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the second of L. Frank Baum's Oz book series, and features some…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment