In striking a balance between the drearier and more inspirational aspects of their tale, the co-authors of Radicals in America: The U.S. Left Since the Second World War, tend, on balance, to emphasize the positive. As they argue in their introduction, although the “radical left has always been a minority current” in the United States, it has “propelled major changes and frequently given shape to what Americans broadly take as the nation’s core traditions.”
Maurice Isserman teaches American history at Hamilton College. He is the author, among other books, of If I Had a Hammer: The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left (1987), and The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington (2000).
Posts by Maurice Isserman
The story of Delyte Morris and the Southern Illinois University he created is what Robert A. Harper calls “a story of unlikely success and a tragic end.” It does read like an American tragedy, somehow, based in a rustic start, ambition, ingenuity, and the fallibility of good intentions.