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New York Review of Books: The Past and Future of American Socialism

New York Review of Books

Hari Kunzru
Socialists on the Knife-Edge

From early utopian communities to the leftist resurgence today, the history of American socialism is deeper than its meager successes.

Cintra Wilson
Downtown Confessional

John Lurie’s memoir is a tell-all that settles old accounts and names names, a cantankerous lament over his many existential and terrestrial irritations.

Jed Perl
The Power of Ornament

An exhibition at the Drawing Center explores the astonishing variety that the ornamental impulse has inspired across centuries and continents but never grapples with the aesthetic questions it raises.

Ian Johnson
Hong Kong from the Inside

Four books about Hong Kong show how the city’s once-thriving culture of political engagement has been obliterated under Chinese control, though it may still retain its position as a global financial capital.

Lola Seaton
‘Hope You’re Staying Cool’

The July heatwave that brought chaos to London has changed the way Brits see the sun.

“DSA membership is now edging toward the size of the Socialist Party of the Debs era,” writes Hari Kunzru in the Review’s most recent issue. In our March 16, 1989, issue, Michael Kazin wrote about Michael Harrington, one of the founders of the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) and the author of The Other America (1962), a book that “challenged the consensus of the late 1950s that Americans were ‘a people of plenty’” and “not only moved a liberal audience but caught the attention of policy makers in Washington and helped to shape Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty.’”

Michael Kazin
Sticking It Out

“His passion for justice is so overwhelming, he explains, that it has a ‘libidinous’ edge: ‘To me justice was, and is, beautiful, not stern. That is one of the reasons why I have not tired during all of these years.’ When he was in his twenties he was asked by a friend what he would do if he had a million dollars: ‘I would give it away,’ he replied, and volunteered the next day to work, full-time and without pay, for the American Friends Service Committee (which had no place for him).”

 

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