One can't help wondering whether it isn't several years too late to be introducing the ""current era of confrontation...

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CONFRONTATION: Politics and Protest

One can't help wondering whether it isn't several years too late to be introducing the ""current era of confrontation politics"" and, indeed, Dorman's references to the present activities of SDS (with no discussion of its fragmentation and decline) and the Weathermen (not Weatherpeople?) raises questions about the date when Dorman's research left off (and even how deep it went to begin with). Within its self-imposed limitations, Dorman's historical comparisons of widely publicized confrontations -- beginning with the Birmingham bus boycott and on through Kent State, the Pentagon March and (very superficially) Weathermen bombings -- does lead to some solid conclusions: ""successful"" confrontation politics as practiced both by the Left and the Right depends upon non-violent organized actions, reasonable goals and logical targets. This framework will be useful for potential political tacticians or for those just trying to figure out ""what went wrong."" But it does tend to ignore the considerable historical distance between Martin Luther King and Mark Rudd. An outsider's view of radical politics, this presents a respectably consistent liberal critique, but is disappointingly thin considering the opportunities for hindsight.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 178

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974