Kirkus Star


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Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and dedicated both to A.J. Muste (by Jacobs) and to C. Wright Mills (by Landau), this ""Report with Documents"" is muddled by the fact that its editors try to be with, but cannot be of, ""The Movement"" they are endeavoring to introduce to us here. ""The New Left"" -- to use one of the more generic and familiar labels -- is simply not to be defined within 80-odd pages of thumbnail sketches, nor in 200-plus pages of poems, articles, pamphlets, and extracts from interviews; it is at once too complex and too formless, too diverse, and too ""organic"" for any generalities not to require at least a dozen yeah-buts apiece. It could, and should, be argued that by the editors' harping on what's missing (most conspicuously, an ideology), and by dealing, chapter by chapter, with the separate organizations and what distinguishes them one from another, they have missed the point almost completely. It must also be noted that, in keeping with the perspectives of their own generation, they have over-emphasized conventional political impact, at the expense of what actually makes these radicals new--non-violent direct action, for example. Yet these objections, and many more, don't alter the fact that this is the best primer available to date on a subject of vital interest to all Americans, whatever their age or political persuasion.

Publisher: Random House