not just failure


With “American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation,” Michael Kazin tackles a conventional wisdom so deeply believed that even those it disparages tend to accept it — namely, that the history of the American left, for all its drama and artistry, brilliance and passion, is one of failure. It is, in that telling, a story of causes unfulfilled, elections lost, unions busted, communes dispersed. Kazin emerges with a counterpoint, not so much of hidden victories as of grand and enduring achievement, often carried to fruition by moderates but envisioned by the left and propelled by its energy. It is, to say the least, a timely read.

more from Jim Newton at the LA Times here.