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Radical Legacies

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: The Uselessness of American Intellectuals. Chapter One: Be Free!: Globalism and Democratic Pedagogy in Henry James and Henry Adams Chapter Two: World War I and the Origins of the National Security State: Mary Antin, Randolph Bourne, and Emma Goldman Chapter Three: Mary McCarthy's Swizzle Sticks: Food, Drink, and Consumerism in the American Depression Chapter Four: Herman Melville's Cold War: Re-reading C. L. R. James's Mariners, Renegades, and Castaways Chapter Five: Turning Poetry into Bread: Langston Hughes, Travel-writing, and the Professionalization of African-American Literary Production Chapter Six: Legacies of the New Left: Paul Goodman, C. Wright Mills, and Angela Davis Conclusion: Thought during Wartime: American Public Intellectuals in the Twenty-first Century Notes Bibliography

About the Author

Arthur Redding is professor of English at York University in Toronto.


American literary historian Arthur Redding presents six essays on such radical American thinkers as Henry James, Henry Adams, Herman Melville, Langston Hughes, Emma Goldman, Paul Goodman, C. Wright Mills, and Angela Davis (Redding calls Davis 'one of the most compelling activist-philosophers alive'). These public intellectuals have raised deeply disturbing concerns about conservative tendencies in US culture and politics. Redding considers his subjects to be 'radical' in their formulation of hopeless Utopian causes such as prison abolition, pacifism, gender equity, racial equality, and economic justice. The word 'legacies' in the title alludes to the idea that the thinking of these writers is radical rather than reformist. They do not accommodate themselves to any of the conservative policies of the US government. Redding's aim is to keep alive some of this reflective resistance to, as he writes in chapter 1, US 'neo-imperial barbarism.' Redding reminds readers of the fact, so often ignored, that the US has achieved many progressive socialist goals, among them the eight-hour workday, the elimination of child labor, the extension of the vote to women and minorities, recognition of the right to collective bargaining, social security, public education, and Keynesian economics. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. * CHOICE *

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