The Corner

Dean’s Crusade

Reading the cover story of Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, I couldn’t help but smile. The story argues that politics is an almost secondary factor in the movement for Howard Dean, which has all the earmarks of a religious crusade. According to author, Samantha M. Shapiro, Dean’s website functions almost like a church, connecting his followers to one another socially in ways not usually seen in political campaigns. For Dean’s followers, says Shapiro, politics crosses over into personal life. This is much like the argument I made in, “The Church of the Left.” That piece has attracted as much attention as any I’ve written. And now, I’ve expanded my analysis of the religious nature of the left, and published it in a new book edited by political philosopher, Peter Berkowitz. The book is called, Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic, and my essay is entitled, “Culture and Values in the 1960’s.” There I go far beyond my initial NRO piece and trace the religious quality of contemporary leftism back to the birth of social science in turn of the century France. I also offer an explanation for why “the sixties” happened at all. So this essay is an attempt to back up my “Church of the Left” argument with a serious historical and sociological analysis.


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