Magazine October 3, 2011, Issue

A Long Red Sunset

Outside Grant Park in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention, August 26, 1968. (Library of Congress)
American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation, by Michael Kazin (Knopf, 352 pp., $27.95)

One of the hardy staples of American history is the question of what happened to American socialism. As the only industrialized nation in the world in which avowedly socialist or Communist parties have never held power or even seriously contended for power, the U.S. has been a persistent thorn in the grand Marxist scenario that had the whole world progressing inevitably towards a workers’ paradise. If capitalism was doomed, why were its gravediggers in the most successful capitalist nation on earth having so much trouble?

It was a question that worried even Marx and Engels, although they comforted themselves with the

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Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Bless the Beasts

Some virtues are by accidents of history associated with utopianism, hostility to private property, anti-clericalism, and other core beliefs of the Left. I can scandalize a yoga instructor anywhere in ...
Politics & Policy

A Long Red Sunset

One of the hardy staples of American history is the question of what happened to American socialism. As the only industrialized nation in the world in which avowedly socialist or ...
Politics & Policy

Going Viral

Some of the scariest material that Stephen King has ever written — scarier, in its way, than anything in The Shining or ’Salem’s Lot or Pet Sematary — is contained ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

The Ron Paul Movement Rides On It is not surprising that with the polls ranking him third nationally, Ron Paul would finally make the cover of National Review (“Ron Paul’s Last ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Bad news for the Democrats: It turns out some of those people who cling bitterly to their religion are Orthodox Jews in Queens. ‐ The great strength of the conservative ...
The Bent Pin

Terminal Eloquence

This column was supposed to be about presidential personality problems. I should have started writing it sooner to give myself plenty of time but I was irresistibly distracted by a ...
Athwart

Proper Aim

Ask any employer, and you’ll hear the same lament: We’d love to hire people, but we need an inexplicable modification of the tax code exquisitely calibrated to provide a tiny ...
Happy Warrior

Flight

At the start of the summer, I attended a graduation ceremony in Vermont, for which a bigshot speaker had been flown up from New York. “Your world is changing so ...

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