He was our voice, our hope, our pride.
When Mike Harrington rose to speak, in that piercing alto of his, we all felt that the familiar language of socialism took on the complexion of youth, the freshness of truth. For a moment, it seemed as if all the shame and defeats of our century were erased, and the soaring hope of early socialism rang clear. Not that Mike didn’t live, every minute of his days, with a full consciousness of how terrible this century had been; that consciousness bore down upon his every opinion and decision; it kept prodding him into revisions of thought and perspective. Still, he had the extraordinary capacity—it almost seemed a gift of nature—to lift the concerns of daily realism into a transcendent realm, the optimism of a man who has blinked nothing, yet, as a tempered democrat, lives by his margin of hope....
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