Andrew Ross says that “the left is temporarily enjoying its first real foothold within the North American academy.” That claim reminds me of E.P. Thompson’s remark that the Althusserians thought themselves “the first white Marxists” to arrive on British soil. Britain, Thompson protested, “is an old socialist country.” So, I protest, is the United States. There has been a busy and useful left in the North American academy for most of this century.
Although most long-time readers of Dissent will probably agree with me on this point, most of my younger leftist colleagues in the academy will probably agree with Ross. There is a fairly sharp generational difference here. The new generati...
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