Irving Howe invited me to write for Dissent in 1972, when I was a graduate student. My main qualification was my participation in a socialist youth group. This was one of Dissent’s first moves toward generational reconciliation, but given my membership in a family of Dissentniks, it was a tentative one.
My assignment was to write about interesting articles in other magazines; my mission, which Irving never spelled out, was to find my political voice against t...
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