An International New Left?

This essay was written for a special issue of the French journal Esprit, where it appeared in May 2008. The editors wanted to avoid the typical default of French exceptionalism, which is certain that the true origin and significance of that remarkable year 1968 (and of any other events or years, for that matter) is to be found in France, and more precisely still, in Paris, no doubt within the confines of the Latin Quarter, and among the intellectuals and the revolutionary sects that variously find their favor. [1] Esprit has only rarely been guilty of that type of self- centred naval gazing in the decades during which I have been associated with it. On the contrary, what is striking is the ability of the journal to attract younger critical participants (and readers) who constantly open new paths because they are open to new experiences; they didn’t come to the journal as converts to an established church.

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