The New Left’s Origins in the Old Left

  • Van Gosse

Abstract

Few social movements emerge spontaneously, though it often appears that way to outside observers and even participants; the New Left was no exception. In the 1950s, when African Americans in both North and South reignited the black protest tradition, there were three other existing political currents from America’s radical past that would also prove crucial to the new radicalism. This chapter focuses on these four points of origin for the New Left: the varieties of black politics that converged in the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s; the Communist Party and the remnants of its “progressive” periphery; the older Socialist Party and the rest of the “anti-Stalinist” left; finally, the church-based pacifist movement, America’s oldest radical strain. This is hardly a complete rendering of the Old Left or of broader reform currents in the first half of the twentieth century, including the union movement, postsuffrage feminism, and the liberal wings of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Such a history is outside the scope of any single book, but it is worth noting that all of these relate to the development of a new radicalism during the Cold War years.

Keywords

Migration Depression Europe Crest Folk 

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A Selected Bibliography

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Copyright information

© Van Gosse 2005

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  • Van Gosse

There are no affiliations available

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