American DreamersHow the Left Changed a Nationby Michael Kazin

Michael Kazin

How the Left Changed a Nation

Published by Knopf August 24, 2011

The author lives outside of Washington DC

“A spirited defense of the positive role played
by left-wing radicals in shaping American society.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“A fascinating inspection of the convergence of ideals
of individual freedom and communal responsibility and how
it has influenced our politics and culture for generations.”

—Vanessa Bush, Booklist

“Lively, perceptive, and lucid.
“Feminists, labor militants, civil rights stalwarts, and socialists have captured America’s heart—though rarely its votes—according to this perceptive history of the radical left. Kazin surveys visionaries, organizers, and rabble-rousers, including abolitionists and free-love communards of the 1830s, Gilded Age utopian novelists and temperance crusaders, feisty Wobblies and avant-garde bohemians, patriotic Popular Front Communists and ’60s firebrands.
“From this tumult of movements and personalities —everyone from John Brown to Naomi Klein, Dr. Seuss to Noam Chomsky—Kazin discerns continuities: radicals, he contends, succeed by influencing liberals rather than winning power, and by championing individual freedom and self-fulfillment; they fail when they attack religion and nationalism, advocate economic leveling, or advance sectarian purity and Marxist dogmas…
“This is a lively and lucid synthesis of a vital political tradition.”
—Publishers Weekly

Media Resources:
About the book | Author bio

Publicity contact:
Michelle Somers | 212-572-2082 |