TODD GITLIN

«His best-known book was “The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage” (1987), a firsthand account, part history and part
autobiography, of the rise and fall of the left during that decade of upheaval. The leftists who held sway, he said in the
book, were never prepared to govern. “Often,” he wrote, “I’m glad we’re in no position to take power: If we did, the only
honorable sequel would be abdication.”
As time went on, he continued to write from a progressive perspective but became increasingly critical of his own
cohort. In “The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars” (1995), he said the left had
become distracted by identity politics, multiculturalism and political correctness when it should have been focused on issues like economic justice».

By Katharine Q. Seelye

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