Radical Renewal

Norman Birnbaum, Author Pantheon Books $17.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-394-52315-6
Does the United States have an overseas empire, and if so, how does its existence affect American culture? To what extent does our economy depend on exorbitant levels of military spending? These questions should be on the national political agenda, asserts Birnbaum, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center. To reorient the terms of public debate, the author scans the social sciences for ideas that might influence the dawning post-Reagan era. Marred by a pedantic style, his reappraisal of the black and feminist movements, Herbert Marcuse, psychoanalysis, Keynes, the New Deal and the New Left will mainly interest scholars. After 200 pages of dense analysis, Birnbaum concludes that the intellectual framework of ``a new social project . . . may take a shape we cannot now say much about.'' He buttresses such heady arguments with 61 pages of bibliographical notes. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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