The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition

Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Editor, John C. McMillan, Editor, Eric Foner, Foreword by New Press $24.95 (688p) ISBN 978-1-56584-682-1
It's bracing to be reminded that the American experiment was radical at its inception--that in their own day the founding fathers (and mothers) were not hallowed figures but revolutionaries charting a new political path. Thus, among the 155 entries selected by two Harvard academics, are the 1765 Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress and the Bill of Rights. Also here are crucial documents from the abolitionist movement (such as Frederick Douglass's""What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?""); feminist texts, from Sarah Grimke's Letters on the Equality of the Sexes to the 19th Amendment giving women the vote; texts of the 60s counterculture, from Allen Ginsberg's""Howl"" to a Weathermen brochure; and the volume ends in the immediate past with a 2002 open letter by academics opposing the invasion of Iraq. Each entry is preceded by a brief introduction providing historical and biographical context.""By definition, radicals are a minority,"" writes historian Eric Foner in his foreword. Members of the newest left, whether antiwar or anti-globalization, will find a sense of roots and tradition in this comprehensive anthology.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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