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American Democratic SocialismHistory, Politics, Religion, and Theory$
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Gary Dorrien

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780300253764

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300253764.001.0001

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New Left, Old Left, and Michael Harrington

New Left, Old Left, and Michael Harrington

(p.362) 6 New Left, Old Left, and Michael Harrington
American Democratic Socialism

Gary Dorrien

Yale University Press

The Shachtmanites who took over the Socialist Party in the late 1950s had a vision of a realigned Democratic Party that put trade unions at the center, supported the civil rights movement, and drove out the party’s Dixiecrat flank. They said the Democratic Party was becoming a labor party in disguise. Meanwhile the leaders of Students for a Democratic Society called for a New Left, lumping together communists and anticommunist socialists as the Old Left. The left broke apart in the 1960s over the exotic turmoil of the antiwar, wave two feminist, Black Power, and Third World revolutionary movements. Two new Socialist organizations arose in response: the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the New American Movement. In 1982 they merged to form Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

Keywords:   New Left, Old Left, Michael Harrington, Port Huron Statement, Radical Feminism, Black Power, Anti-Vietnam War movement, Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, New American Movement, Democratic Socialists of America

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