Revolution In The Air is the first in-depth study of the long march of the US New Left after 1968. From the vantage point of leading one of the key organizations of the “New Communist Movement” in the US from the 1970s through the 1990s, Elbaum traces not just the organizational shifts but — more importantly in looking at the history of the left today as well — the political and ideological currents as well as the historical developments, global as well as domestic, that shaped that period. From the focus on what was then called “third world” liberation movements and support for socialist countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, through Soviet shifts from Perestroika to the collapse of the USSR itself, from the student movement to the rise of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition and beyond, Revolution in the Air tracks how US anti-imperialists, socialists, Marxists of various stripes, came together and split apart in the efforts to change the world.
The book is the definitive study of how radicals from the sixties movements embraced twentieth-century Marxism, and what movements of dissent today can learn from the legacies of Lenin, Mao and Che.
The event will include a presentation from Max Elbaum and an open discussion, particularly aiming to link that period of a quarter century ago to the political struggles underway today.
“If you still believe sixties radicalism was nothing more than youthful middle-class confusion or parochial identity politics, then open these pages and dig.”
– Robin D.G. Kelley