This might be described as a book for its time, our time, although perhaps it might be even more timely if it were delayed a year, because the effects of the global austerity crisis (not to mention the refugee crisis) and the bold socialistic campaign of Bernie Sanders in the United States—no doubt influenced by the victory of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party—just might take the last chapter in a different direction. Or maybe not … and we will be disappointed again, as we have been so often across the decades.

Still, Radicals in America is a generous overview, well-written and rich with detail, offering readers a lively way to grasp a subject that has often seemed more discontinuous and elusive than understandable. It astutely follows leading movements and personalities across almost three generations of American history. It takes us from the...

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