Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals
- Publish Date: 2017-06-13
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Jeremy McCarter
From the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Hamilton: The Revolution, the stunning story of five American radicals fighting for their ideals as the country goes mad around them
Where do we find our ideals? What does it mean to live for themâand to risk dying for them? For Americans during World War I, these werenât abstract questions. Young Radicals tells the story of five activists, intellectuals and troublemakers who agitated for freedom and equality in the hopeful years before the war, then fought to defend those values in a country pitching into violence and chaos.
Based on six years of extensive archival research, Jeremy McCarterâs dramatic narrative brings to life the exploits of Randolph Bourne, the bold social critic who strove for a dream of America that was decades ahead of its time; Max Eastman, the charismatic poet-propagandist of Greenwich Village, whose magazine The Masses fought the government for the right to oppose the war; Walter Lippmann, a boy wonder of socialism who forged a new path to seize new opportunities; Alice Paul, a suffragist leader who risked everything to win women the right to vote; and John Reed, the swashbuckling journalist and impresario who was an eyewitness toâand a key player inâthe Russian Revolution.
Each of these figures sensed a moment of unprecedented promise for American lifeâpolitically, socially, culturallyâand struggled to bring it about, only to see a cataclysmic war and reactionary fervor sweep it away. A century later, we are still fighting for the ideals these five championed: peace, womenâs rights, economic equality, freedom of speechâall aspects of a vibrant American democracy. The story of their struggles brings new light and fresh inspiration to our own.
Praise for Young Radicals
âOne of the exciting new nonfiction books this summer.ââSarah Begley, Time
âMcCarterâs prose is engaging, moving, and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. Recommended for young radicals today who want to understand past attempts to change the world in the face of repression.ââLibrary Journal (starred review)
âIn this poetic, impassioned book, written with a fierce moral urgency, Jeremy McCarter conjures up a clutch of brilliant dreamersâpoets, feminists, journalists, and political rebelsâwhose freewheeling ideas collided with the carnage of World War I and the repressive atmosphere of the postwar Red Scare.ââRon Chernow, #1Â New York TimesÂ bestselling author ofÂ AlexanderÂ Hamilton
âJeremy McCarterâs gripping exploration of what drives young people toward revolutionary acts, in even the most desperate days, could not be more relevant to our current political moment.ââRebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author of All the Single Ladies
âEngaging, thought-provoking, and wonderfully intimate, this book should inspire artists, writers, activists, and anyone who values peace and justice in a time of conflict and war.ââBryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative andÂ New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy
âYoung RadicalsÂ is a highly dramatic, beautiful, and precise story of incredibly brave young people encountering bigotry, greed, ignorance, fear, and murderous rage, all the usual enemies of hope, decency, generosity of spirit, clarity, and courage of thought.ââTony Kushner,Â Pulitzer Prizeâwinning author ofÂ Angels in AmericaÂ and Oscar-nominated screenwriter ofÂ Lincoln