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The Long March proceeds as a series of stimulating essays on important cultural figures and movements, beginning with the Beats. Norman Mailer comes in for an eloquent trashing ("From the late 1940s until the 1980s, he showed himself to be extraordinarily deft at persuading credulous intellectuals to collaborate in his megalomania"), as do any number of counterculture icons. I.F. Stone's articles, writes Kimball, "read like neo-Stalinist equivalents of those multipart articles on staple crops with which The New Yorker used to anesthetize its readers." And of The New York Review of Books, that bastion of elite liberal opinion, Kimball says: "Quite apart from the irresponsibility of the politics, there was an intellectual irresponsibility at work here, a preening, ineradicable frivolousness toward the cultural values that the journal was supposedly created to nurture." There's a distinctly conservative crankiness to Kimball's writing; the jazz of Miles Davis is inevitably "drug-inspired" and rock music "was not only an aesthetic disaster of gigantic proportions: it was also a moral disaster whose effects are nearly impossible to calculate precisely because they are so pervasive." Yet this inclination can lead to fascinating, if arguable, insights about modern American culture: "Everywhere one looks one sees the elevation of youth--that is to say, of immaturity--over experience. It may seem like a small thing that nearly everyone of whatever age dresses in blue jeans now; but the universalization of that sartorial badge of the counterculture speaks volumes."
Kimball's writing is at once highbrow and accessible. Fans of Robert Bork's Slouching Towards Gomorrah and Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind--or readers who have never quite believed all the English professors proclaiming Allen Ginsberg a poetic genius--will find The Long March engrossing and indispensable. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
We, liberals, are NOT the enemy - nor are we morally bankrupt.
Kimball does a good job of packaging currents of counterculture thought through the 60s and linking them to intellectual and social corrosion of the present day.
Those who mentored him did a good job, proving RELEVANT those who questioned his associations.)
I really don't know what I was expecting when I opened this book. After all, the subtitle's promise- "How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America"- is glaringly... Read morePublished 16 months ago by J. Michael
I forced myself to read most of this nasty, mean-spirited book to the bitter end (I skipped a few pages which seemed to be regurgitating arguments already made). Read morePublished 19 months ago by Stephen Mo Hanan
This is one of those books that you hate - but can't put down. I despise Kimball's frequent slaps across the liberal face, as though this group alone is at the heart of America's... Read morePublished 22 months ago by RJM402
Roger Kimball's seminal work on how the Frankfurt School took over the cultural high ground and set America on a 40-year journey into darkness . A must read.Published on September 24, 2012 by sam jacobs
This book is not written by a historian. The author argues that the US has been in decay since the cultural revolution of the 1960s- that revolution which included the... Read morePublished on August 23, 2012 by K_Love
Kimball intersperses detailed criticisms with moralistic lambastings that depend on the sensibility of the reader for their credence. Read morePublished on July 26, 2012 by Ken
A devastating critique of my parent's generation. Kimball is obviously distraught at the state of modern American culture, and I have a hard time disagreeing with him. Read morePublished on July 8, 2011 by Chris Serger
An alternative title for this book might be The "Meaning" of America (a take-off on a major title of the 60's, The Greening of America), not in the sense of analyzing America but... Read morePublished on July 26, 2010 by Carol Williams
When I say that this book is "embarrassing," I mean that it makes me blush.
The opening salvo, fired against William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, is especially... Read more