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Commentary By James Piereson

A Six-Decade March

Culture Culture & Society

On the ideological origins of The 1619 Project.

Many Americans are having a hard time coming to grips with the bizarre transformation that has come over their country in recent years. It is almost as if they went to sleep a few years ago thinking they lived in a stable multi-ethnic democracy only to wake up to learn that their country had turned into the land of white supremacy, structural racism, genocide, and environmental rape. The most extreme anti-American rhetoric from the 1960s is now the norm among progressives and the institutions they control, from schools and colleges to prominent newspapers and television networks. The terrorists of the 1960s, decades in hibernation, have awakened to take control of America.

Several writers, including Roger KimballVictor Davis Hanson, and (currently) Christopher Rufo, have tried to explain how this happened. Rufo’s excellent new book, America’s Cultural Revolution, gives an account of the New Left’s “long march through the institutions” over the decades and shows how the radicals adopted that strategy in the 1970s when their efforts to bring off a violent revolution collapsed around them. Critics who have reviewed or commented on Rufo’s book claim that this account is exaggerated: there are no links, they say, between the radicals of 1969 and progressives today working as college professors, journalists for The New York Times, or talk show hosts for MSNBC.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The New Criterion


James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

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