Brown University Library’s Center for Digital Initiatives hosts a collection of scanned images of two important U.S. New Left/post-New Left journals, Radical America and Cultural Correspondence. The two journals, closely connected with the prolific historian of the left and left culture Paul Buhle, were among the more interesting intellectual by-products of Students for a Democratic Society.
It can be said that Buhle is in large measure responsible for the rediscovery of C.L.R. James in the U.S., beginning with the content of Radical America Vol IV, No. 4 (May 1970), an issue devoted to documents by James. It should be noted, however, that Raya Dunayevskaya was sharply critical of Buhle’s interpretation of the history and significance of the Johnson-Forest Tendency (Johnson was James’s party name) and issued a 1972 statement, “Radical America Starts its Marxist Path by Rewriting History”, included in a pamphlet titled “For the Record: the Johnson-Forest Tendency, or the Theory of State Capitalism, 1941-51; its Vicissitudes and Ramifications, 1972.”
Present here are all the issues through 1987. The journal ceased appearing in 1999.
Cultural Correspondence existed for a decade concurrently with Radical America. Its contents reflect more even closely than Radical America‘s Buhle’s interpretation of U.S. society, one heavily oriented to the oppositional possibilities contained in manifestations of popular culture. The title of the journal paid homage to Correspondence, the internal circular and subsequent newspaper of Correspondence Committees, launched after the Johnson-Forest Tendency departed from Trotskyism in 1951.
The complete run of the journal (1975-1985) is available here.
Buhle has most recently pursued collaborations on cartoon art histories of the U.S. left, including Jews and American Comics: an Illustrated History of an American Art Form and Students for a Democratic Society: a Graphic History.
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