The impulse, to look back upon halcyon days—to seize upon a treasured moment in history when every promise of an ardently desired change in all aspects of life seemed not only infinitely fulfillable but virtually irresistible—is one that we are all prone to in periods of disillusionment and disarray. But some sensibilities are more susceptible than others to this tendency to locate in a distant past the moment of optimum possibility, and it is my impression, anyway, that nowadays it is our aging radicals who find this impulse both especially tempting and especially necessary. For it is in the nature of the radical dream to be defeated by the realities of life, and the longer radicals live with that dream the more reason they have to regret its atrocious consequences. Yet the dream itself cannot be abandoned by the faithful, for it is, in essence, a dream of salvation—and so refuge must be taken in some...


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