Books April 2004
The political person
A review of Family Circle: The Boudins and the Aristocracy of the Left by Susan Braudy.
Much remains to be learned about the origins of political fanaticism, the connections between consuming resentment and the taking of radical political positions, perverted idealism and political violence. More specifically, it is still not well understood what precisely were the sources of the hostility and anger directed at American society by many of its most privileged members in recent times.
In this long, well written, and generally well documented volume, Susan Braudy does not provide us with any particularly keen insights about these matters. She neglects to back up some of her more piquant assertions with evidence from interviews or printed sources. Nonetheless, she offers a great deal of specific and suggestive information about the individuals whose lives she chronicles. Anybody interested in the psychology of the radical groups of the 1960s (mainly the Weathermen) and the affinity between utopian good intentions and...
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