In an op-ed titled “Who are you calling a Harringtonite,” published by The New York Times, Maurice Isserman ponders what Michael Harrington, once America’s most famous socialist, would think about his intellectual descendants in the Democratic Socialists of America (D.S.A.). Isserman is the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of American History.
Isserman is the author of The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington. In The New York Times op-ed Isserman writes: “The (D.S.A.) membership is above 50,000, an eightfold increase. Many if not most of those new members come from the 18-to-34-year-old demographic — 45 percent of which, according to a recent University of Chicago survey, hold a favorable opinion of socialism.
“Critics in the political center and right have struggled to respond to this swerve to the left, but one common response has been: This is not your father’s (or grandfather’s) D.S.A. — which is to say it is not well mannered, slightly tweedy, even academic. It is not, in other words, Michael Harrington.”
This is the third piece that Isserman has published in The New York Times in the past 18 months.