Roger Scruton: Thinkers of the New Left

Longman, 1985

Publisher’s Presentation:

Fourteen of the thinkers most influential on the attitudes of the post-1960s New Left are analysed in this study by one of the leading critics of leftist orientations in modern Western civilization. The New Left thinkers discussed are E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, Michel Foucault, R. D. Laing, Raymond Williams, Rudolf Bahro, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, Immanuel Wallerstein, Jürgen Habermas, Perry Anderson, György Lukács, J. K. Galbraith and Jean-Paul Sartre.

In addition to assessments of these thinkers’ philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarizing their careers and most important writings. The author also contributes an introductory analysis of the nature of New Leftism and, as a conclusion to the individual studies, a critique of the key strands in its thinking.

JOB’s Comment:

This was the first book by Scruton that I read. I think I may have been the first to introduce Scruton in Sweden, through my review of it in Marknadsekonomisk Tidskrift (later taken over by Carl Rudbeck and renamed Smedjan), in an issue with a big picture of Margaret Thatcher on the cover; but it is quite possible that my friend Carl Johan Ljungberg had already reviewed The Meaning of Conservatism. The book is a collection of essays previously published in The Salisbury Review. Amazon gives product details for a second edition från Scruton’s own Claridge Press, but the customer image is of the first edition.

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