Radicalism and the Skipped Generation

From Selma to Biafra, from the screening studios of Broadway to the Sunset Strip, Renata Adler has sought to distinguish “true radicalism” from “the mere mentality of the apocalypse.” She writes here of growing up in the 1950s with “the Eisenhower lie that the noble American experiment was complete,” of becoming a critic in the years of the Kennedys’ “beauty, promise, absolute lack of delivery,” and of “scorched-earth psychology” in the arts and in politics.