An Infantile Disorder?: The Crisis and Decline of the New Left, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

An Infantile Disorder?

The Crisis and Decline of the New Left, 1st Edition

By Nigel Young


510 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138334649
pub: 2020-05-15
SAVE ~$12.00
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 15th May 2020
Hardback: 9781138334632
pub: 2018-11-23
SAVE ~$36.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429445156
pub: 2018-12-07
from $30.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


First published in 1977. The New Left, as an organised political phenomenon, came – and went – largely in the 1960s. Was the Movement that went into precipitate decline after 1969 the same New Left that had developed a decade earlier? Nigel Young’s thesis is that the core New Left, as it had evolved by the mid-1960s, had a unique identity that set it apart from other Old Left and Marxist groups. He believes that this was dissipated in the later developments of the black and student movements, and in the opposition to the Vietnam war. By 1968 – the watershed year – an acute ‘identity-crisis’ had set in within the Movement and became the major source of the New Left’s disintegration.

Nigel Young traces the Movement’s growth and crisis mainly in Britain and America, where it reached its greater strength, but attention is also paid to parallel developments in similar movements elsewhere. He analyses the crisis in terms of the interrelationship between dilemmas of strategy and ideas, and the external events which tend to reinforce the tendencies toward elitism, intolerance and violence, and produce organisational breakdown.

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Chronology; Introduction; 1. Convergence and Breakthrough 2. The New Left: A Core Identity 3. A New Radicalism 4. After Reformism: The Dilemmas of Extra-Parliamentarism 5. The Problem of Agency 6. Black Movement in Crisis 7. In Search of Ideology 8. The New Left in Britain: 1956-70 9. Vietnam and Alignment 10. SDS in Flux 11. Annus Mirabilis: 1968 12. Turn Towards Violence 13. Revolution and the New Left 14. Provocation: Response and Repression 15. The new Left and the Old 16. A Crisis of Identity 17. Picking Up the Threads; Appendix; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index

About the Author

Nigel Young, now mainly based in Yorkshire, Northern England, has been active in transnational peace activity for at least a half century. He is presently Editor-in-Chief of the 'Oxford International Encyclopedia of World Peace' (a four-volume reference work) for which he won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He is also active in the Balkans Peace Park Project, UK (B3P).

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: The Labour Movement

This set of 44 volumes, originally published between 1924 and 1995, amalgamates a wide breadth of research on the Labour Movement, including labour union history, the early stages and development of the Labour Party, and studies on the working classes. This collection of books from some of the leading scholars in the field provides a comprehensive overview of the subject, how it has evolved over time, and will be of particular interest to students of political history.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General