Vanguards and Followers is the first thorough attempt to explore the long history of youth as a community in competition with adult society. Louis Filler examines the question: what is the tradition connecting Randolph Bourne with Abbie Hoffman, Adah Menken with Joan Baez, or Vachel Lindsay with Bob Dylan? He looks back to the fundamental social, economic, and cultural conditions that created opportunities for youthful expression. The first part of the book is an analysis of early dissident activities from the seventeenth century to World War II. He shows that youth movements were a part of American society almost from its beginnings. The second part of the book centers on the quarter century after the war. Filler examines the postwar climate that helped stimulate the youth eruption. Vanguards and Followers will appeal to a wide audience, including sociologists, cultural historians, and philosophers.