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A review of Christopher F. Rufo’s America’s Cultural Revolution
(American Greatness) – Christopher F. Rufo’s America’s Cultural Revolution is a landmark study of America’s radicalization since the 1960s. It is a carefully constructed work full of insights, which confirmed for me the conclusions that I had reached while studying some of the same topics. Rufo shows convincingly that certain radical thinkers, most of whom were American born, affected deeply and perhaps irreversibly American institutions starting in the 1960s. This study clearly avoids an interpretive perspective that I have repeatedly mocked, exemplified by those who pretend that American culture and politics were generally sound up until quite recently, perhaps until the point when LGBT enthusiasts turned from gay marriage to gender transitioning.
Among the main architects of Rufo’s metamorphosed America were “the father of the revolution” Herbert Marcuse, Marcuse’s last wife, Erica Sherover-Marcuse, a radical feminist and censorship enthusiast, Marcuse’s black nationalist-Communist student Angela Davis, Portuguese revolutionary educator, Paul Freire, and black legal theorist and Harvard professor Derrick Bell. The influence of these figures, according to Rufo, can only be fully grasped by looking at those later luminaries whom they trained in their ideas. Equally critical from my perspective is the alacrity with which corporate capitalists ran to submit to the new order.
Rufo is certainly not assigning extravagant importance to those in his rogues’ gallery. He builds his case by citing the revolutionary statements of his subjects and by examining their powerful contacts in the American academy and among public administrators. Particularly striking is how readily government administration and elite institutions yielded to…