Mao Mix

Max Elbaum fills the memory void.
photo: Verso Books
Max Elbaum fills the memory void.


Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che
By Max Elbaum
Verso, 370 pp., $30
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Revolution in the Air cogently narrates the history of a highly instructive failure. Max Elbaum readily admits that there is "no evidence that Marxism-Leninism's resurrection lies anywhere on the horizon" and acknowledges it is "extremely unlikely" that young people who become radicalized now will seek affirmative guidance from that all-but-vanished tradition. Yet in much the same way that SNCC's legacy can teach present-day progressive organizers how they should interact with others, the New Communist Movement's history is a powerful lesson in how not to pursue the progressive transformation of society.

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