chapter  17
On Being Deradicalized (1970)
Pages 15

In domestic affairs the radical position was skeptical of the intelligence and capacities of large bureaucracies, whether in education, welfare, urban renewal, housing, or government in general. Having found nothing in particular in Marx to explain either what was wrong with modern society or what might help, radicals in those days were in a condition of peculiar openness. When Norman Podhoretz became editor of Commentary in 1960, his quest for something which would mark a departure from old and rigid positions and would suggest the direction in which the authors might now move led him to seize on Paul Goodman's manuscript, Growing up Absurd, most of which lie published in the first few issues of Commentary he turned out. Many rivulets of the late 1950s fed the radicalism of the early 1960s. There was the fight against urban renewal and other overblown programs such as Mobilization for Youth on the Lower East Side of New York.