3. Authoritarian Collectivisms
4. The Realpolitik of Utopia
5. The End of Socialism?
6. The Third Creation of the World
7. Socialization Revisited
8. Market and Plan
9. Visionary Gradualism
The late Michael Harrington was one of America's foremost political thinkers of the Left, the author of many books and the leader of the Democratic Socialists Party. He died in 1991.
Harrington discusses the ways that socialism can be applied to modern political systems to ensure justice and human freedom, criticizes Eastern European versions of socialism and indicates the success of Sweden's social democrats. According to PW , this is a ``succinct, readable synthesis of the various strands of his thought'' and ``his blueprint for a `visionary gradualism' deserves a reading.'' (Oct.)
As this may be Harrington's last major work (he is battling inoperable cancer), it is worthy of careful attention even though it covers some familiar territory. It is both a condensation of and a sequel to his massive theoretical study Socialism ( LJ 6/1/72), and it also refines and supports arguments put forth in writings such as Toward a Democratic Left ( LJ 3/15/68) and The Next Left ( LJ 1/15/84). He argues that socialist renewal is the only hope for progress and freedom in the next century and he tries to clear away the ``deadwood of the socialist past.'' He is convincing in his application of classic socialist theory to current economic situations, and he examines the validity of the idea of ``visionary gradualism'' in bringing about a socialist agenda. Recommended for all academic libraries.-- Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa.