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What does it mean to be a “leftist” in America nowadays, particularly when the term recalls social movements of the 1960s and ’70s? Now that the political center has moved so far to the right, can there even be a true left anymore? Do we think as critically and enjoy life as much as previous generations? Are art, literature, music, activism, and satire still able to inspire social change and personal enlightenment in our relentlessly commodified age? In short, have we lost our democracy, and do we even give a damn?
The author, known for his excoriating political cartoons, interviews some of the leading artists, architects, observers, and participants of the late-twentieth-century’s counterculture and New Left movements — Mort Sahl, Joan Baez, Tariq Ali, Lily Tomlin, Calvin Trillin, Dennis Kucinich, Christopher Hitchens, and others — in search of answers. The conversations, generously illustrated by Mr. Fish, will blow your mind.