Sunday, June 06, 2010

Hendrik Hertzberg on Elena Kagan, Socialism and "Wingnut World"

Hendrik Hertzberg (The New Yorker):
If the undergraduate is mother to the Justice as the child is father to the man, then I’m ready to believe that Elena Kagan, Princeton ’81, just might grow up to be a terrific Justice of the Supreme Court. I’ve now had the pleasure of reading the senior thesis Ms. Kagan wrote at Princeton, under the kindly, avuncular eye of the master American historian Sean Wilentz.

“To The Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933” would be an impressive enough piece of work if its author had been, say, a thirtyish assistant professor publishing in an academic history journal. Coming from a twenty-year-old college kid, it’s a truly remarkable accomplishment, quite out of the ordinary. Either that, or the college thesis-writing standards of the early nineteen-eighties were dramatically higher than I had assumed. MORE...
Howie P.S.: My childhood public school chum manages to cram alot of personal history about himself, about Kagan, about American socialism and the present-day right-wing reaction to the Kagan nomination into this piece of writing.

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