David Caute Jeffry J. Kaplow - Essay

Jeffry J. Kaplow

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

There is some question in my mind as to whether one ought to attempt a single definition of the European Left since 1789, as Caute does [in The Left in Europe Since 1789]. The problems of society, and therefore the grounds of political identification, have changed so rapidly in the last 175 years that what was "Left" in 1789 was often "Right" by 1793; what was revolutionary in 1848 was conservative in 1871. In the presence of so intense a rhythm of change, what purpose is served by the establishment of a lowest common denominator of the Left?

I would not be misunderstood. There is a Left tradition in Europe, and it is a strong one. (p. 784)

But Caute is not content to note...

(The entire section is 931 words.)