In Social Decay and Transformation social and political critic Samuel Farber presents an analysis of social decline that has been missing from the contemporary scene: a view from the Left, one which draws from the ideas and traditions of the Enlightenment's left wing. Using a comparative approach to situate his theoretical conclusions in historical circumstances, Farber looks at the working class and temperance movements, civil rights rebellions and the Black Panthers, and the cultural revolutions of 1920s Russia and the Bolsheviks. Providing carefully reasoned interrogations of contemporary thinkers such as James C. Scott and Robin D. G. Kelley, Farber clarifies the discussions on social decay currently taking place, adding an important voice of the Left to the current debate.
Samuel Farber is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College. He is the author of Before Stalinism: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Democracy (1990) and Revolution and Reaction in Cuba, 1933-1960 (1976).
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Social Decay Chapter 3 Social Decay and the Left Chapter 4 Aspects of Social Decay: Civility and Civic Participation Chapter 5 Aspects of Social Decay: Civility and Manners Chapter 6 Social Decay and the Working Class: The Many Faces of Temperance Chapter 7 Responses to Social Decay: A Case Study of the Black Panthers Part 8 Social Transformation and Reason Chapter 9 Resistance Without Political Ideas: A Closer Look at James C. Scott Chapter 10 The Perils of Political "Romanticism": A Closer Look at Robin D. G. Kelley Chapter 11 The Russian Twenties: Cultural Revolution as Enlightenment