Best-selling author to discuss popular culture at Bates

Noted cultural critic David Horowitz will discuss the intersection of popular culture and public policy at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, in the Benjamin Mays Center, 95 Russell St. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

President of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, Horowitz is a best-selling author and editor perhaps best known for his intellectual and political transformation from a 1960s peace and civil rights activist to a critic of that era’s leftist impact on modern American culture.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 1959 and a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1961, Horowitz emerged as a leader of the New Left. During the 1960s, he edited Ramparts magazine, an influential left-wing journal.

In the 1970s, dissatisfied with the consequences of radical politics in America and abroad, Horowitz withdrew from politics and joined Peter Collier in co-authoring a series of best-selling biographies of prominent American families, including The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976), The Kennedys: An American Drama (Summit Books/Simon & Schuster, 1985), The Fords: An American Epic (Summit Books/Simon & Schuster 1987) and The Roosevelts: An American Saga (Simon & Schuster 1994). For these works, The Los Angeles Times called Horowitz and Collier “the premier chroniclers of American dynastic tragedy.” In 1978 Horowitz received a Guggenheim fellowship, and in 1990 he received the Teach Freedom award from President Ronald Reagan.

During the 1980s, Horowitz developed a new political outlook. In their 1989 book Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties (Summit Books/Simon & Schuster), Horowitz and Collier chronicled the legacy of the New Left and its effects on politics and culture in this country. Horowitz recounted his political journey in his autobiography, Radical Son (The Free Press, 1997).

In 1988 Horowitz created the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, a 20,000-member that publishes of four magazines, including Heterodoxy, a monthly focusing on “political correctness and other follies.” The center also hosts an annual “Images of Ourselves” conference at Paramount Studios.

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