If the title of Danny Goldberg’s new book seems familiar to you, it probably is. Originally published in hardcover in 2003 under the title Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit, this paperback version includes the full original book, plus a new introduction and additional chapters. Or the title may ring a bell for fans of 1990s rock music. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the biggest song of the ‘90s super-group Nirvana, and its lead singer and songwriter, Kurt Cobain. Goldberg’s appropriation of Cobain’s phrase “teen spirit” is no accident. He uses it as “a metaphor for the political energy of new generations.” Goldberg is a longtime music executive (chairman and CEO of Artemis Records) and political activist. He calls his new book “a rant in the form of a memoir.” In it, Goldberg rants against the left’s, and the Democratic Party’s, failure to stay in touch with its broad popular base by not using pop culture to reach its base, resulting in the “decline of progressive political power despite widespread support for progressive political goals.” Political junkies, music buffs, and those interested in American cultural life from the ‘60s forward will enjoy this well-written insider’s account. Index.
Helen Wrobel is an attorney specializing in union-side labor law in New York and New Jersey.