TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE ART OF POLITICS

WRITING IN THESE PAGES IN SEPTEMBER 1970, Artforum editor Philip Leider recalled a heated summertime argument with Richard Serra. “What,” they debated, “was the most revolutionary thing to do?” Haunted by the activist theatrics of Abbie Hoffman, Serra wondered “whether the times were not forcing us to a completely new set of ideas about what an artist was and what an artist did.” Leider, a believer in a more circumscribed definition of art, didn’t agree. Yet the recollection triggered a general observation about conversations had during his seasonal travels:

“Revolution” was the most often-used word I ran into this summer. Nobody used it to mean the transfer of political power from one class to another. Most of the time it seemed to refer to those activities which would most expeditiously bring America to her senses and force her to stop the war, end racism and begin to take the lead among

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