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Soldiers of Misfortune

The New Right's Culture War and the Politics of Political Correctness


Valerie D'Annibale

In Soldiers of Misfortune, Valerie Scatamburlo provides the first systematic account of the political correctness phenomenon. The author contends that the New Right's campaign against P.C. must be understood contextually, as part of the conservative movement's broader «war of position». She traces the historical genealogy of the contemporary New Right, the network of corporate-sponsored funding undergirding their anti-P.C. assault; and examines the mainstream media's complicity in propagating anti-P.C. rhetoric. Scatamburlo, however, challenges the notion that the P.C. ethos is merely a myth concocted by the New Right and addresses some of the disturbing tendencies in contemporary Left theory and politics. She locates the P.C. phenomenon theoretically and politically between the linguistic turn in social theory and the rise of identity politics. Claiming that P.C. is, in many ways, a form of pseudoradicalism, the author argues that progressive intellectuals must move beyond the edicts of P.C., the narrowness of identity politics, and the excesses of postmodernism.