The Was Old For His Age

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Many people claim Randolph Bourne was old for his age, he came off as a grump to many of his contemporaries and some of the readers during the early 1900’s. On top of that, he was so far to the left he was considered “radical” in many ways, even by other liberal thinkers. A firm believer in socialism and the liberation of labor workers as well as the abolition of classes, Bourne found himself on the fringe during a time that it was not especially popular to be there. All this to say, Bourne was controversial at the time, and he struggled to find an audience and a medium to get his voice out there, however, he was also one of the most important writers and thinkers of the twentieth century. His views were not only way ahead of his time,…show more content…
Additionally, I believe the people who propagated this critique may have simply not been familiar with all of Bourne’s work, or perhaps been confused by the nature from which he approached the topic of youth and culture. Bourne’s views on the young were coming from a young man, but due to the maturity that he approached the subject with, I think many people confused that for being curmudgeonly. For example, if we take a look at his essays “The Excitement of Friendship,” “The Experimental Life,” or “The Older Generation” these are celebrations of youth, companionship, and the importance of taking risks as well as a cry for the younger generation to become active in the community and pick up where their elders have failed them. These are not the typical kinds of views and opinions that young people possess, these are much more introspective, and because of this they seem to be more of a detached examination of the young by and older fellow, rather than a peer review by one of their own. These writings display the forward-thinking and maturity that Bourne possessed from the earliest stages of his work and they display his ability to create inspiring writings that worked as motivational tools for the youth of his time and for generations to come. The second, probably most valuable aspect of proving Bourne’s importance as a thinker and an intellectual, resides in his views on the war,
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