Politics Lee RossSupreme Court0commentsElena Kagan’s Socialist Thesis
May 17, 2010 - 5:18 PM | by: Lee Ross
A 134 page thesis detailing the rise and fall of the American socialist movement is hardly a light read, nor must it have been an easy paper for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to write as a Princeton undergrad in 1981. Yet Kagan produced "To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933" as her senior thesis, in the hope, as she wrote, "of clarifying [her] own political ideals."
Unfortunately for politicos intent on discovering more about those ideals, whatever conclusions Kagan reached about her own ideology based on her study of the socialist movement are largely omitted from her final product. In what has become a common description of Kagan, she, even as an undergraduate, displays uncommon intellect but leaves the reader with little understanding of her own deeply-held views.
The research paper was a graduation requirement for Princeton students, who were...