PERSONAL: Born in Newark, NJ. Education: St. Vincent's College, B.A.; University of Maryland, M.A.
ADDRESSES: Office—Manhattan Institute, 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY 10017.
CAREER: Journalist. Manhattan Institute, New York, NY, senior fellow. Crain's New York Business, formerly executive editor, managing editor, and columnist; master teacher at University of Maryland; guest on television and radio programs.
AWARDS, HONORS: Award for best investigative story of the year, Association of Area Business Publications, 1998, for series of articles about the influence of trial lawyers in New York State.
The New New Left: How American Politics Works Today (nonfiction), Ivan R. Dee (Chicago, IL), 2005.
Contributing editor, City Journal. Contributor to periodicals.
SIDELIGHTS: Steven Malanga is a politically conservative writer and editor whose book The New New Left: How American Politics Works Today examines the growth of public-assistance and social service programs sponsored by the U.S. government, and the industries that have grown up around them. Discussing his book in an interview on the Brothers Judd Web site, Malanga stated that urban aid programs and other programs created as part of the War on Poverty declared by former U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson were begun with good intentions, but were soon taken over by the "New New Left," which Malanga defined as a "new brand of social service professional just starting to come out of our college and university social service departments at a time in the late 1960s and early 1970s when they were becoming radicalized. These folks were intellectually at war with our free market system and wanted to use the War on Poverty as a means of ramping up government spending which would force taxes higher, thereby helping redistribute income in our country, they believed." In his book, Malanga explains that, while welfare was conceived as a form of temporary assistance, social-service professionals began to frame it an ongoing necessity for many people. Malanga continued, "They introduced the notion that the poor in our cities were not only suffering economically but that our system had robbed them of their sense of community and inner worth, which could only be revived with the help of government social service programs." Malanga believes that these shifts in attitude are responsible for the creation of "a new kind of urban, inter-generational dependency," as well as "a whole economy of people whose profession revolved around government funding to fix social problems."
A Kirkus Reviews writer was skeptical about the book's worth, calling The New New Left a "right-wing nostrum" in which the author warns readers about "a shadowy world of academics, laborites, students, environmentalists and minorities opposes all that is good and just in American life." A very different opinion was expressed by a reviewer for Brothers Judd, who stated: "In this collection of his very fine essays, Mr. Malanga traces the outlines of this infernal contraption that the New New Left has erected, looks at the ill effects it has had, especially on our cities, and warns us of its future plans…. The basic case Mr. Malanga has to make is quite compelling."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of The New New Left: How American Politics Works Today, p. 277.
Brothers Judd Web site, http://www.brothersjudd.com/ (September 26, 2005), interview with Steven Malanga; (June 20, 2005) review of The New New Left.