Todd Gitlin was a radical left wing thinker and activist in the turbulent America of the 1960s. As a Professor in Journalism and Sociology at Columbia University in New York, he became a feared critic of the rhetoric of the political left as well as the right. Gitlin studied mathematics at Harvard and joined Students for a Democratic Society, an action group which he led in 1963 and 1964 and which protested against the Vietnam War and apartheid. After his activist days, he studied political science in Michigan and gained a PhD in sociology at the University of California in Berkeley, where he was a Professor in Sociology for sixteen years before accepting a professorship at New York University. Gitlin wrote articles and columns for a large number of prominent newspapers and magazines, and published books as The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (1987), The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars (1995) and Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street (2012).