Stanley Aronowitz (1933-), the New York-based sociologist and public intellectual, has a background in trade union activism stretching back to the early 1950s. Any conversation with him is likely to turn to politics, social movements, and the role of critical thought. He is in perpetual search of the cutting edge of analysis and theorization about the existing capitalist order and its potential for change. This often leads to discussion about today’s movements and their capacity to embody a vision broad and deep enough to engender lasting change. Of this capacity he is highly skeptical, in the light of history, leading him to ask such questions as, How can the left foster modes of critical thinking that give rise to concrete analysis of the contemporary situation? How can it overcome its chronic amnesia and create lasting forms of organization that will allow movements to build on a heritage and exercise greater influence on society’s direction? The following is an interview in two parts.