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The Red Scare Scarred the Left — But Couldn’t Kill It

Benjamin Balthaser Jacobin
The postwar Second Red Scare successfully smashed the American left. But in the midst of its devastation, a small number of old leftists refused to be shut up by the climate of fear. Without their heroism, the New Left could never have emerged.

We Are Long Overdue for a Paul Robeson Revival

Peter Dreier Los Angeles Review of Books
In the 1970s, Robeson’s admirers — boosted by the upsurge of black studies and black cultural projects, the waning of the Cold War — began to rehabilitate his reputation with various tributes, documentary films, books, concerts, exhibits, and a play

Tidbits - Oct. 21, 2021 - Reader Comments: Worker Strike Wave, John Deere; Dismantle Missile Systems; India Walton Sabotaged by Dems; Socialists and 50s Civil Rights Movement; CUNY’s Alleged Wrong Doings; Black and Puerto Rican History;

Portside
Reader Comments: Worker Strike Wave, John Deere; Dismantle Missile Systems; Democratic Primary Winner India Walton Sabotaged by Dems; Socialists and 50s Civil Rights Movement; CUNY’s Alleged Wrong Doings; Black and Puerto Rican History In Action;

The Working-Class Cinematic Legacy of Film Noir

Leonard Pierce Jacobin
In the stiflingly reactionary cultural atmosphere of postwar America, most filmmakers didn’t talk much about class. But there was one significant exception: film noir was the most class-conscious genre of motion picture America has ever produced.

“I’m Going to Learn to Dance If It Takes Me All Night and Day” - Thoughts on Chuck Berry

Geoffrey Jacques Portside
Much commentary on the late Chuck Berry will focus on how his songs expressed fun and teenage angst. This is the right thing to do. Yet there’s more. For example, Berry’s obsession with the comparative qualities of fast cars — most brilliantly displayed in his song “Maybellene” — did not just reflect the rise of post-WW II consumerist culture....He preferred V-8 Fords over Cadillacs because he spent several years in the late 1940s and early 1950s helping make Ford cars.

books

Cold War Modernist

John H. Brown American Diplomacy
Scholars are producing increasingly detailed accounts of how the U.S. government utilized artists and culture in the Cold War anti-Communist crusade. According to former diplomat John H. Brown, this new study, by Greg Barnhisel, shows that an important factor in making modernism work for U.S. Cold War interests involved "defanging modernism of its radicalism and turning it into an international vehicle for whitebread all-American convictions."
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