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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

Today’s Eerie Echoes of the Civil War

Manisha Sinha New York Review of Books
How does our epoch of political polarization compare to the decade that was rent over the issue of slavery before the Civil War? Historical analogies can be misleading, but the controversies that bedeviled that age still haunt us. In certain ways, they foreshadow our own divided house.

The Politics of Questioning the Civil War

Nick Hagar; Tim Murphy; David Blight Pacific Standard
"Donald Trump's greatest threat to our society and to our democracy is not necessarily his authoritarianism, but his essential ignorance—of history, of policy, of political process, of the Constitution. Saying that if Jackson had been around we might not have had the Civil War is like saying that one strong, aggressive leader can shape, prevent, move history however he wishes. This is simply 5th grade understanding of history or worse." David Blight, Yale historian.

What Can Be Learned from Hillary Clinton's Slurs Against Reconstruction

Ryan Cooper The Week
Monday night, Hillary Clinton butchered Reconstruction's history. It's a good opportunity to correct the record, and glean why Lincoln really was America's greatest president. Reconstruction in reality was a briefly successful attempt to build a true democracy in the South. Clinton implies that it was Southern anger at unjust Reconstruction policy that led them to institute Jim Crow, but Jim Crow was the goal from the very end of the war.

Tidbits - April 23, 2015 - Fast Food Strike; TPP, Hillary; Eduardo Galeano; CIA Infiltration at Home; Sundown Towns; and more...

Portside
Reader Comments - Fast Food Strike, Low-Wage Workers Struggle for More than Wages; TPP - LAtest Leak; Hillary Clinton, Fracking and 2016; Eduardo Galeano; CIA Infiltration at Home; Anne Braden; Sundown Towns; 'Driving While White'; Cuba Coops; NYT and Russian Wages; Charter Schools; Walton Wealth; Announcements: Walden Bello in New York; Vietnam - The Power of Protest and In Defense of the Public Square - Washington

What Makes Abraham Lincoln Such a Radical Politician Even Today?

David Bromwich Reuters blogs
We may try to hedge our descriptions, bring Lincoln into perspective, call him a pragmatist and cut him down to a size more comfortably proportioned to our own. The truth is almost too great for us to recognize. He staked the future of the republic on his commitment to put slavery on the course of ultimate extinction.

Remember a President for Free Labor

Mark Lause Labor Online (Labor and Working-Class History Association)
During the Civil War, strikers and other workers with grievances found a sympathetic ear in the White House and a willingness to use what Lincoln saw as the limited power of his office to allow for a fair contest in disputes between labor and management...
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