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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.



For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

Film Review: ‘Amy,’ an Intimate Diary of Amy Winehouse’s Rise and Destruction

Manohla Dargis New York Times
This documentary lets nobody off the hook. Discomfort is crucial to the film's complexity and is why it works as somewhat of an ethical and intellectual provocation. Mr. Kapadia isn’t simply revisiting Ms. Winehouse’s life and death, but also — by pulling you in close to her, first pleasantly and then unpleasantly — telling the story of contemporary celebrity and, crucially, fandom’s cost.

Food Faiths & Diet Religions

This review of Alan Leinovitz's, The Gluten Lie, discusses how the author sees parallels between religious stories, fairy tales and nutrition myths.

Sexing up Cornwall: But There’s More to Poldark Than Good Looks

Steven Fielding The Conversation
Ross Poldark was, then, one of literature’s classic figures on the fringe, a man of noble birth who identifies with the people rather than with his own class. Reflecting the character of Graham’s novels, the television series has Poldark lead the people’s struggle against monopoly capitalism, depicting miners’ strikes and bread riots as instances of righteous resistance against a corrupt establishment.


Elaine Feinstein Portraits
Louis Armstrong believed his birthday was July 4, 1900 (though a recent discovery suggests August 4, 1901 is correct). But Elaine Feinstein's portrait of that great trumpet player just starting out seems appropriate for this American holiday weekend.

Revolutions Without Borders - Review - Thomas Paine and Other Radicals

Gavin Jacobson The Guardian (UK)
A new book chronicles the travelers ignoring borders to spread ideas of liberty and equality, from the American revolution to the declaration of Haitian independence. "Without social media or even an international postal system," author Janet Polasky writes, "revolutionaries shared ideals of liberty and equality across entire continents." Decades before Marx, these internationalist radicals were soon betrayed by the very societies they helped build.

'The Last Soldiers of the Cold War'

Chris Serres Star Tribune
As the United States and Cuba start to restore full diplomatic relations, here is a picture of an aspect of the dysfunctional relationship that has existed between our two countries. The release and return to Cuba of the last of the "Cuban Five" helped pave the way for the new stage in US-Cuba relations. Here is the backstory of that group, told, as Chris Serres says, by Fernando Morais in a new, well-researched, "cinematically vivid" account.

Review: ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’ Documents Nina Simone’s Rise as Singer and Activist

Manohla Dargis New York Times
From 100 hours of recently unearthed audiotapes recorded over decades, the Liz Garbus film weaves together Nina’s narrative, told largely in her own words. Rare concert footage, archival interviews, along with diaries, letters, interviews with Nina’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, friends and collaborators, make this the most authentic, personal and unflinching telling of the extraordinary life of one of the 20th century’s greatest recording artists.

Mozart for the Birds?

Erin Blakemore
Classically-raised chickens, including music appreciation, enjoy their calmer lifestyle.