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

Joe Hill Again!

Paul Buhle Portside
The centennial celebration of Joe Hill's execution is being marked by concerts, symposiums, meetings and forums, and the publication of new books, or new editions. Labor historian Paul Buhle reviews two of these. Franklin Rosemont's Joe Hill: The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture, with a new introduction by David Roediger; and Philip S. Foner's The Letters of Joe Hill, with new material by Alexis Buss and foreword by Tom Morello.

Rebirth of Venus

Dan Chiasson The New Yorker
The Voyage of the Sable Venus, the highly regarded debut poetry collection by Robin Coste Lewis, won the national book award this year for poetry. The title poem unites art history with the history of slavery and racism. Here, Dan Chiasson introduces this book, which has become a must-read across the literary spectrum.

Filmmaker Michael Moore's Letter to Donald Trump

Michael Moore michaelmoore.com
'In desperation and insanity, you call for a ban on all Muslims entering this country. I was raised to believe that we are all each other's brother and sister, regardless of race, creed or color. That means if you want to ban Muslims, you are first going to have to ban me. And everyone else.'

UN Declares 2016 The Year of Pulses

Judie Bizzozero Natural Products Insider
The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, nutritious sources of protein which include peas and many kinds of dried beans.

'Mozart In The Jungle' Asks An Age-Old Question: Is Classical Dead?

Sara Boboltz Huffington Post
The series won't solve any of classical's problems, but it can help answer the question for the present day. By letting us peek into the charmingly eccentric world of Hailey and Co., "Mozart in the Jungle" shows us classical still indeed has a pulse.

Knowledge

Tony Gloeggler The Ledge and Cultural Weekly
In this bittersweet poem, Tony Gloeggler, a New York City poet, draws on his experience working with developmentally disabled people to explore the tentative nature of relationships.

The Black Cultural Front: Black Writers and Artists of the Depression Generation

John Woodford The Black Scholar, Vol. 43, Nbr. 3 - Fall 2013
Using original source material Brian Dolinar arrives at a different explanation of why the popular front of 30s and 40s broke up, than that of mainstream media of that time, and since. The key agents of disunity were not the Communists but the manifold assault by the rightwing establishment. The US ruling class used opinion-molding Red-scare and Red-baiting campaigns in the mass media and culture. A lesson for today with the re-growth of the radical right.

Counternarratives: The Power of Narrative

Eric McDowell Michigan Quarterly Review
One book that's making it onto lots of people's best-of-the-year lists is Counternarratives, a collection of stories and novellas by John Keene. It's an extraordinary collection that uses historical fiction to make visible the human beings that racism and imperialism have pretended were not there. Not only that, but, as McDowell shows us in his review, this is a set of awfully good stories, too.

Review; "The Big Short"— Capitalism Gone Mad

Ed Rampell The Progressive
Based on actual events and characters, Short focuses on the fall of the housing market, leavening what many might find extremely dry, complicated subject matter with humor. While the so-called business press completely missed the story until this 'shit' hit the fan, the film tells how a few investment outsiders stumbled upon the unfolding crisis and bet against it. ('Short' is Wall Street-ese for 'bet').