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

Eden in Pilsen

Philip C. Kolin Pilsen Snow: Poems
At the turn of the 20th Century Czech immigrants flocked to the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen on the city's near west side attracted there by the offer of jobs. Mississippi-based poet Philip C. Kolin depicts their hopes and realities in a newly-published chapbook.

Doris Lessing's MI5 File: Was She a Threat to the State?

Lara Feigel The Guardian (UK)
The security services set out to ensnare Lessing. But they weren't sure where she lived, why she went to Communist party meetings or even whether her nickname was Tigger or Trigger. M15 spied on Doris Lessing for 20 years, declassified documents reveal. Lara Feigel interrogates the secret archives.

For the Sake of Another

Ashley Karllin Los Angeles Review of Books
Is contemporary altruism the new activism? Or is it what writer Teju Cole once called an iteration of a "White Savior Industrial Complex"? Ashley Karlin takes up these complicated questions in this review of Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World, by scientist-turned-Buddhist philosopher Matthieu Ricard. The answers, she suggests, may have as much to do with questions of power as with the desire to do good.

Review: "Spotlight" - Homage to Truth-Telling

Jonathan Merritt The Atlantic
Prior to the Boston Globe’s investigation, the sexual abuse of minors by priests was one of the Catholic Church’s worst-kept secrets. Spotlight's telling of the Church’s sex abuses reminds viewers how good, honest journalism has the power to transform a community.

Altoona to Anywhere

Rebecca Foust All That Gorgeous Pitiless Song
Pay attention to your DNA. The idea that you can't go home again assumes a different aspect in California poet Rebecca Foust's rendition: "Kansas one day will turn out to be Oz/and Oz Kansas."

A Democratically Run Economy Can Replace the Oligarchy

Ron Reosti Harper Collins
Portside is proud to bring our readers a full chapter from the book Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. Periodically Portside will be sharing with our readers chapters and excerpts from books we feel are noteworthy. What better way to launch, than a book about socialism-in the USA. Ron Reosti's chapter - A Democratically Run Economy Can Replace the Oligarchy - argues we can democratically design and control an economy that satisfies the needs and desires of the people.

American Artists Against War, 1935-2010

Paul Buhle Special to Portside
This new book traces the antiwar work of visual artists in the United States over the last eighty years. Paul Buhle offers some useful context for understanding this widely varied scope of creative activity as it ranged from antifascist paintings and murals to the poster art of the Vietnam War years to the politically engaged art of the current era.

Interview: 'This Changes Everything': Naomi Klein & Avi Lewis Film Re-imagines Vast Challenge of Climate Change

Amy Goodman Democracy Now
'This Changes Everything', which re-imagines the vast challenge of climate change, is directed by filmmaker Avi Lewis and inspired by journalist Naomi Klein’s international best-selling book by the same name. Over the course of four years, the pair traveled to nine countries on five continents to profile communities on the front lines of the climate justice movement.