Skip to main content

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.

 

 

 

Eduardo Galeano: Not So Elementary, My Dear Watson

Eduardo Galeano tomdispatch.com
The Life and Death of Words, People, and Even Nature: From Walking Libraries and a God Named “Word” to What Sherlock Holmes Never Said. Passages excerpted from Eduardo Galeano’s new book, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History (Nation Books).

books

We Know About Bad Books, But Are There Bad Readers, Too?

Merve Emre Boston Review
The author queries the existence of bad readers, linking causes not to illiteracy or injuries of class or the diffusion of mass culture, but to a Cold War literary trend sporting "an abundance of paraliterary works," such as memoirs, diaries, biographies, diplomatic studies, and feature reports as primers for engaging with literary texts as seemingly historically accurate yet stressing outcomes and expectations consonant with systemic social ends.

Eduardo Galeano, Monster Wanted

Eduardo Galeano Tom Dispatch
The most dramatic and beautiful of writers who caught history -- the history of continents and of half-forgotten figures who struggled for what truly mattered -- in a unique fashion, in passages of hardly a page or more.

books

With Kafka, The Ending is at the Beginning

John Banville New York Review of Books
Kafka's life was itself Kafkaesque, and if you want to know its span and its ending better- the book's author contends and the reviewer agrees - readers need to start at the beginning. The book under review is the third of a three-volume biography that critics widely call definitive.

Remembering the Great Essayist and Activist Clancy Sigal -- Clancy Sigal Has Gone Away

Peter Dreier Huffington Post
Clancy Sigal died Monday night at 90. He wrote "Going Away" in the midst of the McCarthy period. It is a soul-searching memoir filled with fascinating characters. He chronicles the battles over racism at a time when the modern civil rights movement was just getting started. The novel became something of a cult favorite among the baby-boom generation of radicals in the 1960s and 1970s, and has remained in print and popular among subsequent generations.

books

A Not So Distant Mirror: Jack London's Political Writings

Howard Tharsing The ThreePenny Review
Returning to two of socialist Jack London's classics, The Iron Heel and The People of the Abyss--both available free at Project Gutenberg--the reviewer finds stark similarities between the deprivation of the early 20th century and the modern world of neoliberal capitalism, with its gig economy and the emergence of a precariat, valorizing London's injunction that class supremacy can rest only on class degradation.

Pete Seeger for Children

Peter Dreier Capital and Main
Inspired by the rhythms of American folk music, this moving account of Seeger’s life teaches kids of every generation that no cause is too small and no obstacle too large if, together, you stand up and sing!
Subscribe to literature