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Tidbits - January 4, 2018 - Reader Comments: Extreme Poverty Returns; GOP Tax Robbery; Bitcoin; Iran; Nuclear Tests; Recy Taylor; High School Protests; Immigrant Rights; Climate Change and the Left; and more....

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Reader Comments: Extreme Poverty Returns; GOP Tax Robbery; Bitcoin; Iran; U.S. Nuclear Tests; Rape of Recy Taylor; Puerto Rico; High School Protests; Yemen; Global Refugees; Cold War history of immigrant rights; Story of Ferdinand; Correction: Subversive Involvement: Chicago and HUAC - Tribute to Dr. Quentin Young; Climate Change and the Left; and more....

The Forgotten World of Communist Bookstores

Joshua Clark Davis Jacobin
Communist bookstores provided a critical public space for radicals, operating in virtually every major American city. Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York had several apiece. Smaller and ostensibly less radical locales such as Birmingham, Houston, and Omaha, had communist bookstores, too. Some radical bookstores operate today. Venture into one of these shops in which left bookstores helped customers envision radical worlds that were often otherwise unimaginable in America

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.

Walter O’Brien: The Man Who Never Returned

Peter Dreier and Jim Vrabel Jacobin
Most Americans know the song “MTA,” popularized by the Kingston Trio in 1959. It’s the one about a “man named Charlie” doomed to “ride forever ’neath the streets of Boston . . . the man who never returned.” What’s forgotten, however, is that the song was originally made for a left-wing political campaign. In 1949, the Boston People’s Artists wrote “MTA” for a left-wing candidate. The song became a hit — the man behind it disappeared.

Paul Robeson's Songs and Deeds Light the Way for the Fight Against Trump

Jeff Sparrow The Guardian (UK)
The great American radical showed how ordinary people mattered more than stars - a lesson today's celebrities could do with learning. These are strange times for popular music and politics. On the one hand, the opposition to Donald Trump now extends so deeply into the entertainment industry that the president struggled to find any real talent willing to play his inauguration.

Tidbits - October 13, 2016 - Reader Comments: Sexual Harassment' 2016 Election, Readers on Jill Stein; Spain; Anti-Apartheid Struggle; Rosenberg Sons on 60 Minutes; Announcements; and more....

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Reader Comments: Anita Hill-What We Can Still Learn From Sexual Harassment; Readers on The Left Deserves Better Than Jill Stein; Racism and Fight Against Public Lands; Secret Struggle Against Apartheid; Spain's Turmoil and Europe's Crisis; CCR Takes John Ashcroft to Supreme Court; Announcements: Ethel Rosenberg's sons on 60 Minutes - Sunday; Chicago forum-Contemporary Capitalism and Why We Need Marxism; New York - three different book talks; exhibit - U.S. Radical Left

"The Crucible" a Stunning Parable of McCarthyism's Attack on America

Lucy Komisar The Komisar Scoop
A crucible is a pot in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature or melted. Miller's story is about events that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. But it's really about the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), America's thought police of the early 50s, which burned through American rights and professed values. It's the best play of the season.(Closes July 17, 2016)

Sixty Years Ago: Congressional Red-Hunters Set Their Sights on Bridgeport

Andy Piascik Portside
Passed into law in 1940, the Smith Act made it illegal to "teach, advocate or encourage the overthrow" of the government and extended to any member of an organization that allegedly did so. The notion that in 1956 the Communist Party was interested in, let alone capable of, overthrowing anything was patently absurd. From a 1940's peak of around 80,000, the CP's national membership had dwindled to perhaps 10,000 by the time of the hearings in Connecticut.

Who's Afraid of Communism?

Malcolm Harris New Republic
Americans have largely forgotten the anti-Communist sentiment from decades past. Anti-communism has been a powerful force for over 150 years. American communism has always been racialized. When Jim Crow laws banned interracial organization, the Communist Party was the only group that dared to flout the rule. Socialists and Communists in the South in the 1930s fought both economic and racial inequality - an important lessor for today's developing socialist movement.
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