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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.

 

 

 

poetry

Anonymous

Peter Neil Carroll Chiron Review
"Oral history we call it: I want his past, he hopes/ for my future." So poet/historian Peter Neil Carroll traces the story of a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought the good fight, stuck to his principles to the end.

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.

film

Acting Natural

J. Hoberman The New York Review of Books
The camera, just by its presence, altered human behavior. The motion picture camera changed the nature of acting. Among other things, it created that apparent oxymoron, the non-actor, the subject of an unusually rich and stimulating series now at the Film Society of Lincoln Center entitled "The Non-Actor".

food

How Food Packaging Claims Can Fool You

Sally Wadyka Consumer Reports
Food manufacturers use language to magnify the desirability of a product and can lead you to believe it’s something to make you healthier—even though what’s inside that box may not be all that good for you.

poetry

Negatives

Jeannette Ferrary Samisdat Magazine
As part of the so-called second wave of feminism, Jeannette Ferrary’s “Negatives” captures a woman’s sense of awakening during the 1970s, much as women today raise their voices with renewed anger about male chauvinism.

books

A Modern Greek Tragedy Foretold

Bennet Baumer The Indypendent
Greece's former finance minister under the radical Syriza government offers a revealing tell-all about modern capitalism through his battles over Greece’s debt with the “Troika”: the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB), and eventually with his own prime minister.

film

Review: "Mudbound" Is a Racial Epic Tuned to Black Lives, and White Guilt

A.O. Scott NY Times
"Mudbound" is about how things change—slowly, unevenly, painfully. It is also, as the title suggests, about how things don’t change, about the stubborn forces of custom, prejudice and power that lock people in place and impede social progress. Set mainly in the Mississippi Delta in the years just after World War II, when Jim Crow was still enshrined in law and practice, the film tests and complicates Faulkner’s much-quoted claim about the not-even-pastness of the past.

food

4-H: Indoctrination Nation

Sarah McColl Modern Farmer
The nonprofit National 4-H Council accepts donations from a veritable who’s who of Big Ag: Monsanto, ConAgra, DuPont, and Altria each gave at least a million dollars in 2015. A lot of cultural norms around gender and sexuality are directly illustrated by the history of 4-H.
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