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The Unlikely Life of a Socialist Activist Resonates a Century Later

Jennifer Szalai The New York Times
Adam Hochschild here produces a rich biography of the World War One-era socialist insurgent, Russian Jewish immigrant Rose Pastor Stokes, an impoverished cigar worker who counterintuitively married well and never forsook her working class roots.

books

When Solidarity Mattered

Paul Buhle CounterPunch
This book is a new and innovative look at a pivotal moment in U.S. labor history.

Fifty Years of Fred Hampton’s Rainbow Coalition

Jacqueline Serrato South Side Weekly
A look back on how multiracial Chicago-style coalition building has influenced organizing to this day. The trajectory of fearless grassroots, youth-driven, intersectional organizing set in motion by the 1969 Rainbow Coalition still resonates today.

Leon Wofsy: The Organizer (1921-2019)

Conn Hallinan and Max Elbaum People's World
Having given his first political speech when not yet a teenager, Leon at 97 worked to pass on the wisdom gained from decades of organizing and deep thought to a new generation.

John Steinbeck, The Dust Bowl, and Farm-Worker Organizing

Harry Targ Portside
John Steinbeck was one of the most prolific and, in my view, significant American novelists of the twentieth century. He was influenced by and synthesized his own politics and personal experience with the political culture and movements of the 1930s.

books

A Novelist Revisits a Deadly Textile Union Strike From 1929

Amy Rowland New York Times
A novel set in the context of the historic Gastonia strike of textile workers in 1929 and featuring labor songwriter and indigenous strike leader Ella May Wiggins, the book, based as it is on an actual struggle uniting black and white workers, speaks to contemporary concerns through a vivid portrayal of struggle against historical injustice.

books

The Very Strange Story of Ludwig Lore: A Chapter from US Socialist History

Paul Buhle Portside
Ludwig Lore's grandson recounts the life of the revolutionary militant and German emigre who began a new life as a newspaper editor and political commentator. A close associate of Leon Trotsky, Lore was a founder of the American Communist Party until his expulsion when he went on to be be a noted critic of both Stalin and Hitler.

labor

The Backstory Behind the Unions that Bought a Chicago Sun-Times Stake

Brian Dolber The Conversation
An investment group led by former Chicago alderman and businessman Edwin Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor recently pulled off an unusual feat when it acquired the Chicago Sun-Times. The purchase is a return to labor’s long tradition in fostering a broader public sphere.
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