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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.

Tidbits - July 20, 2017 - Reader Comments: Capitalism?; Charters; Made in America or Internationalism?; Black Panther Party, Paul Robeson, Peekskill, Dashiel Hammett, IWW; Nuclear Weapons; Israel; Rasmea Odeh; Resources; Announcements; and more...

Portside
Reader Comments: Capitalism in our Future?; Bosses - Like Dictators - and now one is our President?; More on School Charters; Trump's Made in America or Working Class Internationalism?; Looking at Radical History - Black Panther Party, Paul Robeson, Peekskill, Dashiel Hammett, IWW; UN and Banning of Nuclear Weapons or a Return to "Duck Under Your Desk?"; South Africa, Israel; Rasmea Odeh; Resources; Announcements; and more...

Tidbits - June 29, 2017 - Reader Comments: Truckers Strike; Trumpcare Round One; White Workers Against Racism; Workers and Unions; Roseanne Barr; Handmaid's Tale; Radical History; More on the United and Popular Front; AlterNet Hiring; and more....

Portside
Reader Comments: Truckers Strike Against "Owner-Operator" Debt and Poverty; Trumpcare Down, But Not Out; Working Class Whites Organize Against Racism; Slavery; Workers and Unions; Roseanne Barr; Handmaid's Tale and Race; Herb March - Untold Working Class and Communist History; Julian Assange; More on the United and Popular Front - Reality, Theory and Relevance for Today; Honduras; CIA Torture; AlterNet is Hiring; and more....

books

The Butler's Child - A Revolutionary Civil Rights Lawyer

Bob Zellner The East Hampton Star (Long Island, NY)
The timeliness of The Butler's Child has just been demonstrated by the death of a black man in Baton Rouge at the hands of two ill trained young white police officers. Fifty years ago Steel thought of the Deep South as a dangerous and racist place. Today, however, it has become clear that racism and trigger-happy cops are national phenomena.

books

Messer-Kruse's Contentious Haymarket History

Rebecca Hill Against the Current, May-June 2016
In left labor circles, it's been a settled question that the Haymarket martyrs, victims of ruling class justice, were framed, and May Day's radical origins are based on remembering the martyrs. The author of the books under review, using a close reading of the trial record, supports the court finding that the accused anarchists conspired to murder police during the epochal 1886 labor demonstration in Chicago. The reviewer strongly disputes the author's conclusions.
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