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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.

 

Tidbits - September 14, 2017 - Reader Comments: Environmental Racism; Puerto Rico; DREAMers; What to Do When White Supremacists March; Support NFL Players; Hillary Book Debate; Myanmar; Vietnam; Life After the Soviet Union; Austria Update; Announcements;

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Reader Comments: Environmental Racism; Puerto Rico Hit by Irma, Hedge Funds; Defend DREAMers; What to Do When White Supremacists March; Support NFL Players Who Kneel; Hillary Book Debate; Myanmar; Vietnam; Life After the Soviet Union; Maine Indian children; Austrian Political Update; Syria to Buy Iranian Power Generators for Aleppo; Announcements; and more...

books

Red Dawn: On China Miéville’s Urgent Retelling of the Russian Revolution

Alci Rengifo Los Angeles Review of Books
China Miéville looks at the Revolution as a hopeful flashpoint that briefly showed the promise of socialist transformation, before descending first into an authoritarian nightmare and then today's corrupt capitalism. Written with an urgency designed for our era of struggle absent clear political ideologies or unified mass socialist organizations, Mieville focuses on the revolutionary moment, using his skill as a story teller to see the participants in real time.

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Antonio Gramsci Jr: On Remembering His Grandfather

Antonio Gramsci, Jr. New Left Review
Through the use of family archives and other new sources, the grandson of Italian revolutionary Antonio Gramsci seeks to reconstruct the cultural and political saliance of his grandfather's contributions to building and defending the Italian working class movement and international socialism in the face of Stalinist distortions, capitalist enmity and today's reactionary Russian regime.

Radical Internationalism: What Europe & the Left Need

Yanis Varoufakis The New Statesman
The left has been in disarray since 1991 - it never fully recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union, despite widespread opposition to Stalinism and -authoritarianism. In the past two decades, we have witnessed a major spasm of global capitalism that has triggered a long deflationary period across the United States and Europe. Just as the Great Depression did in the 1930s, this has created a breeding ground for xenophobia, racism and scapegoating.

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Fire and Blood: The European Civil War, 1914-1945

Alan Wald Solidarity
This new book by Enzo Traverso is "a master class in historical analysis," writes reviewer Alan Wald. This "full-on riveting reconceptualization of 1914-1945 as a 'European Civil War,"' he adds, "is a benchmark achievement in the flowering of socialist scholarship by the generation identifying with May 1968."

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Lost Illusions:The Americans Who Fought in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Caleb Crain The New Yorker
Based on personal stories of Abraham Lincoln Battalion survivors, Hochschild writes of their courage in an unequal contest where the Fascists had the unstinting support of German and Italian governments while the Democracies embargoed all arms to the Spanish government, an alliance of centrist and leftist parties-this while the Soviets worked to tamp down popular land and factory seizures for fear of inciting those capitalist Democracies to outrightly side with the Right

Leningrad, Shostakovich and the Music of Transcendence

Ron Jacobs CounterPunch
The story of the 872 day Nazi siege of Leningrad, the humans who survived it, and the more than one million who died, the story told in Shostakovich’s Seventh symphony, is one of humanity’s greatest and most heroic tales ever. Always Russia’s city of the arts and music, Leningrad is also a city of revolution. Daunted and desperate, the spirit of Leningrad’s residents is really the ultimate determinant of its survival. Shostakovich’s symphony rallied his fellow citizens.

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Wising Up to the Wise Men of American Foreign Policy

Jeet Heer New Republic
Propping up dictators, rigging elections and aligning with some of the world's more unsavory characters is an accurate description of U.S. foreign policy past and present. It's also a fair characterization of the narrow gamut of thinking for both the wise oracles who urge containment and the hawks promoting armed confrontation. The book focuses on these elite policy makers who have become not just complacent with, but complicit in, U.S. hegemonic crimes worldwide.

Tidbits - April 30, 2015 - Baltimore; Martin Luther King on Protesters Who Use Violence; How to Help; US `World Leader' in Child Poverty; and more...

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Reader Comments - Baltimore and Martin Luther King on Protesters Who Use Violence; How to Help - Baltimore-Ferguson Legal Defense Committee; US `World Leader' in Child Poverty; FBI Faked Testimony; Yemen; El Salvador; Venezuela; Ukraine; South Africa; Turkey; Peace Movement; The Symbolic Left; 2016 Elections; TPP; More Responses to The Tragedy of Party Communism; Announcements (all New York): May Day Against Waltons; She's Beautiful When She's Angry; Mayor 1% - Forum

More Responses to The Tragedy of Party Communism

Nina Udovicki; Gilberto de Leon; Dynamite Hallinan; Scott T Portside
Previously Portside published Michael Brie's, The Tragedy of Party Communism and responses from three socialist activists - what lessons there may be to draw on, and which to forget. Here are additional responses from Nina Udovicki, Gilberto de Leon, Dynamite Hallinan and Scott Tucker. Those responding see capitalism as a system that needs to be abolished and socialism as an alternative - A socialism that is different from the past, and democratic.
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