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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.

 

books

Building America

William P. Jones The Nation
This new book offers a history and analysis of the contributions of black workers to our society. It shows just how key a knowledge of black workers' history is to an understanding the working class's fortunes and history overall.

Evil in the Delta: Elaine, Arkansas, 1919

Michael Honey Portside
group of African-American men from 1910 ...on the night of September 30, one hundred years ago, ...about 100 African Americans met to organize the Progressive Farmers and Household Union of America, a union of land owners, tenants, and sharecroppers.

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.

Off to Teach The Poor in 1968

Gene Bruskin The Stansbury Forum
This poem is about my personal journey as a working class Jewish kid form Philadelphia who traveled to NYC in 1968 to get out of the draft, not knowing that I was stepping into a tornado of social conflict. As a graduate of an elite college I found out that I could avoid the draft if I was willing to do what was considered by many as unthinkable – teach in a poor neighborhood of NYC.

books

Joe Hill Again!

Paul Buhle Portside
The centennial celebration of Joe Hill's execution is being marked by concerts, symposiums, meetings and forums, and the publication of new books, or new editions. Labor historian Paul Buhle reviews two of these. Franklin Rosemont's Joe Hill: The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Workingclass Counterculture, with a new introduction by David Roediger; and Philip S. Foner's The Letters of Joe Hill, with new material by Alexis Buss and foreword by Tom Morello.

books

Where's the Outrage?

Rich Yeselson Dissent Summer 2015 issue
The book under review examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts by workers to resist and the housebreaking of a long-running anti-capitalist ethos from imaginative, frenzied opposition to diffuse, angry, but ultimate accommodation. While a residual 19th century fight-back culture built the CIO and defended the New Deal into the 1960s, it lacked the same emancipatory charge it had earlier, and unions shifted to cautious monitors of the working class
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