In this sympathetic history of a maligned decade, Marty Jezer, a fellow antiwar activist, details Abbie Hoffman's humor, manic energy, depressive spells, political skills, & above all, his incurable & still contagious optimism. He presents a thoughtful, solidly researched biography of the wildly creative & iconoclastic Yippie, portraying Hoffman as a fresh force in American political culture. Jezer surveys in detail the politics, philosophies, & struggles of the antiwar movement.
"... Abbie, more than any other radical, showed potheads how to demonstrate and radicals how to dance." -- Chicago Tribune
"... deeply sympathetic and scrupulously detached-a triumph of judicious empathy." -- MARTIN DUBERMAN, Distinguished Professor of History, Lehman/The Graduate School, C.U.N.Y.
"... details Hoffman's humor, manic energy, depressive spells, political skills, and above all, his Incurable and still contagious optimism." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Here's the Abbie I knew and loved! Marty Jezer has captured him in all his complexity, dedication, humor, and heart." -- ANITA HOFFMAN
Must the sins of America's past poison its hope for the future? Lately the American Left, withdrawing into the ivied halls of academe to rue the nation's shame, has answered yes in both word and deed. In Achieving Our Country, one of America's foremost philosophers challenges this lost generation of the Left to understand the role it might play in the great tradition of democratic intellectual labor that started with writers like Walt Whitman and John Dewey.
How have national pride and American patriotism come to seem an endorsement of atrocities--from slavery to the slaughter of Native Americans, from the rape of ancient forests to the Vietnam War? Achieving Our Country traces the sources of this debilitating mentality of shame in the Left, as well as the harm it does to its proponents and to the country. At the center of this history is the conflict between the Old Left and the New that arose during the Vietnam War era. Richard Rorty describes how the paradoxical victory of the antiwar movement, ushering in the Nixon years, encouraged a disillusioned generation of intellectuals to pursue "High Theory" at the expense of considering the place of ideas in our common life. In this turn to theory, Rorty sees a retreat from the secularism and pragmatism championed by Dewey and Whitman, and he decries the tendency of the heirs of the New Left to theorize about the United States from a distance instead of participating in the civic work of shaping our national future.
In the absence of a vibrant, active Left, the views of intellectuals on the American Right have come to dominate the public sphere. This galvanizing book, adapted from Rorty's Massey Lectures of 1997, takes the first step toward redressing the imbalance in American cultural life by rallying those on the Left to the civic engagement and inspiration needed for "achieving our country."
The Big Boxcar
Alfred Maund University of Illinois Press, 1957 Library of Congress PS3563.A876B54 1999 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Five men and a woman, all African Americans, huddle in the rattling darkness of a boxcar headed north, away from a brutal South, seeking freedom and opportunity. They are joined by a white intruder whose own quest puts them all in great danger. Like Chaucer's pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales, each of these travelers has a story to tell, and these stories—of humor and humiliation, of prostitution and pride, of love and murder—unfold in the course of the journey. They reveal the lives and secrets of the tellers and give this transient community self-respect and solidarity as it hurtles toward arrest or worse. The Big Boxcar, written from a totally black perspective by a white author, bears witness to the structural racism of a social order that sets ordinary people of different colors against each other to the disadvantage of all. Alan Wald's introduction documents Maund's life of activism and his uncompromising commitment to social emancipation.
Phillip Bonosky University of Illinois Press, 1953 Library of Congress PS3552.O638B87 1998 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Originally published in 1953, Burning Valley tells the story of Benedict Bulmanis, son of a Lithuanian immigrant steel worker in western Pennsylvania. Determined to become a priest, Benedict faces inner conflict as he witnesses the steelworkers' struggle against the destruction of their homes and the separation of classes that even his church cannot escape. As the story unfolds, Benedict loses his faith in God but acquires a new faith, in the power of the working class and the justice of their cause. Alan Wald's introduction focuses on the semi-autobiographical aspect of the book as well as its "multifaceted dramatization of ethnicity and race."
C.L.R. James (1901-1989) is one the few political thinkers whose ideas have made a genuinely significant contribution to the development of emancipatory ideas in the twentieth century. In this volume, Anthony Bogues examines the origins of the relationship between the black radical tradition and James's own view of Marxism. Integrating these two political currents provided the basis for a profound critique that became the hallmark of James’s life’s work. Anthony Bogues traces the main features of James’s early political thought, up to his deportation from the United States in the early 1950s, arguing that his work represents a major attempt in the immediate postwar period to establish new frontiers in Marxism and radical political thought in general. This illuminating and scholarly study reinforces James’s position as a political theorist of major standing.
Douglas Wixson's introduction to this new edition of Conroy's classic provides biographical information on the aspects of Conroy's life that influenced his writings, explores the socialist movement of the 1930s, and examines the critical reaction to the novel, showing why The Disinherited has endured both as historical document and as fiction.
A suffragist who wore pants. This is just the simplest of ways Dr. Mary Walker is recognized in the fields of literature, feminist and gender studies, history, psychology, and sociology.
Perhaps more telling about her life are the words of an 1866 London Anglo-American Times reporter, "Her strange adventures, thrilling experiences, important services and marvelous achievements exceed anything that modern romance or fiction has produced. . . . She has been one of the greatest benefactors of her sex and of the human race."
In this biography Sharon M. Harris steers away from a simplistic view and showcases Walker as a Medal of Honor recipient, examining her work as an activist, author, and Civil War surgeon, along with the many nineteenth-century issues she championed:political, social, medical, and legal reforms, abolition, temperance, gender equality, U.S. imperialism, and the New Woman.
Rich in research and keyed to a new generation, Dr. Mary Walker captures its subject's articulate political voice, public self, and the realities of an individual whose ardent beliefs in justice helped shape the radical politics of her time.
More than two million people are currently imprisoned in the United States, and the nation’s incarceration rate is now the highest in the world. The dramatic rise and consolidation of America’s prison system has devastated lives and communities. But it has also transformed prisons into primary sites of radical political discourse and resistance as they have become home to a growing number of writers, activists, poets, educators, and other intellectuals who offer radical critiques of American society both within and beyond the prison walls.
In Forced Passages, Dylan Rodríguez argues that the cultural production of such imprisoned intellectuals as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Angela Davis, Leonard Peltier, George Jackson, José Solis Jordan, Ramsey Muniz, Viet Mike Ngo, and Marilyn Buck should be understood as a social and intellectual movement in and of itself, unique in context and substance. Rodríguez engages with a wide range of texts, including correspondence, memoirs, essays, poetry, communiqués, visual art, and legal writing, drawing on published works by widely recognized figures and by individuals outside the public’s field of political vision or concern. Throughout, Rodríguez focuses on the conditions under which imprisoned intellectuals live and work, and he explores how incarceration shapes the ways in which insurgent knowledge is created, disseminated, and received.
More than a series of close readings of prison literature, Forced Passages identifies and traces the discrete lineage of radical prison thought since the 1970s, one formed by the logic of state violence and by the endemic racism of the criminal justice system.
Dylan Rodríguez is assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside.
The Great Midland
Alexander Saxton University of Illinois Press, 1997 Library of Congress PS3537.A976G76 1997 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
One of the best novels ever to portray the lives of American Communist activists, The Great Midland is a story of love and radical politics set just before World War II. It was published in 1948, when cold-war hysteria engulfed the United States; the publisher subsequently tried to pretend the book did not exist, and review media and bookstores ignored it.
The book vividly depicts the multiracial and multiethnic alliances that developed as Chicago railroad workers struggled to organize. It presents some of its narrative through the complex consciousness of Stephanie Koviak, a young, first-generation Polish-American.
Though well-known for his founding of the avant-garde Situationist International movement and his prominent political and cultural activism, Guy Debord was nonetheless a surprisingly elusive and enigmatic figure, spending his last years in an isolated farmhouse in Champot, France. Andy Merrifield's Guy Debord pushes back the farmhouse shutters and opens a window onto Debord's life, theory, and art.
Merrifield explores the dynamics of Debord's ideas and works, including the groundbreaking Howls for Sade and his 1967 classic, The Society of the Spectacle. Debord understood life as art, Merrifield argues, and through that lens he chronicles Debord's stint as a revolutionary leader in the 1950s and 1960s, his time in Spain and Italy during the 1970s and the reclusive years leading up to his death in 1994.
Dada and Surrealism's legacy and punk rock's god, Guy Debord spun theories on democracy, people, and political power that still resonate today, making Merrifield's concise yet comprehensive study an invaluable resource on one of the foremost intellectual revolutionaries of the twentieth century.
Vasily Sleptsov was a Russian social activist and writer during the politically charged 1860s, known as the “era of great reforms,” and marked by Alexander II’s emancipation of the serfs and the relaxation lifting of censorship. Popular in his day, Sleptsov’s contemporaries Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov praised his writing:, with Chekhov once remarkeding, “Sleptsov taught me, better than most, to understand the Russian intelligent, and my own self as well.”
The novella Hard Times is considered Sleptsov’s most important work. It focused popular attention on the radical and liberal movements through its fictional setting, where the characters contend with constantly evolving political and social dilemmas. Hard Times was immediately recognized as a vibrant and compelling depiction of prerevolutionary Russian intellectual society, full of lively debates about the possibilities of liberal reform or radical revolution that questioned the viability of a political system facing massive social problems.
This is the first English-language version of Hard Times, expertly and fluidly translated by Michael Katz. Highly readable, it provides important historical insights on the political and social climate of a volatile and transformative period in Russia history.
An eye-opening account of time served in the great battles of our century— for workers’ rights, against Fascism, Communism, and racism—Jumping the Line is the life story of an American original. William Herrick chronicles his adventures and misadventures on the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, in (and very much out of) the Communist Party, driving a tractor on a communal farm in Michigan, jumping the line as a hobo, organizing African American sharecroppers in Georgia, at work with Orson Welles, and immersed in his own writing.
Herrick chronicles a life of great conviction and great disillusion. He went to Spain in 1936 to fight against the Fascists and there witnessed the horrifying acts that Fascists and Communists alike committed, before he was felled by a near-fatal wound. Here he tells about the life that led him, a working-class Jewish kid from New York, into the idealism and then the murky politics of this internecine conflict. From the bloody fight in Spain he takes us to the battlefields of the Communist movement in the U.S., where he found himself parading up and down the garment district of Manhattan, denouncing his former comrades.
When Paul Berman interviewed Herrick in the Village Voice in 1986, for the fiftieth anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, Herrick’s remarks so incensed other veterans of the Abraham Lincoln battalion that they picketed the paper. What William Herrick has to say doesn’t always go down easily. But for those who like the truth, with a dash of wit and a healthy dose of history, it can be exhilarating.
Sometimes, in American politics, a conflict becomes so heated and divisive—as the conflict over slavery did—that the ground is set for civil war. Abraham Lincoln, a pragmatist who wanted to rebuild national unity, ran up against the radicals in his own party who insisted on a rigid solution, regardless of the cost to the country.
Myra Page University of Illinois Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3531.A235M67 1995 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
The Depression era closing
of a Ford plant sends Andy and two companions to Moscow to find work in
a Soviet automotive plant, where he meets Natasha, an exemplar of the
"new Soviet woman." Based on Myra Page's own experiences in Moscow during
the first Five-Year Plan, Natasha is a portrait of women's contradictory
social position in the early periods of socialist construction. At the
core of this novel is a firsthand look at the developing forces and changing
relations of production forces that bring about the conversion of Andy
into a "Moscow Yankee." While revealing the political and economic policies
that would inevitably lead to the demise of Soviet-style socialism, Moscow Yankee refutes the notion that egalitarian societies cannot succeed
because they fail to take into account the individualism and greed of
"human nature." Barbara Foley's introduction analyzes the Soviet Socialist
construction in Page's novel and the politics of the novelistic form in
relation to Moscow Yankee.
Originally published in 1935
"A picture of Americans lured
to Moscow by hope in the 'great experiment,' and of others driven there
by the depression, and of still others attracted by the simple desire
to get good engineering jobs, Moscow Yankee; has a decided
value . . . a sense of life, stirring in the chaos of destruction and
reconstruction." -- The New York Times Book Review
When J. Edgar Hoover declared Herbert Aptheker "the most dangerous Communist in the United States," the notorious FBI director misconstrued his true significance. In this first book-length biography of Aptheker (1915–2003), Gary Murrell provides a balanced yet unflinching assessment of the controversial figure who was at once a leading historian of African America, radical political activist, literary executor of W. E. B. Du Bois, and lifelong member of the American Communist Party. Although blacklisted at U.S. universities, Aptheker published dozens of books, including the groundbreaking American Negro Slave Revolts (1943) and the monumental seven-volume Documentary History of the Negro People (1951–1994). He also edited four volumes of the correspondence and unpublished writings of Du Bois, an achievement that Eric Foner, writing in the New York Times Book Review, called "a milestone in the coming of age of Afro-American history."
As Murrell shows, Aptheker the historian was inseparable from Aptheker the leading Communist Party intellectual, polemicist, and agitator. During the 1960s, his ability to rouse and inspire both black and white student radicals made him one of the few Old Leftists accepted by the New Left. Aptheker had joined the CPUSA during its heyday in the 1930s, convinced that only through the party's leadership could fascism be defeated and true liberation be achieved: he ended his affiliation five decades later in 1991 after the collapse of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
In an afterword, Bettina Aptheker adds to Murrell's narrative by illuminating her mother Fay's vital contributions to her father's work and by affirming the particularly devastating challenges of life in a family dedicated to radical political and social change.
México Beyond 1968 examines the revolutionary organizing and state repression that characterized Mexico during the 1960s and 1970s. The massacre of students in Mexico City in October 1968 is often considered the defining moment of this period. The authors in this volume challenge the centrality of that moment by looking at the broader story of struggle and repression across Mexico during this time. México Beyond 1968 complicates traditional narratives of youth radicalism and places urban and rural rebellions within the political context of the nation’s Dirty Wars during this period.
The book illustrates how expressions of resistance developed from the ground up in different regions of Mexico, including Chihuahua, Guerrero, Jalisco, Mexico City, Puebla, and Nuevo León. Movements in these regions took on a variety of forms, including militant strikes, land invasions, cross-country marches, independent forums, popular organizing, and urban and rural guerrilla uprisings.
México Beyond 1968 brings together leading scholars of Mexican studies today. They share their original research from Mexican archives partially opened after 2000 and now closed again to scholars, and they offer analysis of this rich primary source material, including interviews, political manifestos, newspapers, and human rights reports.
By centering on movements throughout Mexico, México Beyond 1968 underscores the deep-rooted histories of inequality and the frustrations with a regime that monopolized power for decades. It challenges the conception of the Mexican state as “exceptional” and underscores and refocuses the centrality of the 1968 student movement. It brings to light the documents and voices of those who fought repression with revolution and asks us to rethink Mexico’s place in tumultuous times.
A. S. Dillingham
Luis Herrán Avila
Fernando Herrera Calderón
Gladys I. McCormick
Enrique C. Ochoa
Verónica Oikión Solano
Wil G. Pansters
Jaime M. Pensado
Carla Irina Villanueva
Radicals such as socialists, syndicalists, and anarchists are often thought of as marginal in American history. However, in the early decades of the twentieth century, progressives—those who sought to regulate big business, reduce class conflict, and ameliorate urban poverty—took the radicals’ ideas very seriously.
In The New Freedom and the Radicals, Jacob Kramer deftly examines how progressivism emerged at a time of critical transformation in American life. Using original archival sources, Kramer presents a study of Wilsonian-era politics to convey an understanding of the progressives’ views on radical America.
The New Freedom and the Radicals shows how the reactions of progressives to radicals accelerated the pace of reform in the United States, but how the movement was at times predisposed to repressing the radical elements to its left. In addition, Kramer asks to what extent progressives were responding to and influenced by those who opposed the state, capitalism, and the class structure altogether, as well as how progressives’ views of them changed in relation to events.
While other writers contemplated the events of the 1968 Chicago riots from the safety of their hotel rooms, John Schultz was in the city streets, being threatened by police, choking on tear gas, and listening to all the rage, fear, and confusion around him. The result, No One Was Killed, is his account of the contradictions and chaos of convention week, the adrenalin, the sense of drama and history, and how the mainstream press was getting it all wrong.
"A more valuable factual record of events than the city’s white paper, the Walker Report, and Theodore B. White’s Making of a President combined."—Book Week
"As a reporter making distinctions between Yippie, hippie, New Leftist, McCarthyite, police, and National Guard, Schultz is perceptive; he excels in describing such diverse personalities as Julian Bond and Eugene McCarthy."—Library Journal
"High on my short list of true, lasting, inspired evocations of those whacked-out days when the country was fighting a phantasmagorical war (with real corpses), and police under orders were beating up demonstrators who looked at them funny."—Todd Gitlin, from the foreword
Strategies for gradually effecting social change are often dismissed as too accommodating of the status quo. Ann-Marie E. Szymanski challenges this assumption, arguing that moderation is sometimes the most effective way to achieve change. Pathways to Prohibition examines the strategic choices of social movements by focusing on the fates of two temperance campaigns. The prohibitionists of the 1880s gained limited success, while their Progressive Era counterparts achieved a remarkable—albeit temporary—accomplishment in American politics: amending the United States Constitution. Szymanski accounts for these divergent outcomes by asserting that choice of strategy (how a social movement defines and pursues its goals) is a significant element in the success or failure of social movements, underappreciated until now. Her emphasis on strategy represents a sharp departure from approaches that prioritize political opportunity as the most consequential factor in campaigns for social change.
Combining historical research with the insights of social movement theory, Pathways to Prohibition shows how a locally based, moderate strategy allowed the early-twentieth-century prohibition crusade both to develop a potent grassroots component and to transcend the limited scope of local politics. Szymanski describes how the prohibition movement’s strategic shift toward moderate goals after 1900 reflected the devolution of state legislatures’ liquor licensing power to localities, the judiciary’s growing acceptance of these local licensing regimes, and a collective belief that local electorates, rather than state legislatures, were best situated to resolve controversial issues like the liquor question. "Local gradualism" is well suited to the porous, federal structure of the American state, Szymanski contends, and it has been effectively used by a number of social movements, including the civil rights movement and the Christian right.
The People from Heaven
John Sanford University of Illinois Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3537.A694P46 1995 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
An extraordinary novel, told partly in verse, The People from Heaven takes place in 1943 in Warrensburg, New York, where Eli Bishop, a white shopkeeper, initiates a reign of terror on the populace following his rape of America Smith, a black woman. The author, John Sanford, is considered by many to be one of the finest little-known writers of the twentieth century. In his introduction, Alan Wald provides an overview of Sanford's career, his art, and his politics.
In 1969, the campus tumult that defined the Sixties reached a flash point at the University of Illinois. Out-of-town radicals preached armed revolution. Students took to the streets and fought police and National Guardsmen. Firebombs were planted in lecture halls while explosions rocked a federal building on one side of town and a recruiting office on the other. Across the state, the powers-that-be expressed shock that such events could take place at Illinois's esteemed, conservative, flagship university—how could it happen here, of all places?
Positioning the events in the context of their time, Michael V. Metz delves into the lives and actions of activists at the center of the drama. A participant himself, Metz draws on interviews, archives, and newspaper records to show a movement born in demands for free speech, inspired by a movement for civil rights, and driven to the edge by a seemingly never-ending war. If the sudden burst of irrational violence baffled parents, administrators, and legislators, it seemed inevitable to students after years of official intransigence and disregard. Metz portrays campus protesters not as angry, militant extremists but as youthful citizens deeply engaged with grave moral issues, embodying the idealism, naiveté, and courage of a minority of a generation.
Ardis Cameron focuses on the textile workers' strikes of 1882 and 1912 in this examination of class and gender formation as drawn from the experience and language of the working-class neighborhoods of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Using the neighborhood perspective to explore the role of women in worker militancy, Cameron reveals the importance of female networks and organizational life in working-class culture and politics. Unionized women were labeled "radicals of the worst sort" because, in fighting for equality, they also rebelled against traditional economic and sexual hierarchies. Oral histories and detailed maps illuminate the setting and the dramatic story behind the famous Bread and Roses strike of 1912.
Latin American democracies of the sixties and seventies, most theories hold, collapsed because they had become incompatible with the structural requirements of capitalist development. In this groundbreaking application of game theory to political phenomena, Youssef Cohen argues that structural conditions in Latin American countries did not necessarily preclude the implementation of social and economic reforms within a democratic framework.
Focusing on the experiences of Chile and Brazil, Cohen argues that what thwarted democratic reforms in Latin America was a classic case of prisoner's dilemma. Moderates on the left and the right knew the benefits of coming to a mutual agreement on socio-economic reforms. Yet each feared that, if it cooperated, the other side could gain by colluding with the radicals. Unwilling to take this risk, moderate groups in both countries splintered and joined the extremists. The resulting disorder opened the way for military control.
Cohen further argues that, in general, structural explanations of political phenomena are inherently flawed; they incorrectly assume that beliefs, preferences, and actions are caused by social, political, and economic structures. One cannot explain political outcomes, Cohen argues, without treating beliefs and preferences as partly independent from structures, and as having a causal force in their own right.
Kate Chopin on pot smoking. Pauline Hopkins on alchemy and the undead. Sui Sin Far on cross-dressing. Emma Lazarus and Angelina Weld Grimké on lesbian longing. Julia Ward Howe on intersexuality. Perhaps the first of its kind, Radicals is a two-volume collection of writings by American women of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with special attention paid to the voices of Black, Indigenous, and Asian American women.
In Volume 1: Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, selections span from early works like Sarah Louise Forten’s anti-slavery poem “The Grave of the Slave” (1831) and Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall (1855), a novel about her struggle to break into the male-dominated field of journalism, to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s revenge fantasy, “When I Was a Witch” (1910) and Georgia Douglas Johnson’s poem on the fraught nature of African American motherhood, “Maternity” (1922). In between, readers will discover many vibrant and challenging lesser-known texts that are rarely collected today. Some, indeed, have been out of print for more than a century.
Unique among anthologies of American literature, Radicals undoes such silences by collecting the underrepresented, the uncategorizable, the unbowed—powerful writings by American women of genius and audacity who looked toward, and wrote toward, what Charlotte Perkins Gilman called “a lifted world.”
Emily Dickinson on sex, desire, and “the chapter . . . in the night.” Emma Goldman against the tyranny of marriage. Ida B. Wells against lynching. Anna Julia Cooper on Black American womanhood. Frances Willard on riding a bicycle. Perhaps the first of its kind, Radicals is a two-volume collection of writings by American women of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with special attention paid to the voices of Black, Indigenous, and Asian American women.
In Volume 2: Memoir, Essays, and Oratory, selections span from early works like Sarah Mapps Douglass’s anti-slavery appeal “A Mother’s Love” (1832) and Maria W. Stewart’s “Address Delivered at the African Masonic Hall” (1833), to Zitkala-Sa’s memories in “The Land of Red Apples” (1921) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s moving final essay “The Right to Die” (1935). In between, readers will discover a whole host of vibrant and challenging lesser-known texts that are rarely collected today. Some, indeed, have been out of print for more than a century.
Unique among anthologies of American literature, Radicals undoes such silences by collecting the underrepresented, the uncategorizable, the unbowed—powerful writings by American women of genius and audacity who looked toward, and wrote toward, what Charlotte Perkins Gilman called “a lifted world.”
Perhaps best known for Broadside, the influential magazine they founded in 1962, Agnes "Sis" Cunningham and Gordon Friesen have long been renowned figures on the American left. In this book, these two dedicated social activists—Sis the folk musician and Gordon the radical journalist—offer a spirited account of their personal and political odyssey. The story is illustrated with numerous photographs and drawings. Born into poverty in rural Oklahoma, further shaped by the hardships of the "dustbowl" Depression years, Sis and Gordon were already committed to radical causes when they met and married in 1941. A short time later they moved to New York City, where they befriended Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. Sis joined the folk protest group the Almanac Singers, and Gordon continued his work as a journalist. Although blacklisted for their political views during the McCarthy era, Sis and Gordon persevered and eventually launched Broadside, which they continued to produce for almost twenty years. The magazine was instrumental in promoting the careers of many singer-songwriters, publishing the first works of such artists as Bob Dylan, Janis Ian, Phil Ochs, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Tom Paxton, as well as the works of more established figures, including Malvina Reynolds and Pete Seeger. Indeed, Broadside gave birth to a musical revival that energized the country and forged a vital link between the folk music of the 1930s and 1940s and the urban folk revivalists of the 1960s and 1970s.
Salome of the Tenements
Anzia Yezierska University of Illinois Press, 1951 Library of Congress PS3547.E95S35 1995 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
The story of a young, aspiring Jewish woman from the ghetto who will do anything to get her man in this case an upper-class WASP. When she discovers he is not really what she wanted, she will do anything to get away. Based on the real-life story of the Jewish immigrant activist Rose Pastor's fairytale romance with the millionaire socialist Graham Stokes, the novel also reflects Yezierska's own doomed romance with the famous educator John Dewey. Passionate and engagingly sardonic, it criticizes the concept of the American "Melting Pot" in the language of the Lower East Side and exposes the hypocrisy of the "good works" of the privileged class and their so-called dedication to the poor. Gay Wilentz's introduction discusses Anzia Yezierska's life and work.
Originally published in 1923.
The Blackwell Collections—the archive of the well-loved bookselling and publishing company—are full of surprises. There are warrior women no longer prepared to suffer the fate of a spellbound princess, scholarly apprentices giving themselves an Oxford education, and reluctant radicals publishing in protest against the authorities who sent so many to “certain death” in the Great War. Amid the many unknown authors the Blackwells published are famous names: J. R. R Tolkien, John Buchan, Wilfred Owen, John Betjeman, Dorothy L Sayers, Vera Brittain, Edith Sitwell, and Laurence Binyon, who is recollected whenever For the Fallen is read. But the memoirs, letters, and journals of “ordinary people” who worked for the family also deserve a hearing. The diary of Will King, a real-life Jude the Obscure, stands out. Its astonishing record of what he read and his mordant dissection of the texts amounts to a critique of English culture between 1910 and 1950. Together with the stories of three generations of B. H. Blackwells and their diverse associates, the book provides a panel of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century history far beyond Oxford.
During World War I, fear that a network of German spies was operating on American soil justified the rapid growth of federal intelligence agencies. When that threat proved illusory, these agencies, staffed heavily by corporate managers and anti-union private detectives, targeted antiwar and radical labor groups, particularly the Socialist party and the Industrial Workers of the World.
Seeing Reds, based largely on case files from the Bureau of Investigation, Military Intelligence Division, and Office of Naval Intelligence, describes this formative period of federal domestic spying in the Pittsburgh region. McCormick traces the activities of L. M. Wendell, a Bureau of Investigation “special employee” who infiltrated the IWW’s Pittsburgh recruiting branch and the inner circle of anarchist agitator and lawyer Jacob Margolis. Wendell and other Pittsbugh based agents spied on radical organizations from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Camp Lee, Virginia, intervened in the steel and coal strikes of 1919, and carried out the Palmer raids aimed at mass deportation of members of the Union of Russian Workers and the New Communist Party.
McCormick’s detailed history uses extensive research to add to our understanding of the security state, cold war ideology, labor and immigration history, and the rise of the authoritarian American Left, as well as the career paths of figures as diverse as J. Edgar Hoover and William Z. Foster.
To Make My Bread
Grace Lumpkin University of Illinois Press, 1959 Library of Congress PS3523.U54T6 1995 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
A story of the growth of the
new South, To Make My Bread revolves around a family of Appalachian
mountaineers—small farmers, hunters, and moonshiners—driven
by economic conditions to the milltown and transformed into millhands,
strikers, and rebels against the established order. Recognized as one
of the major works on the Gastonia textile strike, Grace Lumpkin's novel
is also important for anyone interested in cultural or feminist history
as it deals with early generations of women radicals committed to addressing
the difficult connections of class and race. Suzanne Sowinska's introduction
looks at Lumpkin's volatile career and this book's critical reception.
Originally published in 1932
"[The book's] meaning
rises out of people in dramatic conflict with other people and with the
conditions of their life. . . . [Lumpkin] treats her theme with a craftsman's
and a psychologist's respect. The novel springs naturally from its author's
immersion in and personal knowledge of her absorbing subject material."
-- The New York Times
"Unpretentious . . .
written in a simple and matter-of-fact prose, and yet reading it has been
a more real, more satisfying experience than that which almost any other
recent work of fiction has given me. I cannot imagine how anyone could
read it and not be moved by it." -- The Nation
"A beautiful and sincere
novel, outstanding." -- The New Republic