“A suit of clothes” — from the life of James P. Cannon

August 2008

Below is a delightful excerpt from James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928, University of Illinois Press, 2007. Author Bryan D. Palmer’s new biography of the early life of James Cannon covers his years in the Communist Party U.S.A. It is the first real history of this extraordinary man who… Read more »

Celia Hart — a voice silenced too soon

October 2008

Tragically, on Sept. 7, 45-year-old Cuban revolutionary Celia Hart Santamaría was killed in a Havana car accident along with her brother Abel. The Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) and Radical Women (RW) responded to this terrible news by joining many others in paying homage to this important writer, speaker and feminist, who, in recent years, devoted… Read more »

A memorable visit with Celia Hart, Cuban Trotskyist feminist

December 2008

Celia Hart Santamaría and I met in the lobby of one of Havana’s most exquisite five-star hotels, just a few months before the car accident that killed Celia and her brother in September. The lobby was the size of a football field and the hotel boasted the largest swimming pool in the country. It felt… Read more »

Will Obama’s “New Deal” save workers?

February 2009

Barack Obama is taking over from the most unpopular president in U.S. history. The country is headed into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. While many people look to him with anxious hope, what can we reasonably expect from Obama? Pundits compare him to Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), whose New… Read more »

Happy birthday to a revolutionary evolutionist

April 2009

It’s no wonder that students in the U.S. score below average on international science achievement tests. They certainly have few role models who demonstrate the power of logical thinking! Politicians, CEOs, and the media stun with a flood of cynical doublespeak. Giving trillions of dollars away to banks is upholding “free enterprise,” for example, while… Read more »

Rebel athletes: A People’s History of Sports in the United States

April 2009

Dave Zirin’s new book, A People’s History of Sports in the United States, is a home run! A part of the People’s History Series inspired by historian Howard Zinn, it spans quite a stretch of time and knocks out a comprehensive view of why we love and hate sports. At the same time, it blasts… Read more »

A man, and a mentor, for all seasons

August 2009

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the death of James P. Cannon, an American revolutionary from the quintessential U.S. heartland of Rosedale, Kansas. For decades Cannon’s rich writings have guided me as a leader of the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP). I also came to know him by working with Clara Fraser, FSP’s founder. Fraser… Read more »

Herb Lewin, 1915–2010

June 2010

Herb Lewin had no time for bosses, bureaucrats or Democrats. Socialism was what he believed worth fighting for, and that’s what he did throughout his life. Herb Lewin got radical politics in his youth. He joined the Young Socialist League in the early 1930s and later that decade was among the Trotskyists who founded the… Read more »

Theater Review: The Temperamentals — Queer history hits Broadway

June 2010

Ten years into the new millennium, queer theater is bursting out on Broadway. The one resounding drawback is that none deals with lesbian, bi- or trans- relationships. But surely they will. And it should be soon. Playwright Jan Moran’s The Temperamentals shines especially because it doesn’t shy away from politics. Its title is from a… Read more »

James P. Cannon on the role of unions in liberating the working class

June 2010

In the early decades of the 1900s, a vibrant and radical labor movement thrived in the U.S. In later years political attacks, such as the anti-communist witchhunts of the ’50s and union busting of the Reagan era, took its toll on organized labor and had a conservatizing influence on the unions. Today, getting labor officials… Read more »