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In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself by John Marsh

In Walt We Trust reviewed on Truthout

In Walt We Trust is a sprightly, extended essay or first-person peroration by a young lit prof who felt a ton of frustration and heartache, or at least headache (self-medicating with alcohol, he tells us), and in despair, threw himself at Whitmania. That is, the poetry, the life, the setting and the aura. The project was obviously successful and not only because of the resulting book. He feels, he insists, better about life, death and even sex – the trifecta that pretty much wraps up human earthly possibilities. But he had to take a gloomy field trip to Camden, New Jersey, to get his mind in place.… | more…

Politics of US Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal by David Milton

Back in Print! The Politics of U.S. Labor: From the Great Depression to the New Deal by David Milton

In this classic examination of the U.S. labor movement, Milton presents a fine description of the major strikes, beginning in 1933-1934, that led to the formation of the CIO and the great industrial unions. He looks closely at the role of the radical political groups, including the Communist Party, the Trotskyists, and the Socialist Party, and provides an enlightening discussion of their vulnerability during the red-baiting era. He also examines the battle between the AFL and the CIO for control of the labor movement, the alliance of the AFL with business interests, and the role of the Catholic Church. Finally, he shows how the extraordinary adeptness of President Roosevelt in allying with labor while at the same time exploiting divisions within the movement was essential to the successful channeling of social revolt into economic demands.… | more…

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Help Support our Friends at AK Press

Please read this appeal from our friends at AK Press, the important publisher of anarchist and radical books and distributor of titles from many small presses, including Monthly Review Press, as they recover from a devastating fire at their warehouse in Oakland, California. To make a donation, please visit this page, or to purchase books from AK Press, visit their website. … | more…

Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality by Salim Lamrani

Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality reviewed by The Progressive Standard

In Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality, Salim Lamrani, a French journalist and professor of Latin-American studies at the University of Paris-Sorbonne Paris IV, raises important questions about the condition of journalism today and the role played by privately owned, centrally controlled media cartels. As an important addition to his previous work, The Economic War Against Cuba, Lamrani, examines media treatment of Cuba taking an investigative journalist’s approach to dissecting a variety of claims made about life and politics on the island since the revolution of 1959.… | more…

Reconstructing Lenin by Tamás Krausz

Reconstructing Lenin reviewed by Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

With the end of the Cold War and the victory of capitalism, and the seeming defeat of “Marxism-Leninism” in 1991, it appeared we could at last bury Lenin. And certainly, who will mourn for the death of a Lenin encased in granite monuments with his words turned into a dogmatic religion to legitimise the Eastern Bloc regimes? However, there is another Lenin who remains very much alive. This Lenin has been unearthed in recent years with the “Lenin renaissance”. Different scholars and political activists such as Lars Lih, Paul Le Blanc, Slavoj Zizek, Kevin Anderson, to name just a few have explored what remains very much alive in Lenin. While they don’t necessarily agree on all their conclusions, all of them have challenged Soviet-era mythology and anti-communist historiography by revealing the Lenin who fused a creative and dynamic Marxist theory to develop a revolutionary political practice to change the world.… | more…

E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left reviewed in Radical Ruminations

Winslow produced an excellent book. The essays hang together as proposals for, and responses to, the first New Left and as evidence of the intimate connection between Thompson’s historical writing and his politics. They provide a twofold intellectual history of those dramatic years. Thompson is powerful and elegant; Winslow is as passionate about intellectuals in socialist politics as Thompson was when he wrote these indispensable essays. But we need to understand what they built on.… | more…

Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century reviewed in the Progressive Populist

The Web makes the press better, right? Not quite, writes Robert W. McChesney in Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy (Monthly Review Press, 2014). A media scholar, he unpacks the demise of commercial journalism and its potential rise as a public good in the online era. Meanwhile, ad revenue plummets, as digital journalism appears, falsely, as a savior for print journalism. McChesney dissects the strengths and weaknesses of so-called new media.… | more…

In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself by John Marsh

NEW! In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself by John Marsh

Marsh identifies four sources for our contemporary malaise (death, money, sex, democracy) and then looks to a particular Whitman poem for relief from it. He makes plain what, exactly, Whitman wrote and what he believed by showing how they emerged from Whitman’s life and times, and by recreating the places and incidents (crossing Brooklyn ferry, visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals) that inspired Whitman to write the poems. Whitman, Marsh argues, can show us how to die, how to accept and even celebrate our (relatively speaking) imminent death. Just as important, though, he can show us how to live: how to have better sex, what to do about money, and, best of all, how to survive our fetid democracy without coming away stinking ourselves. The result is a mix of biography, literary criticism, manifesto, and a kind of self-help you’re unlikely to encounter anywhere else.… | more…

In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself by John Marsh

Read an excerpt from In Walt We Trust: How a Queer Socialist Poet Can Save America from Itself on UTNE Reader Online

Walt Whitman was born in 1819 in West Hills, New York, on Long Island, and moved with his family to Brooklyn when he was not quite four years old. Like many children from working-class families (his father was, at various times, a farmer, carpenter, and house builder), Whitman left school before he turned twelve. He worked as an office boy, and at age thirteen he was apprenticed to a printer. In his late teens and early twenties, he taught school in various Long Island small towns. There he made his first tentative steps into journalism and Democratic Party politics.… | more…

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