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EXCERPTS: POSTCARDS TO HITLER by Bruce Neuburger

Anti-Jewish Measures
November 12, 1938

Head of the Nazi four-year economic plan, Herman Goering, convenes a conference at the Berlin Air Ministry. He rages at the assembled economic and domestic affairs functionaries over the losses Germany suffered in the November pogrom, such as the glass that had to be imported to replace shattered windows in Jewish businesses, the insurance claims that had to be paid to Jewish insurance holders to protect the insurance industry’s credibility, the economic loss as a result of goods stolen or destroyed from wrecked Jewish stores, and the loss of tax revenue from businesses put out of action. He demands measures to mitigate these losses. The conference comes up with policies to soften the blow to the German economy. Chief among these is a plan to confiscate Jewish insurance claims and impose a collective fine on the Jewish community of a billion Reichmarks (the equivalent of about 5 billion 2023 dollars) for the damage the nation sustained during the pogrom…. | more…

EXCERPTS: LET ME SPEAK! by Domitila Barrios de Chungara and Moema Viezzer

“In addition to telling the history of the working class, the history of nation-building, and the history of Bolivia, ‘Let Me Speak!’ is also a story about the construction of democracy. Today there are terrible people who might constantly talk about democracy but were delighted when miners died or when Alteños were killed. These people were happily drinking their coffee, while they watched on television how Indigenous people and workers were killed. Now, however, these people like to babble about democracy and the rule of law, despite their never having done anything in the fight for the rule of law or democracy. Domitila’s book serves as an example, a living testimony, of what it means to fight for democracy; that is, democracy not only as the right to vote every five years, but also the right to associate, to think, to organize, and discuss fundamental issues, such as salary, rights, constitutional guarantees, and party politics, in one’s community. This is democracy as a continuous and daily affair, an everyday practice that, much more than the law, much more than the constitutional order, much more than elections, is the ability to intervene in public matters…” -From the Foreword to the Argentine edition | more…

EXCERPTS: RON CAREY AND THE TEAMSTERS, by Ken Reiman

The strike was very popular with the American people. Many Americans had their sons and daughters working part-time shifts or their brothers and friends as UPS drivers. They were regular faces on America’s Main Streets, in businesses, diners, and coffee shops… | more…

EXCERPT: Colonial dreams, racist nightmares, liberated futures (from the introduction to A Land With A People)

In the service of furthering public knowledge of the roots of the current horrors in Gaza and beyond, Monthly Review Press is offering you the full introduction to A Land With A People. Please circulate widely!

ALSO: Through May, 2024, MRP is offering free copies of A Land With A People in an effort to encourage people to form study groups–as just a first step towards action. Reach out! | more…

A blue collar biography of a Union President, rooted in firsthand experience (Ron Carey and the Teamsters in ‘Portside’, ‘Counterpunch’, ‘Popular Resistance’, ‘ZMag,’ ‘In These Times’ and more)

Each phase of Carey’s rise and fall, as recounted in “Putting Members First,” is worthy of close study by those seeking to follow in his footsteps as a shop-floor militant, an opposition candidate for local union office, and a coalition builder with other reformers. Last, and most impressive, was Carey’s role as a national labor leader faced with the daunting challenge of transforming a dysfunctional organization in the face of employer hostility and the internal resistance of union officials protecting their own perks, political power, and personal fiefdoms. Read on for some of the critical components of union revitalization, as recounted in this biography, that have continuing relevance to present-day reform struggles…. | more…

Living Left (Until We Fall reviewed in ‘Counterpunch’)

The shadows of this history continue to cast a dark cloud over people and the planet. Take the new US Cold War against China and Russia. We see the slow motion train wreck of US economic power in decline and its military drive to dominate the world, directly and by proxy. The unipolar world order is changing, which Sheehan’s autobiography fleshes out in practical and theoretical ways. She is no armchair academic… | more…

Dissent and solidarity (The Prosecution of Professor Chandler Davis reviewed for ‘Against the Current’)

““However, it happened that one summer ten distinguished members of my faculty convened (five at a time) and unanimously declared me guilty of ‘deviousness, artfulness, and indirection hardly to be expected of a University colleague.’ I had refused, first before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and then before these juries of professors, to answer yes or no to the question, was I a Communist….” | more…

Anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism, inextricably bound together (The Dialectics of Dependency reviewed in ‘Counterfire’)

In 1964, reality came crashing into the ‘theoretical discourse’ when the Brazilian bourgeoise funded and supported, with the backing of American imperialism, a coup against the democratically elected government of João Goulart and installed a military dictatorship that lasted two decades. The orthodox analysis of Brazil’s dependency left orthodox communists ill-prepared to offer any sort of resistance. Unfortunately, the view that the road to breaking with dependency by developing capitalism is still predominant in some sections of the left…. | more…

Cause célèbre during the inquisition known as the Red Scare (The Prosecution of Professor Chandler Davis reviewed for ‘The Mathematical Intelligencer’)

“I was indicted for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer, and the point was to get the Supreme Court to accept the argument in my defense that the hearing was illegal and so nothing I did at it (cogent or not) could be the basis for a finding of guilt. This challenge was known to be a long shot, and sure enough, I lost and served a 6-month sentence in 1960”- Chandler Davis | more…

The legacy of Maoism in India (India After Naxalbari reviewed in the International Socialist Review)

The release of Bernard D’Mello’s ‘India After Naxalbari’ could not be better timed. D’Mello’s tour de force is both a history of modern India and its “rotten liberal democracy,” including the left’s challenge to it, and a fine-grained look at India’s Maoist movement. It combines a sharp historical account with critical analysis, along with some original theoretical insights. | more…

Wall Street giveaway disguised as increased worker security (Author of The Labor Guide to Retirement Plans in ‘The Hill’)

Investment risk is borne completely by individual account holders… There are many reasons why retirement savings and investment plans do not provide adequate old age security. If money is lost in a stock market downturn or investments do poorly, say goodbye to a secure retirement. The Wall Street financial services industry skims considerable profits from these accounts. That significantly diminishes payouts…. | more…

The strangely “little-known” role of the Cuban working class (Pedro Ross reviewed for ‘New West Indian Guide’)

The blow by blow accounts in this book make fascinating reading, I was particularly impressed by the discussion of the Cigar Workers’ Parliament. It provided the cigar workers an opportunity to raise grievances about the management of the factory, to condemn the thefts of raw materials and to propose solutions to the country’s economic woes. Pedro Ross was able to use his direct contact with Fidel Castro to resolve some of the problems with inefficiency and corruption. | more…

Walk This Way (Anne Braden Speaks in ‘The Progressive Populist’)

“Her perspective as an anti-racial capitalism activist and writer gives her a comprehensive, dare I say a dialectical, analysis of domestic and foreign policies. The bombs that Uncle Sam dropped on the people of Vietnam also exploded on Americans living in urban and rural communities experiencing poverty, as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came to understand in no small part because of Braden’s advocacy.” -Seth Sandronsky | more…