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Night Thoughts

 What happened to my mother’s dreams? And my father’s too? They’re gone, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I see all the dead men and women walking arm in arm, talking, around the block near the old house. I walk with them. What are they saying? “I didn’t think it would be like this, Mike.” […]

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Memorializing Martin Luther King, Jr.

We often visit the monuments and museums along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and each time I am surprised at my heightened emotions when we are there. Maybe it is because the museums are free and some of the memorials grand and inspiring, and I can imagine for a few hours that this country […]

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Public School Teachers: New Unions, New Alliances, New Politics

 The U.S. working class was slow to respond to the hard times it faced during and after the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Finally, however, in February, 2011, workers in Wisconsin began the famous uprising that electrified the country, revolting in large numbers against Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to destroy the state’s public employee labor unions.  […]

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Karen’s Cancer

Karen was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, in March 2008. She had surgery, then radiation and chemotherapy. There followed many visits to doctors, first every three months, then every six months. Finally, three weeks ago, Karen’s doctor said that, barring some sudden change in health, she now has to return just once a year. […]

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One Nation, One World

 Counterpunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair’s essay, “The Silent Death of the American Left,” succinctly discusses the absence of a left-wing presence and activism in the face of myriad social and ecological disasters.* Somewhat surprisingly, this straightforward account elicited sharp criticism—St. Clair’s pessimism was unwarranted and a sign of an intellectual pathology of defeatism, especially in […]

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Who Will Lead the U.S. Working Class

Who Will Lead the U.S. Working Class

  This essay* is based upon an interrogation of two books: Gregg Shotwell, Autoworkers Under the Gun: A Shop-Floor View of the End of the American Dream (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012), 200 pages, $17.00, paperback, and Jane McAlevey with Bob Ostertag, Raising Expectations (And Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting For the Labor Movement (New York: […]

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