|George Fish February 3, 2012|
|Betty Reid Mandell February 3, 2012|
Government officials tell us how many people are living at or below the poverty line, but they don’t tell us how low the poverty line is. A more appropriate name would be the “near starvation line.” The federal poverty line is based on a formula arrived at in 1963, which set the poverty line at three times the annual cost of food under a “low-cost budget,” without considering housing, fuel costs, or child care costs, all of which have escalated substantially in the past forty-nine years.
|Jesse Lemisch January 24, 2012|
[Partly in response to my calls to the American Historical Association to deal with the jobs crisis in the field, AHA President Tony Grafton organized on short notice a special session at the 126th Annual Meeting of the organization in Chicago on January 6, 2012. The session, entitled "Jobs for Historians: Approaching the Crisis from the Demand Side," was well-attended, with about 250 people in the Sheraton Chicago’s Ballroom VI. Grafton chaired, and I was one of four speakers.
|by Phil Gasper||Winter 2012|
It has been almost 10 years since the death of the Harvard paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould at the relatively early age of 60. Gould was not only a major figure in the life sciences, he was also one of the great popularizers of science. He wrote a monthly column for Natural History magazine from 1974 to 2001, generating exactly 300 essays that explained complex scientific ideas without oversimplifying them.
|by Betty Reid Mandell||Winter 2012|
Most people never heard of ACORN (Association of Community Organization for Reform Now) until the conservatives attacked it. The media does not follow long and complicated organizing campaigns. It prefers more time limited dramatic news such as lawsuits or demonstrations. But even when ACORN organized large demonstrations, the media was not likely to credit ACORN.
|by John Halle||Winter 2012|
In a classic essay George Orwell describes himself as "amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between the nations." Rather it leads to "orgies of hatred" as "young men . . . kick each other on the shins amid the roars of infuriated spectators."
|by Jack Gerson||Winter 2012|
Barack Obama took office three years ago on a euphoric wave of aspirations.
|by Dan La Botz||Winter 2012|
The Occupy movement has changed the American political landscape. We are at the opening of a new mass movement and a radicalization that presage an era of coming social upheaval and class conflict that require the left to both analyze these developments and to develop a strategy to intervene. The left today, small, divided, and weak, must develop an approach that will make it possible for it to grow and unite so that it can influence events.
|by Stephen Steinberg||Winter 2012|
When Derrick Bell published Gospel Choirs in 1996, he sent me a copy with this inscription: "Our job is to turn out the truth. God’s help is needed to get the truth accepted." This epigrammatic note — principled resolve, on the one hand, and pessimism born of despair, on the other — encapsulated the two sides of Bell’s world view.
|Michael Hirsch January 17, 2012|
In his appreciation of the late Lucio Magri, the Italian Marxist and founder of the exemplary Il Manifesto newspaper, Perry Anderson tells the story in the most recent New Left Review of the trashing a young Magri took from Italian Communist Party elder Enrico Berlinguer for a speech Magri wrote that bordered on the substantive.
“Magri,” Berlinguer said, “you have yet to learn that in politics one needs the courage of banality.”