From the Editors Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and Women


Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

Anaïs Nin, Diary, June, 1941
(during the darkest days of World War II)

In 1966, we received a remarkable article from Poland from two activists, Jacek Kuron and Karol Modzelewski, who shared our view of the reactionary nature of the USSR and the Stalinized states of Eastern Europe. We published it in two issues. Both men were imprisoned. When they were released they formed KOR, an organization that brought together workers and intellectuals. That led to Solidarity.

     In this issue we are publishing Au Loong Yu’s "How Socialist Is the Chinese State?" a review of Wang Hui’s The End of Revolution. Au writes from Hong Kong; we think his action in publishing this piece is indeed courageous, right in the tradition of Kuron and Modzelewski.

     We need not remind our readers that we are in the middle of a terrible 35-year backlash against the Civil Rights and the feminist and gay movements. But look at the courage of a Dr. Mila Means who, despite death threats, dares to step forward to replace the murdered Dr. George Tiller in Wichita. And look at the courage of men and women in Wisconsin, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, and Syria! These are men and women who, like Nat Turner, refuse to live shrunken lives. Courage is derived from cor (heart); their expansiveness should give heart to us all.

     We have tried in much of this issue to tell of such courage in action.

Marvin and Betty

N.B. We have just learned that the New England War Tax Resistance has awarded us a $750 grant. We are honored to be recognized by these courageous men and women.


About Author

BETTY REID MANDELL is co-editor of New Politics and co-author of Introduction to Human Services: Policy and Practice, 6th edition (Allyn & Bacon).

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