Category Archives: Volume 26, No. 3

Latin American Popular Movements, the Gwangju Uprising, and the Occupy Movement

Grassroots insurgencies are today multiplying across the planet. Not organized by any one party or organization, the current wave of uprisings appears to be derived in opposition to local injustices, yet in significant ways, these various struggle share essential characteristics … Continue reading

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Michael Lebowitz, The Contradictions of Real Socialism: The Conductor and the Conducted (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012).

The issue of “Real Socialism” has plagued the global Left since 1917. Michael Lebowitz brings to bear on it a sharp focus, informed not only by a thorough reading of Marx, but also by many years of activism, leavened by … Continue reading

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Marcella Bencivenni, Italian Immigrant Radical Culture: The Idealism of the Sovversivi in the United States, 1890-1940 (New York: New York University Press, 2011).

Over the past few decades, scholars such as Rudolph Vecoli, Nunzio Pernicone, Philip Cannistraro, Donna Gabaccia, and many others have chiseled away at Edward Banfield’s 1958 claims of “amoral familism”: the notion that Italian immigrants for social and cultural reasons … Continue reading

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James Cronin, George Ross, and James Shoch (eds.) What’s Left of the Left: Democrats and Social Democrats in Challenging Times (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2011).

Right at the beginning of this collection of essays, the editors in their introduction describe the social democracy that I remember from my own youth in the England of the 1970s, a period which they note is ‘seen by many … Continue reading

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Paul Blackledge, Marxism and Ethics: Freedom, Desire, and Revolution (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2012).

Ethics and History If anything sets Marx apart from his predecessors in the field of ethics it would be his reluctance to moralize in the face of systemic social inequality. In the shadow of Kant and Hegel, Marx knew ethics … Continue reading

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Robin Blackburn, The Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln (London: Verso, 2011).

Robin Blackburn, the British sociologist and veteran Marxist, underscores the promise and shortcomings of what contemporaries call “the Second American Revolution.” The Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln includes pieces by both men, as well as by Raya Dunaevskaya, … Continue reading

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Stephen Eric Bronner, Socialism Unbound: Principles, Practices, and Prospects, 3rd ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011).

The first edition of Socialism Unbound, published in 1990, was a call for a critical theory of socialism. Using historical analysis, it argued that socialism should be “unbound” from teleology, which, it contended, leads to rigid dogma or uncritical reformism. … Continue reading

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Immanuel Ness and Dario Azzellini, eds., Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011).

Review published in Socialism and Democracy, vol. 26, no. 3 (11/2012) Ours to Master and to Own is a compilation of articles offering a historical and global overview of workers’ efforts to gain control over their workplaces, the economy, and … Continue reading

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David Gullette, Dreaming Nicaragua (Boston: Fenway Press, 2010).

Jesse Pelletier is a Vietnam vet whose marriage broke up long ago. He’s living now in San Juan del Sur, on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua where he makes a living running a modest bed and breakfast style hotel called … Continue reading

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John W. Maerhofer. Rethinking the Vanguard: Aesthetic and Political Positions in the Modernist Debate, 1917-1962. New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009

How has political revolution figured into the development of avant-garde cultural production? Is the vanguard an antiquated concept or does it still resonate in the 21st century? Focusing on the convergence of aesthetics and politics that materialized in the early … Continue reading

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