Recent Articles

The Port Huron Statement at 50

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

The Port Huron Statement of Students for a Democratic Society, written fifty years ago this June, is the most ambitious, the most specific, and the most eloquent manifesto in the history of the American Left. It is also, at just over 25,000 words, undoubtedly the longest one. But it had…

Michael Kazin on Roots of the Occupy Movement

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Interview by Eve Gerber at The Browser As police confront Occupy protesters, the history professor and co-editor of Dissent magazine looks back at US leftist movements from abolitionism to Vietnam to see where OWS came from and what it can learn from the past As the Occupy Wall Street movement…

Change the Public’s Thinking

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The protests that began on Wall Street and are spreading to dozens of American cities have been a long time in coming. Since the 1970s, economic inequality in the United States has increased, as unions declined and changes in the tax code benefited the rich. Even Alan Greenspan recognized, in…

Whatever Happened to the American Left?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

SOMETIMES, attention should be paid to the absence of news. America’s economic miseries continue, with unemployment still high and home sales stagnant or dropping. The gap between the wealthiest Americans and their fellow citizens is wider than it has been since the 1920s. And yet, except for the demonstrations and…

What Happened to Labor?

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Not too long ago the labor movement and the left in America were close allies, but now, says historian Michael Kazin, labor has lost its voice and is under assault—and the Democrats have lost a vital force that they must reignite. The American left was once in love with the…

This Land Is Our Land: The Popular Front and American Culture

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Consider the words and images of the Great Depression that, alongside speeches by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, remain icons more than eighty years after the long slump began. “Once I built a railroad, / Made it run / Made it race against time / Once I built a railroad /…