Archive | October, 2012

100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame

12 Oct

You are interested in learning about progressive  history or you wouldn’t be on this page! Well then, here’s a new book from Nation Books you’ll want to take a look at. More information, including ordering (check you local or school library too) click here

100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century:A Social Justice Hall of Fame, by Peter Dreier

A hundred years ago, any soapbox orator who called for women’s suffrage, laws protecting the environment, an end to lynching, or a federal minimum wage was considered a utopian dreamer or a dangerous socialist. Now we take these ideas for granted— because the radical ideas of one generation are often the common sense of the next. We all stand on the shoulders of earlier generations of radicals and reformers who challenged the status quo of their day. Unfortunately, most Americans know little of this progressive history. It isn’t taught in most high schools. You can’t find it on the major television networks. In popular media, the most persistent interpreter of America’s radical past is Glenn Beck, who teaches viewers a wildly inaccurate history of unions, civil rights, and the American Left. The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century, a colorful and witty history of the most influential progressive leaders of the twentieth century and beyond, is the perfect antidote.



Upcoming: Oct 18 Why No Revolution? A Short History of American Left Movements featuring Joe Uris Part 2: 1945 to 2012

5 Oct

Thursday, October 18
7-8:30 pm
413 Cramer Hall, Portland State University
1721 SW Broadway

Following World War II, a massive attack on the Left took place. This attack was in response to Soviet successes in World War II, the Chinese Revolution and a then popular American progressive movement. At the same time the newly created CIA moved to stop potential enormous gains for Communism in Western Europe. Domestically, the attack on the American left included demonization and massive propaganda, as well as the jailing of much of the leadership of the Communist Party. Unions were purged of their Left. Hollywood stopped making socially significant films. And the culture hunkered down into what we now understand as the Cold War mentality.

Dr. Joe Uris is an associate professor (ret.) of history and sociology at Portland State University, a journalist, and KBOO (Tuesday am) talk show host. From the early 60s on, Joe organized for peace and social justice in New York and Portland.