Joe Kenehan Center

Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Highly Recommended
Gerald Sorin’s Irving Howe: A Life of Passionate Dissent is a fine biography of the late democratic socialist critic and thinker. In particular, Sorin shows how Howe was able to change and adapt to the real-life politics of his times without retreating from the democratic, egalitarian ideals that were at his heart--unlike many other radicals of his generation.

You can read up and coming young left-liberal historian Kevin Mattson’s far more eloquent review here.

Arguments on Organizing
Stephen Early reports back skeptically on the recent AFL-CIO Organizing Convention. One new proposal that was discussed was forming a National “Rights At Work Committee” to help reestablish American workers’ rights to form unions without interference form their employers.

Kim Moody responds to Stephen Lerner’s discussion of the need for more industry-focused organizing among workers. Moody’s response is sometimes at odds with itself. He attacks some of Lerner’s points, weakly, in some cases. To find an example to prove that smaller unions are just a strong as unions that unite a lot of workers in a single industry, Moody has to go back 14 years to the United Mineworkers’ Pittston strike. Then, at the end of the article, Moody says it would be a good idea if the United Auto Workers let the American Federation of Teachers concentrate on uniting graduate students so the UAW could refocus on auto manufacturing. Isn’t that what Lerner was talking about in the first place?

The Union Primary
AFSCME international president Gerry McEntee says John Kerry has the “best chance” of beating Bush.

Down With Wilco On The Way
Unlike a lot of albums that seem to disappear into oblivion during record label sales/mergers/acquisitions, The Minus 5’s collaboration with Wilco will make it to the surface pretty quickly. It’s out on February 25 on Yeproc Records. Miles of Music has preview MP3’s here.