Marathon for Peace 2008

“I was born by the river in a little tent
And just like the river I’ve been running ever since

It’s been a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come.” — Sam Cooke

Dear family & friends,

Had Sam Cooke not been shot on a tragic day in 1964, he’d be celebrating his 78th birthday next January 22.  That’s just two days after we may experience one part of the change he sang for and dreamed of: the inauguration of a Black man as President of the United States.

It will be a milestone.  Yet even if it is achieved (and there are going to be many difficult and nasty days between now and November 4) much more is needed to transform Sam Cooke’s lyric from a cry of hope to a living reality throughout this country and the world.

That “more” can only come from determined, grassroots, broad-based movements for equality, justice, peace, and environmental protection.  Such movements need institutions that are in it for the long haul.

With the “long haul” in mind, I will be running 26.2 miles in the New York City Marathon November 2 to support the antiwar institution I’ve worked with the last seven years, War Times/Tiempo de Guerras.  You can check out War Times materials, including my most recent Month in Review — “The Financial Mess & Washington’s Wars” — at <>.

This will be my 24th Marathon and the third year in a row I’ve run a Marathon for Peace.  Age and wear-and-tear on the body are slowing me down: the time of 3 hours, 54 minutes I ran in Sacramento in 2006 is off the table; I’ll be lucky to match the 4:09 I ran at mile-high altitude in Utah in my first marathon after turning 60 last fall.

But whatever my pace, I’ll have maximum motivation with your help and support.  You can pitch in by donating a dollar (or more) for each mile of the race to help build a durable, long-haul antiwar movement.  All donations are tax-deductible, you can donate on-line at <> or send a check to War Times (new address), P.O. Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609.

You are also invited to come to a POST-MARATHON PARTY if you will be in the New York area November 2.  The bash will be Sunday from 5:30-7:30 pm at the United for Peace and Justice office, 630 9th Avenue, Suite 215B (between 44th and 45th).  We’ll make a pitch for funds there too; all monies raised at that gathering will be split 50/50 between UFPJ and War Times.

It is a blessing and a source of hope to be connected to so many wonderful people trying to make a difference.  I hope you are well; thanks for any support you can provide this Marathon for Peace effort.

A Change Is Gonna Come,


Max Elbaum Max Elbaum is the author of Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che (Verso 2002).  Elbaum is also a member of War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, a group represented on the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice.  War Times/Tiempo de Guerras invites you to sign on to its announcement list (3-4 messages per month) to receive regular reports, interviews, flyers, and news recaps.  Go to the War Times website at  War Times/Tiempo de Guerras is a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Third World Organizing.  Donations to War Times are tax-deductible; you can donate on-line at or send a check to War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, c/o P.O. Box 99096, Emeryville, CA 94662.

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