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Author Archive | Jay Moore

Race to Revolution

A History of a Counter-Revolution

Gerald Horne.  The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America.  NYU Press, 2014. In the conventional, celebratory liberal historical narrative about the Founding Fathers, the post-revolutionary persistence of slavery in the United States, along with women’s lack of essential political and legal rights, has long been regarded as […]

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Massa Tom

One of my cherished historical role models growing up in rural Virginia during the 1950s and 60s was the tall, red-haired intellectual and revolutionary, Thomas Jefferson.  The vast majority of those I grew up with and went to school with were far from being intellectuals (who were commonly put down as “eggheads” or worse) and […]

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Making History: Heroes and Organizers

The last couple of weeks, I have been reading and grading hundreds of high school essays.  The students were asked to write about a person in the past whom they would like to meet and what questions they would ask them, given the opportunity.  It was gratifying to learn that, along with the predictable smattering […]

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The World-Historical Importance of Hugo Chávez

The masses make history, but particular charismatic men and women can play a pivotal role, especially when they believe in the people and mobilize the masses to take action on their own behalf.  Hugo Chávez was one of those rare revolutionary leaders.  He was especially important for Latin America and the Third World for taking […]

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Workers of the World

Labor historians Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh have vividly described how sailors and other maritime workers were in the vanguard of the creation of an international working class.  Unlike most people in the early modern period who largely stayed rooted to the soil of their birth or tied closely to their particular artisanal enterprises, Jack […]

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Whose War?  The War of 1812

Centennials, bicentennials, and other historical anniversaries — not to mention annual holidays — play a major role in the legitimation of power relations.  And they can be sharp ideological battlegrounds like Columbus Day.  This year is the two hundredth anniversary of the War of 1812, an inconclusive two and a half-year war with Great Britain […]

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Capitalism and “Human Nature”: A Rebuttal

In the celebrated section of The Wealth of Nations in which he discusses the advantages of the division of labor, Adam Smith advances the thesis that “common to all men” is a “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.”  Smith hedges on whether this “propensity” is a matter of original human nature […]

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General Strikes! Looking Backward, Looking Forward

It began on July 14, 1934.  That day the San Francisco Labor Council pushed by radicalized rank-and-file workers declared a General Strike, and this led to four days of intense class struggle, the likes of which has rarely if ever been seen in this country.  The aim of the General Strike was to support the […]

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“Share Our Wealth” and the 99% vs. the 1%

The Great Depression of the 1930s saw the outbreak of a multitude of radical social movements on the Left and on the Right — or ones that were simply sui generis like the “Share Our Wealth” campaign launched by the fiery Louisiana populist politician Huey P. Long, Jr.  Long came from a poor pinewoods parish […]

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Deconstructing the Foundational Myths of Israel

Shlomo Sand.  The Invention of the Jewish People.  Verso, 2009. By this time already, after 60-plus years of heatedly arguing the topic back and forth, is there anything new and insightful to be said that might have a bearing on the Israel-Palestine conflict and help to bring some political and intellectual closure at long last […]

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The Bonus March and #OccupyWallStreet

Millions for the bankers and the large corporations but nothing for the ex-soldiers, not even their back pay. — theme song of the 1932 Bonus Marchers The bankers got bailed out; we got sold out — chant heard at Occupations in 2011 Mass occupations protesting the obscene levels of corporate greed and the abject prostitution […]

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