History

The Long Roots of Anticommunism in the U.S.

Actually, “anticommunism” had a long and nasty record in American history. The same spirit was expressed decades before the Russian Revolution under a variety of labels. Campaigns and vigilantism were undertaken against those who were called “anarchists,” “aliens,” “terrorists,” and, of course, “communists.” Invariably, these were individuals active in protesting one or another of the…

War is the Health of the State – Woodrow Wilson Led a Reluctant U.S. into World War I – A People’s History of the United States

War is the Health of the State Chapter 14 of A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (1980) “War is the health of the state,” the radical writer Randolph Bourne said, in the midst of the First World War. Indeed, as the nations of Europe went to war in 1914, the governments…

Autumn 1917: John Reed and Albert Rhys Williams Report on The October Revolution in Russia

Russia, Autumn 1917. Excerpted from The Dilemmas of Lenin, by Tariq Ali, Verso 2017. Two American journalists, John Reed and Albert Rhys Williams, were observing the events in Russia close-up and summarising the day to each other before sending their reports back to the United States. Reed had arrived in the country later than Williams…

Russia in October 1917 – No Mere Coup, This Was Revolution from Below

Right-wing historians often describe October as a Bolshevik ‘coup’ made possible by the ‘anarchy’ into which Russia had fallen by autumn 1917. The misunderstanding is profound. Their basic error is to view history from above, not below. What looks to them like ‘anarchy’ was, in fact, the leaching away of state authority and the rise…

July 16, 1877: The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Begins – First Nationwide Strike in U.S. History

July 16, 1877: Firemen and brakemen for the Pennsylvania and Baltimore & Ohio Railroads refused to work, and refused to let replacements take their jobs. They managed to halt all railroad traffic at the Camden Junction just outside of Baltimore. The railroad companies had cut wages and shortened the workweek. After a second pay cut…

NYT Mocks Putin’s Russia for Ignoring Its History, Neglecting to Mention U.S. Efforts to Strangle Bolshevik State At Birth

Long a servant to the grand cause of U.S. imperialism, it should come as no surprise that the New York Times would make light of the lack of celebration in Russia of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, generally agreed to have begun one hundred years ago on March 12, 1917. The NYT’s bit…