From the archive of struggle, no.77: Encounter

Taking a break from my well-behind trawl through MIA, UNZ, a website of free periodicals, has uploaded loads of back issues of Encounter. For those of you who think I’m a neocon, my pleasure at this will be further evidence.  For those of you less well versed in all of this, here’s Wikipedia:

Encounter was a literary magazine, founded in 1953 by poet Stephen Spender and journalist Irving Kristol. The magazine ceased publication in 1991. Published in the United Kingdom, it was a largely Anglo-American intellectual and cultural journal, originally associated with the anti-Stalinist left. The magazine received covert funding from the Central Intelligence Agency, after the CIA and MI6 discussed the founding of an “Anglo-American left-of-centre publication” intended to counter the idea of cold war neutralism. The magazine was rarely critical of American foreign policy, but beyond this editors had considerable publishing freedom

Here’s just some of the material in the amazing first issue from 1953:

Interesting global range, and a larger number of female contributors than many other cultural journals of the day (though still not many).

Here are other things that jumped out at me. From 1953:

From 1954:

From 1955:

Then, fast forwarding to the late 1960s, the mood has not changed one bit, with just the slightest sense of the cultural revolution at large in the world. Here’s some stuff from 1967:

Other periodicals available from the site:

1930s+

1950s+

1960s+

1970s+

From the archive of struggle: student activism in the 1930s

Young People's Socialist League

Image via Wikipedia

This is another post highlighting on-line historical materials. This week, we feature two interesting on-line exhibitions on 1930s student activism in the USA. CUNY‘s Virtual New York City is a fantastic local history resource. It includes an exhibit on the struggle for free speech at CCNY. The exhibit’s perspective is basically a Stalinist fellow travelling one, in my view, but it is interesting and well put together, and has some material about the student arm of Norman Thomas‘ Socialist Party. This is from the Student Rebels section:

The Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID) is the student section of the League for Industrial Democracy, which can be traced to the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, founded in 1905 by CCNY graduate and popular writer/activist Upton Sinclair. Here, SLID members demonstrate to encourage office workers to support their union during the summer of 1935 in NYC’s garment district.

The Young People’s Socialist League (YPSL) is the youth affiliate of the Socialist Party. Its main rival on campus is the Young Communist League. This flyer advertises an anti-war meeting in Harlem.

There is also a brief mention and some nice engravings of the famous “alcoves” at CCNY. Alcove no.1 was the anti-Stalinist alcove, home to Irving Kristol, Nathan Glazer, Daniel Bell and Irving Howe.

The New Deal Network is a web of US educational sites on the 1930s. Among its sections is one on student activism in the period. SLID features again here, with, for example, twenty-one autobiographical essays from the 1935 Student League for Industrial Democracy (SLID) Summer Leadership Institute, from the Joseph P. Lash Papers at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Libary.

Arguing the WorldApt.11D on Alcove no.1; Irving Kristol’s alcove memories; orgtheory on Arguing the World; Robert Schrank’s alcove memories.

From the archive of struggle

From last week’s feast at Entdinglichung: (more…)

Poumatised

An extract from SlackBastard’s Bloggy Tuesday:

Gathering Forces is another blog what I think I’ve referred to before — but, now that I search for it, actually haven’t, I don’t think — that raises some interestink questions. If anything I wrote made the slightest difference to the success of their project, I’d wish them luck. It doesn’t, so I won’t.

Poumista is a blog I’ve referred to before, but as it’s totally neat-o, I thought I may as well do so again. It draws together a phantastic array of sauces on anarchist / Marxist / socialist history, and, like any good library, infoshop or second-hand bookshop, invites you to become lost in its wares, only to realise years have passed, and you’ve wasted your life reading. (And then you die.)

Stalin’s Moustache is all about Stalin and his moustache. Rather cleverly, the writer’s obsession with the facial hair grown on the upper lip of Uncle Joe is disguised by his authorship of various blogposts, articles and even books, seemingly dedicated to exploring such notions as socialism, biblical studies, politics, theology, philosophy “and so on”, but which the discerning reader, armed with the relevant machinetranslation, will soon discover are really all about Stalin (and, moreover, his moustache).

Stalin is alleged to have remarked that ‘Everybody has a right to be stupid, but some people abuse the privilege’. ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’ is a phrase often credited to P.T. Barnum (1810–1891), an American showman. ‘Never give a sucker an even break’, said W. C. Fields.

There then follows a long piece by Jorge Semprun which I highly recommend. Read it.

More links below the fold. (more…)

Poumishly

Anti-Stalinism

Eugene Debs: war resistor. Ilse Mattick: a great woman. Leni Jungclas: A great woman. Stieg Larsson: The Trot Who Played with Fire. Dwight MacDonald: Partisan Middlebrow. Barroso v Cohn-Bendit: debating European politics. George Orwell: poet of the everyday. Martin Simecka: dissident legacy. Added: Alas, poor Trotsky (against Justin Raimondo).

Stalinism

All that pink: Nancy Astor and Bernard Shaw with Uncle Joe. Stalin nostalgia. Fauxialism, in Venezuelan, Chinese and British varieties. Russia, Poland and the history wars.

More on Irving Kristol

Hendrik Hertzberg, Cas Muddle, Dave Osler.

Intellectuals

Leon Trotsky and the annihilation of classical Marxism. A Tomb for Boris Davidovich by Danilo Kiš. Generations – Partisans. The Twilight of the intellectuals. Pilgrim of doubt. Remembering Irving Kristol: Lexington Green, Robert Kagan, J Podheretz, Joe Leiberman, Alan Wolfe, and in his own words. [Added: more from TNC and But I Am.]  A nation of commentators. Frankfurt on the Hudson.

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