The anti-Stalinist left: some notes from the literature. Part II: The New York intellectuals

Part II in a short series of notes from the academic literature on the anti-Stalinist left.

THE AMERICAN ANTI-STALINIST LEFT AND THE NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS

In this edition, we focus on the American anti-Stalinists, especially the New York scene around James T Farrell, Dwight Macdonald and the Partisan Review. (more…)

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On this day

From the Daily Bleed.

Severino di Giovanni.jpg1931 — Severino Di Giovanni dies in a shoot-out with the police.

Typographer. He fled to Argentina in 1923 to escape Italian Fascism, where he joined the Anarchist Circle (Renzo Novatore) in Buenos Aires & printed & published the review “Culmine”.

He organizes a demonstration for the release of Sacco & Vanzetti, but when they are executed on August 23, 1927, Di Giovanni turns to violent actions with the Scarfo brothers (Alejandro & Paulino); many bombs are set off, especially aimed at North American interests. For example, on December 25, 1927, the National City Bank was bombed, & on May 3, 1928, the Italian consulate.

This spiral of violence is condemned by the anarchists of FORA (Fédération Ouvrière Régionale Argentine) & “La Protesta.” See Osvaldo Bayer, Severino Di Giovanni, the idealist of violencia (1970).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6AgtgLbaTw

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severino_Di_Giovanni

1935 — James T. Farrell finishes his Studs Lonigan trilogy with the final volume, Judgment Day.

1935 — Canada: Emma Goldman‘s four lectures in Yiddish this month continue to be her most successful in Montreal, drawing an audience of 200 when Emma speaks on “the element of sex in unmarried people” today, & raising money for the first time in Montreal when she speaks again to the women’s branch of the Arbeiter Ring on Feb. 17.

During the month Emma decides to return to France in the spring after receiving further discouraging reports from friends who have met with Labor Department officials in Washington, D.C., about chances for readmission into the Land of Freedom.

As other possibilities close, she looks increasingly to her proposed book venture as a means of support; she also pursues the idea of a sustaining fund as she inquires about receiving an advance from a publisher.

Source: Emma Goldman Papers

1936 — México: Workers strike the Vidreria Monterrey.

From the archive of struggle, no.29

This week, as a response to a visit from Julie Herrara, I am delighted to add the Labadie Collection to my blogroll, and to feature it here. Below the fold, much more, including Maurice Brinton, the 1946 RAF mutiny, and much more. Browse the whole series here.

The Joseph A. Labadie Collection, as its website describes it, is the oldest research collection of radical history in the United States, documenting a wide variety of international social protest movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is named for anarchist and labor organizer Joseph Antoine Labadie (1850-1933).

The website of the Colletion has a number of on-line exhibitions:  Jo Labadie and His Gift to Michigan: A Legacy for the Masses, Radical Responses to the Great Depression, Joseph Ishill and the Authors and Artists of the Oriole Press, The Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia, August 1968, Anarchist Images: Posters from the Labadie Collection.

Here are some of the treasures. Click on them to find yourself in the exhibition:

Among those I’ve featured here are the poster for a CNT speaker in New York, a Yiddish poster advertising Rudolf Rocker speaking about Spain, material relating to Norman Thomas and his Socialist Party, a magazine of the Marxist Workers League, and a novel by James Farrell.

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Silone/Farrell

Following up yesterday’s Ignazio  Silone post, I notice that the author (Stanislao G. Pugliese) of the book under review (Bitter Spring), is interviewed here at Publishers Weekly. Short but sweet. There’s a good review here too. Pugliese has also written about Carlo Rosselli.

Robert K Landers, who wrote the WSJ review, has also written about James T Farrell, another fascinating and inspiring writer/activist. Kyle Semmel writes about Farrell nicely here.