Born OTD in 1855, American socialist, political activist, trade unionist, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and five times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States, Eugene Victor Debs.

After his work with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and the American Railway Union, Debs’ next major work in organizing … More

“I am a socialist, & have been fighting and will fight for an absolute reconstruction of society for the benefit of all. I am proud of my conduct. I have squared my conduct with my intellect, and if everyone had done so this war would not have taken place. I act square and clean for my principles. I have nothing to retract. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Your class position is against my class position. There are two classes of morality. There is the working class morality and there is the capitalist class morality…”

There is this antagonism as there is the antagonism between Germany and Britain. A victory for Germany is a defeat … More

At the end of the First World War in Germany, the journalist and theatre critic Kurt Eisner organised a revolution which overthrew the monarchy, and declared a Free State of Bavaria. In February 1919, he was assassinated, and the revolution failed. But while the dream lived, it was the writers, the poets, the playwrights and the intellectuals who led the way.

As well as Eisner, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, and many other prominent figures in German cultural history were involved. … More

Chamber Music, a “genre-defying” exploration of Wu Tang Clan’s seminal album “Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers”, is an “exhilarating” and “innovative” non-fiction experimentalism about “one of the most important records of the 20th century”, according to the publisher. Porter added: “It will be a discursive, essayistic foray into and around the album, built of 36 chapters or ‘chambers’. It will be about everything from cult cinema to race relations; drug legislation to the history of jazz; Staten Island to Shaolin Samples.

Will is technically virtuosic and has the perfect blend of expertise and magpie-like enthusiasm to ensure this will be an … More

What does it mean to be out walking in the world, whether in a landscape or a metropolis, on a pilgrimage or a protest march? In this first general history of walking, Solnit draws together many histories to create a range of possibilities for this most basic act. Arguing that walking as history means walking for pleasure and for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit homes in on the walkers whose everyday & extreme acts have shaped our culture, from the peripatetic philosophers of ancient Greece to the poets of the Romantic Age, from the perambulations of the Surrealists to the ascents of mountaineers.

With profiles of some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction – from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from … More

Born OTD in 1890, Irish revolutionary, soldier and politician who was a leading figure in the early-20th-century Irish struggle for independence, Mícheál Ó Coileáin (Michael Collins). The Rising was Collins’ first appearance in national events. When it commenced on Easter Monday 1916, Collins served as Joseph Plunkett’s aide-de-camp at the rebellion’s headquarters in the General Post Office in Dublin. There he fought alongside Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, & other members of the Rising leadership. The Rising was put down after six days, but the insurgents achieved their goal of holding their positions for the minimum time required to justify a claim to independence under international criteria.

Now with a new preface for the centenary of the Easter Rising, a compelling interpretation of the rebellion that launched … More

Formed OTD in 1966, The Black Panther Party for Self Defence, by Bobby Seale & Huey Newton. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, and community health clinics to address issues like food injustice.

The late 1960s, when the Panthers captured the imagination of the nation’s youth, was a time of regulation. While their … More

Unrestrained by convention, lion-hearted and free, Eleanor Marx (1855-98) was an exceptional woman. She pioneered the theatre of Henrik Ibsen. She was the first woman to lead the British dock workers’ and gas workers’ trades unions. For years she worked tirelessly for her father, Karl Marx, as personal secretary and researcher. Later she edited many of his key political works, and laid the foundations for his biography.

But foremost among her achievements was her pioneering feminism. For her, sexual equality was a necessary precondition for a just … More