1930s

Between the 30s and the 60s - Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin

In this article, appearing in the book The Sixties, Without Apology, Murray Bookchin traces American radical thought from the 1930s to the 1960s.

I strongly doubt if we will ever understand—and fully evaluate—the 60s without placing it against the background of another radical decade, the 30s.

Reds riot at steel mill: 75 years later

Mark R. Wolff on the 1937 Memorial Day Massacre, in which police fired upon striking CIO workers.

Although the United Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) won a contract from the largest steel company, U.S. Steel, in 1937, the “Little Steel” corporations— including Bethlehem Steel Corp., Republic Steel Corp., Youngstown Sheet and Tube, National Steel Corp., Inland Steel Co. and American Rolling Mill Co. Republic Steel—refused to recognize the new union.

Valuable lessons learned from 1935 play “Waiting for Lefty”

An article by Brandon Oliver about a 1935 play about workers intending to strike.

I was recently pleasantly surprised to see that the local community college in Minneapolis was putting on Clifford Odets’ 1935 play, “Waiting for Lefty.” It turns out that it was also presented in London this year after a 30-year absence, so perhaps there is something in the play that speaks to the current moment.

The Communist Party of the United States: from the Depression to World War II

An overview of the American Communist Party from the time right before the Popular Front era until World War II and the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

Vulnerable Akron: the first great sit-down

An account by anarchist and union organizer Rose Pesotta of the 1936 Akron rubberworkers strike, which utilized the sit-down tactic. From the book Bread Upon the Waters.

Akron, rubber manufacturing capital of the world. A drab Mid-Western industrial city of 255,000. A city with a hum, a throb, anodor all its own. It made the front pages in February, 1936. A strike had closed the largest tire factory on the globe, which had 14,000 employees.

Images from 1934 Autolite strike

Considered one of the most important strikes in American history, the Toledo Autolite strike is best remembered by its mass pickets and running battles between strikers and police/National Guard.

1932: the Ford Hunger March massacre

Pictures from the 1932 Ford Hunger March massacre in Detroit, where police and Ford security guards killed 4 and injured 60 when they opened fire on a demonstration organized by the Communist Party USA's Unemployed Council. Originally posted at the Walter P. Reuther Library.

Marxian Economics curriculum from 1935 IWW Work People's College

PDF of the 'Marxian Economics' course of the IWW's Work People's College in 1935 Duluth, Minnesota.

Photocopied from unknown source by unknown person.
Found in Twin Cities IWW office and scanned by Juan Conatz

Kameradschaft (Comradeship)

Based on a real disaster in 1906, Kameradschaft is a plea against war and for friendship between peoples, set at a mine that's been split in two following the border changes after WW1. Its the story of French miners rescued by German colleagues after a firedamp explosion.

Theses on the Spanish Civil War and the revolutionary situation created on July 19, 1936 - BALANCE (Agustín Guillamón)

A 2001 text summarizing the results of the research carried out by Agustín Guillamón for the Spanish journal, BALANCE, concerning the lessons of the Spanish Civil War in Catalonia, denying the existence of “dual power” in Catalonia in 1936, discussing the struggles of the CNT rank and file against militarization and in favor of socialization, emphasizing the revolutionary potential of the ubiquitous committees and their neutralization and eventual destruction due to a lack of coordination and centralization, and claiming that the proletarian revolution requires the destruction of the capitalist state and the creation of a centralized workers power based on workers councils.

Theses on the Spanish Civil War and the Revolutionary Situation Created on July 19, 1936 in Catalonia - BALANCE 1

“The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing.”
Karl Marx, Letter to Schweitzer (February 13, 1865)

  • 1. BALANCE. Cuadernos de historia del movimiento obrero, Cuaderno No. 21, Barcelona, June 2001 (2nd edition).