Larry Portis is dead

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Joined: 9-06-09
Jun 8 2011 06:55
Larry Portis is dead

I've just heard that Larry Portis, an American former academic at Montpellier University, a marxist with anarchist sympathies, author of "The IWW and revolutionary syndicalism in the USA" and an interesting and original, if insufficiently critical, history of popular music in France - "French Frenzies", has died. I can't find out how old he was (this announcement by "Alternative Libertaire" doesn't say), but he couldn't have been older than in his late 60s. I knew him vaguely - that is, would chat with him on demos or if I bumped into him on the street - and was one of the few academics I had some respect for because he was pretty independently-minded (not a member of any political organisation) and had been in conflict with the authorities at the University over his anti-Zionism, which never became, as far as I know, a support for at least the cruder aspects of Palestinian nationalism.
He has also written a couple of books about Georges Sorel, "Les Classes Sociales En France - Un Débat Inachevé (1789-1989)", "Dictionnaire Black - Cinéma, Littérature, Social, Musiques, Sport, Arts, Science", "Terror And Its Representations - Studies In Social History And Cultural Expression In The United States And Beyond", and "Histoire Du Fascisme Aux Etats-Unis".
His final work was "Qu'est-Ce Que Le Fascisme ? - Un Phénomène Social D'hier Et D'aujourd'hui", published by Alternative Libertaire.

For more information in French see this.

Sorry to keep this short, but I have to rush. I'll try to edit it this evening or tomorrow morning.