My Path to Atheism

by Alan Rutkowski I RECENTLY HAD an epiphany: I don’t believe in God. For a very long time — most of my life, actually — I sort of thought I did. Religion has played a big part in my life. For some reason my mother, who was not religious at all, sent my sister and […]

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Isaac Deutscher Redux

THE NON-JEWISH JEW REVISITED by Michael Mirer Discussed in this essay: The Non-Jewish Jew, and Other Essays, by Isaac Deutscher. Published in a 50th anniversary edition by Verso, 2017, 176 pages.   WHAT MAKES a Jew a Jew? Are we an ethnic group? Religious? Racial? These questions of identity and politics (if not identity politics) are often […]

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The Non-Jewish Jew

Isaac Deutscher, biographer of both Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, was born near Cracow, Poland on this date in 1907. Raised in a khasidic milieu, he was a child prodigy in Torah and Talmud but at the age of 13 he “tested God” by eating treyf food at the grave of a holy man on […]

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March 17: Herbert Aptheker

Radical historian Herbert Aptheker, author of the seven-volume Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States and literary executor for W.E.B. DuBois, whose correspondence he published between 1973 and ’78, died at 87 on this date in 2003. Aptheker was a pioneering and prolific writer about black American history, including about slave revolts […]

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Our Red Rosa

ROSA LUXEMBURG’S JEWISH LIFE AND COMPLICATED LEGACY by Helen Engelhardt from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents “If they expect us to murder our French or other foreign brothers, then let us tell them — under no circumstances!” A SHORT, frail woman with a clumsy limp had taken the stage at Fechenheim, a district […]

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Annette T. Rubinstein and Progressive Secular Jewishness

by Gerald Meyer For information about a forum on Saturday, March 4 at the Vito Marcantonio Forum in New York, “Beloved Comrades: The Political and Personal Partnership of Annette T. Rubinstein and Vito Marcantonio,” with Gerald Meyer and Stephen Siciliano, click here. ANNETTE T. RUBINSTEIN, teacher, writer, and political activist, spent her entire life on […]

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November 5: Bernard-Henri Levy

French activist philosopher, playboy, and public intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy, who identifies as a leftist while tearing down many of the fundamental premises of leftwing thought, was born in French Algeria on this date in 1948. Levy began his career as a war correspondent covering the Bangladesh war of independence before shifting into philosophy as a […]

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September 8: Irwin Silber and Sing-Out!

Marxist writer, editor, and mostly pro-communist theoretician Irwin Silber, long-time editor and co-founder (with Pete Seeger, shown with Silber at right) of Sing-Out! magazine, died at 84 on this date in 2010. As founder of Paredon Records (with his wife, folksinger Barbara Dane) and (with Moses Asch) of Oak Publications, as well as through Sing-Out!, […]

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August 6: Theodor Adorno

Philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, a member of the Marxist Frankfurt School of critical thought who strongly influenced the European post-war left, died at 65 on this date in 1969. Adorno left Germany in 1934 and lived out the Nazi era in Oxford, New York, and southern California, where he wrote his best-known books, Dialectic of […]

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