163-2 People

Lou Pardo
by Bob Roman
Lou Pardo has died at age 96, according to an obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times. He passed away on December 6. The obituary stressed his achievements as a voter registrar, his devotion to labor causes, and his past membership in the Communist Party. It does not mention his more recent membership in DSA or that he was a 1994 Debs — Thomas — Harrington Dinner awardee. (The UAW’s Carole Travis was the other awardee that Dinner. Barbara Ehrenreich was the featured speaker.) It also doesn’t mention his role in getting Herman Benson (Association for Union Democracy) involved in championing union democracy. (See Rebels, Reformers & Racketeers, by Herman Benson, page 4; I recall Carl Shier saying he called Benson after getting a call from Pardo.) When Lou Pardo accepted the award, Clinton may have been President, but we were very much in the depths of the conservative winter. “People change,” Lou insisted. Yes they do. Thank you, Lou.


New Book Announcement

Past Chicago DSA Political Education Officer Bill Pelz has a new book out: A People’s History of Modern Europe. Distributed by the University of Chicago Press, they describe it thus:

The origin of capitalism and modern industrialism – and, not unrelated, the birthplace of Marxism – modern Europe provided the perfect conditions for a great number of political revolutions. From the monarchical terror of the Middle Ages to the mangled Europe of the twenty-first century, A People’s History of Modern Europe tracks the history of the continent through the deeds of those whom mainstream history tries to forget.

Along the way, William A. Pelz examines the German peasant wars of Thomas Müntzer, the bourgeoisie revolutions of the eighteenth century, the rise of the industrial worker in England, the turbulent journey of the Russian Soviets, the role of the European working class throughout the Cold War, and the revolutionary students in 1968. He then brings his story to the present day, where we continue to fight to forge an alternative to a heartless and often barbaric economic system.

As Germany and Greece argue over who owes what, with the very idea of Europe crumbling around them, Pelz’s accessible, provocative history could not be timelier. Sure to resonate with fans of books like Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, this people’s history sweeps away the tired platitudes of the privileged and provides an opportunity to understand the story of Europe from the ground up.

Available June, 2016.

Mark Weinberg

by Bob Roman

Those of you who knew Mark have probably heard he has passed away. For those who did not, Mark Weinberg had been a DSA member and a member of the Chicago DSA Executive Committee. He was elected Co-Chair in 1998, but honestly, the position did not suit him. In 2000, he became our Political Education Officer and he remained so until 2006 when his chronic illness became debilitating.

As Political Education Officer, Mark made reviving the Open University of the Left (OUL) one of his main priorities, but he also made sure that Chicago DSA received some benefit from the project. He was also involved in other Chicago DSA projects, including our annual dinner, anti-war work, labor support, and opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act.

Mark wanted to make a revolution. I hope he has because now it’s up to us.