Remembering Bill Pelz

by Patrick Quinn and Eric Shuster

            Bill Pelz, a well-known socialist activist and prolific scholar in the field of European and comparative Labor History died at the age of 66 in Chicago on Sunday, December 10, 2017, following a heart attack.  Bill was born into a working class family on the South Side of Chicago. After graduation from high school he became a bus driver, “but later lowered my expectations and became an academic historian”.  An SDS member for a brief time before its demise, he joined the Chicago branch of the International Socialists (IS) at the beginning of the 1970s and soon became one of the best known leaders of the Left in Chicago. Read on ...

How can SHS assist in promoting the presence and presentation of women in history

A discussion paper from Dr. Greta Sykes, Associate Researcher, UCL, London

The case of an unsatisfactory representation of women both in historical writing and in numbers of historians teaching and writing has been clearly made (A Enright’s reflections in LRB/2017, W. Thompson ‘the history of civilisation is also the history of misogyny, 2015, Marx/ Engels: ‘The foreshortening of history is to impose intellectual shackles upon the further investigation of the great transformation that occurred from savagery to civilisation, ‘The first class oppression is that of the female sex by the male: the key change being the gradual deprivation of sexual freedom from women, but not from men, 1976.’

I propose that the SHS can and ought to take a lead in actively promoting making progress from a situation of inequality through the following measures:
1.… Read on ...

Two contrasting reviews

We have just received notice of two reviews of Steve Cushion’s book “The Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution“.

One from “Solidarity” the newspaper of “Workers Liberty”, the other from “Special Warfare” which styles itself “The Professional Bulletin of US Army Special Operations”.

Historical Controversy in Cuba

Jesús Menéndez

Recently there has been a controversy in the Cuban press over the murder of the General Secretary of the Cuban Federation of Sugar Workers in 1947. The journal of the Catholic diocese of Havana, Espacio Laical, published an article by Newton Briones Montoto arguing that he was not murdered by an army officer but was killed in self defence as he fired on the officer first while resisting arrest. Given that the Socialist History Society has recently published an Occasional Paper, Killing Communists in Havana, at the urging of comrades from the Institute of Cuban History and the history commission of the CTC trade union confederation, we wrote a reply based on the research for the SHS Occasional Publication and, to our surprise, the Espacio Laical published it.… Read on ...