Communists fighting the color line. Baseball players resisting owners. America’s pastime has a fascinating, untold history of radical struggles against racial injustice and labor exploitation.
Peter Dreier is a professor of politics at Occidental College whose books include The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012) and We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism, American Style, with Kate Aronoff and Michael Kazin (New Press, 2020). His two books on baseball history coauthored with Rob Elias — Baseball Rebels: The Battles Over Race, Gender and Sexuality That Shook Up the Game and Changed America (University of Nebraska Press) and Major League Rebels: Baseball Battles Over Worker's Rights and American Empire (Rowman & Littlefield) — are out now.
Legendary civil rights champion Bob Moses died over the weekend at age eighty-six. He was a brilliant organizer who believed deeply in the capacity of ordinary people to change the world.
Pete Seeger would have turned 100 today. Few figures in American history have lived as influential and deeply radical lives as he did. Let’s celebrate him today.
Major league baseball has a long but little-known history of rebels, reformers, and radicals.
In 1949, the Boston People’s Artists wrote “MTA” for a left-wing candidate. The song became a hit — the man behind it disappeared.