The Nation

on Aug 29, 2014 - 16:47 PM ET
Woody Guthrie

In honor of the Labor Day holiday, I’ve revised a previous attempt at the impossible task of naming the best songs ever written about working people. The list is highly debatable; songs about working and working people cut across musical genres and generations. I know it’s a travesty to not include “Which Side Are You On?” or Johnny Paycheck’s...

on Jul 2, 2014 - 18:29 PM ET
American Flag

Not enough Americans are aware that much of what the country considers our patriotic culture, especially our iconic music, was created by artists and writers of decidedly left-wing sympathies. Three years ago, I posted a list of what I called the Top Twelve Most...

on Jun 13, 2014 - 16:17 PM ET
Jonathan Schell

I guess I’ve probably known a nicer, more humble human being than Jonathan Schell. But certainly no one who approached Jonathan’s stature or legacy. I’ve also met a handful of more accomplished writers, but absolutely no one who came close to approaching Jonathan’s humility.

Schell passed away on March 25. Last night, friends, colleagues and admirers gathered in All Souls Unitarian Church in Manhattan to pay tribute to his life and legacy...

Lived History
on Jun 6, 2014 - 13:45 PM ET

“As one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War, I will not go gently into that good night. I want to tell you what the world looks like through my eyes, so that you can help change it.”

In November 2013, 91-year-old Yorkshireman, RAF veteran and ex–carpet salesman Harry Leslie Smith wrote an ...

War and Peace, Society
on May 23, 2014 - 13:04 PM ET

Memorial Day, first known as Decoration Day, originated in the North after the Civil War to commemorate fallen Union soldiers. By the twentieth century the holiday had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. I’ve always thought that the best way to honor the fallen is to make every effort to prevent needless deaths in the future by avoiding...

Arts and Entertainment
on May 5, 2014 - 17:40 PM ET
LeBron James

Fast food corporations like McDonald’s have virtually mastered the use of childrens’ role models to convince kids that junk food is cool. Fabulously wealthy NBA basketball players have been especially quick to take McDonald’s lucre in return for shilling for food their teams would never let them eat. (Perhaps that’s why the current commercial featuring LeBron James hawking a...

Activism, Society