By now you may have seen Peter Dreier’s feature for The Nation, "The Top Fifty Progressives of the Twentieth Century." As Peter writes in his introduction, "The radical ideas of one generation are often the common sense of the next. When that happens, give credit to the activists and movements that fought to take those ideas from the margins to the mainstream. We all stand on the shoulders of earlier generations of radicals and reformers who challenged the status quo of their day." In this moment where the word "progressive" is often used as a slur, we thought it valuable to remind readers of the great and inspiring contributions progressives have made to this country. The list isn’t perfect and there are plenty of worthy progressives left out. That’s why we’re counting on you, starting Monday, to weigh in with your own nominations – both for progressives that should have made the list, and for the most influential progressives of the 21st Century.
As we head back to school and into an increasingly challenging landscape for the teaching of our civic history, I hope you’ll tweet, email, pass along and share this essential guide.
Also this week …
VIDEO: GOP Women and Abortion
The "mama grizzly" phenomenon may be real, but what does it mean for women’s right? On Rachel Maddow last night, our Melissa Harris-Lacewell looked at the Republican women running for office this year, and where they stand on choice and reproductive rights. Watch the video here.
PODCAST: The Breakdown with Chris Hayes
In April, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New START Treaty, the biggest nuclear arms pact in a generation. The treaty, the first of its kind in almost ten years, would diminish both countries’ nuclear arsenals and allow for greater transparency in nuclear policy. Although the treaty has been met with strong objections from some members of the Republican Party, the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee has recently approved the treaty. New START now faces the Senate floor for a full vote. But what exactly is the New START Treaty, and what would happen if it did not pass? On this week’s edition of The Breakdown, DC Editor Chris Hayes and non-proliferation expert Joe Cirincione try to answer these questions and the long term implications for the New START Treaty. Listen here.
NEWS FROM IRAN: Hiker released
You likely saw that Sarah Shourd, one of the three American hikers held in Iranian prison since last July, was released this week. We have followed this story closely, reporting in June that the circumstances of their arrest differs from what Iran originally reported. Shane Bauer, a Nation contributor, and Joshua Fattal remain in custody; we will continue to follow this story and hope for their swift release – and that Shourd can shed some light on the situation. Read more from The Nation Institute’s Esther Kaplan here.
ENDORSEMENTS: Schneiderman wins!
Last week I wrote enthusiastically in support of Eric Schneiderman for New York State Attorney General. On Tuesday Schneiderman narrowly defeated his opponents, securing the Democratic nomination. The Nation’s endorsement – and progressive support for Schneiderman – is already part of the story; the Times yesterday mentioned our support in a profile of the race. This will be a tough general election campaign; I encourage all New Yorkers to get involved if they can.
VIDEO: A Conversation with Naomi Klein
Columnist Naomi Klein was in New York last weekend for the Brooklyn Book Festival, and sat down Monday with Laura Flanders for a segment on The Nation on GRIT TV. The topic was the future of the left: how a vibrant, independent left is possible. It’s an important segment – I hope you’ll watch and share. Coming up next week on The Nation on GRIT TV: Nation Books author Roberta Gratz about her new book on Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, "The Battle for Gotham."
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Finally, out this week is a new book from Nation Contributing Editor (and my husband!) Stephen Cohen, "The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag After Stalin." During Stalin’s reign of terror in the Soviet Union many millions died in his gulag of torture prisons and forced-labor camps; but millions of others survived to be freed after his death in 1953. For over 30 years Steve has been researching the lives of those victims who were released; "The Victim’s Return" is the first book that chronicles the remarkable stories of their return to society. It is also a book about the role Stalin and Stalinism continue to play in Russia’s politics and society. For Steve (and for me) this is a deeply personal book, tracing the stories of people who are victims but also friends, and a living reminder of an often ignored part of history. I hope you’ll read the book; we will also be doing a discussion at Barnes and Noble on 82nd & Broadway in New York on October 6th, followed by a series of event in D.C. and the West Coast.
As always, thanks for reading. I’m on Twitter – @KatrinaNation – and welcome your comments below.