Against the Grain – December 11, 2023

Against the Grain

A radio and web media project whose aim is to provide in-depth analysis and commentary on a variety of matters — political, economic, social and cultural — important to progressive and radical thinking and activism.

Upcoming Episode

Frank Luntz thinks that Israel has a public relations problem in the United States, which may seem surprising given that until recently a majority of Americans have favored Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. The rightwing spin doctor, a longtime advisor to Israel on how to shape American public opinion, believes that such longstanding support is … Continued

How did the influential scholar Cedric Robinson understand black radicalism and global capitalism? Yousuf Al-Bulushi has written about what he sees as several constituent elements of the Robinsonian black radical tradition, including an appreciation of culture (which pushes back against Marxism’s materialism) and a critique of state-based models of self-determination. Al-Bulushi also considers Robinson’s engagement with … Continued

It’s the most important program combating food insecurity in the United States – and it originates from aid to the agricultural and food processing industries, not poverty alleviation. Christopher Bosso argues that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP — formerly known as food stamps — has survived for almost sixty years, against those would … Continued

What role have historians, and the discipline of history itself, played in how historical events unfold? Priya Satia contends that historians were key architects of British imperialism, that history enabled empire in fundamental ways. She also contests the notion that history unfolds in a linear and progressive fashion, and discusses the work and impact of … Continued

Revolutionaries in one country can inform and inspire rebels in another. Kevin A. Young examines the impact of Vietnamese and Chinese revolutionary strategies on El Salvador’s guerrillas in the tumultuous 1970s and ’80s. Among other things, he describes how conceptions of “prolonged popular war” were adopted and adapted by the FPL, the FMLN’s largest faction. Becker, Power, … Continued

The pandemic highlighted the vital importance of care work—whether childcare, nursing home care, medical care or schooling – and the struggles many people face to get sufficient care. Would more public investment solve the crisis? Historian Premilla Nadasen argues that the problem lies with contemporary capitalism itself, as care has become an enormous arena for … Continued