Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier is E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department, at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012). His other books include: Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century (University Press of Kansas, 3rd edition, 2014), and The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City (University of California Press, revised 2006). He writes regularly for the Los Angeles Times, Common Dreams, The Nation, and Huffington Post.

Articles by this author

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Sunday, February 6, 2011 - 10:17am
Reagan's Real Legacy
As the nation embarks on a celebration this Sunday of the hundredth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s birth—with conferences, museum exhibits and lots of speeches—let us not forget that many of the serious problems facing America today began or worsened during Reagan’s presidency. Why not let Reagan, who died in 2004, rest in peace? Because a growing chorus of journalists, politicians, and pundits are using this hundredth-birthday milestone to rewrite history and bestow on Reagan a Mount Rushmore–like status as one of our greatest presidents.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 9:22am
Glenn Beck's Attacks on Frances Fox Piven Trigger Death Threats
If anyone thinks that the vitriol that Glenn Beck spews on his radio and TV shows doesn't stir people to aggressive and hateful action, they should take a look at the postings on his website, The Blaze, about Frances Fox Piven. For two years Beck has targeted the political science professor as a Marxist Machiavelli whose writings constitute a manifesto for a radical revolution.
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Sunday, August 15, 2010 - 2:24pm
Ignore the Fear-Mongering on Social Security
Alf Landon, the Kansas governor running as the Republican Party's 1936 presidential candidate, called it a "fraud on the working man." Silas Strawn, a former president of both the American Bar Assn. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said it was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's attempt to "Sovietize the country." The American Medical Assn. denounced it as a "compulsory socialistic tax."
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Sunday, April 25, 2010 - 2:49pm
Showdown on Wall Street and K Street
The shake-out of the American economy has left a handful of large banks at the pinnacle of the American corporate power structure. Next week, a coalition of major community organizations, unions, and religious groups will launch a campaign to challenge the economic and political influence of these mega-banks, beginning with a series of protests in San Francisco, Kansas City, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 10:01am
The Right's Conspiracy Theory Attack on Frances Fox Piven
Sociologist Frances Fox Piven often gets requests from students who want to interview her about her political theories and activism. So when Kyle Olson phoned her in January, told her he was a college student in Michigan, and asked if he could videotape an interview with her about her recent book Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America , Piven agreed.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 9:14am
Why ACORN Fell: The Times, Lies, and Videotape
The New York Times hit ACORN with a one-two punch last weekend, making sure that the community organizing group -- flattened by attacks from the right and withdrawal of funding from liberal foundations -- stays knocked out.
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Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 9:16am
Pass the Health Care Bill - Then Improve It
There are many lessons to learn from the health care war that has raged over the past year. We'll get to some of them below. But here's the bottom line: Pass the bill, then improve it.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 12:39pm
ACORN 'Not Guilty'
ACORN is getting a bum rap -- in the news media, among politicians, and even by some foundations. That's the conclusion of an independent report released Monday, which acknowledged that ACORN needs to improve its management structure, but that it did not engage in illegal activities when two videographers, one posing as a prostitute, showed up at 10 ACORN offices, tried to entrap low-level staff mem¬bers into providing tax and housing advice for their illegal prostitution ring, and secretly videotaped the encounters.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009 - 2:56pm
Waffling Democrats' Healthcare Hypocrisy
In the battle over healthcare reform, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the former Democrat turned independent, and Democratic Senators Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln and Kent Conrad have at least two things in common. They all oppose a public option in healthcare reform, but each is nevertheless a fervent advocate of socialized medicine. How can Senate watchers make sense of this ideological contradiction?
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Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 11:29am
First They Came For ACORN
First Big Business, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, the Religious Right, the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove came for ACORN, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not ACORN. Then they came for SEIU, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not SEIU. Then they came for the Apollo Alliance, and the Democrats did not speak out -- because they were not the Apollo Alliance.
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