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

Eugene Victor Debs, American Union leader, addressing a crowd, 20th century. Debs ran for President of the United States on behalf of the Social Democratic Party in 1900, and the Socialist Party of America in 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920. Artist Unknown. (Photo: Historica Graphica Collection/Heritage Images/Getty Images) Views
Monday, June 18, 2018
One Hundred Years Ago, Eugene Debs Gave An Anti-War Speech That Landed Him in Prison
In 1920, Eugene Victor Debs ran for president from a cell in the federal prison in Atlanta for a speech opposing World War 1 that he gave 100 years ago – on June 18, 1918. Despite his imprisonment, Debs received 913,664 votes – 3.4 percent of the total. In his speech, the Socialist Party leader...
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Thursday, April 12, 2018
Paul Ryan: Charlatan, Hypocrite, and Right-Wing Extremist Scurries for the Exit
House Speaker Paul Ryan announced on Wednesday that he won’t seek re-election to his Wisconsin First Congressional District seat . Facing a serious challenge from two Democrats—Randy Bryce and Cathy Myers —he may have worried that he couldn’t win re-election. But he certainly knows that the...
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Mickey Mouse appears during the lighting of "It's a Small World" ride, decorated for the holiday season on Nov. 12, 2015 at Disneyland in Anaheim. (Los Angeles Times) Views
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Disneyland's Workers Are Undervalued, Disrespected and Underpaid
Disneyland is famously promoted as the "happiest place on earth." But for many of the theme park's 30,000 employees, it isn't the happiest place to work. That's what we discovered after spending a year talking with Disneyland workers and conducting a survey of about 5,000 "cast members," as the...
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Fifty years ago today (February 25, 1968) Pete Seeger sang the controversial anti-war song "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour show on CBS. Views
Sunday, February 25, 2018
A Forgotten Political Milestone in TV History
I'm shocked that the media overlooked this important milestone in American musical and political history. Fifty years ago today (February 25, 1968) Pete Seeger sang the controversial anti-war song "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour show on CBS. Pete had been...
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Her tireless activism earned her the nickname “Grande Dame of the Everglades.”(Photo: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Views
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Who Was Marjory Stoneman Douglas?
There’s nothing on the Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School website about the woman whose name adorns the school, so its students may not realize that in rising from last week’s tragedy to speak truth to power, they are following in Douglas’s activist footsteps. Douglas would...
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"Embarrassed by his lackluster academic record, his dependence on his family’s connections and wealth to get into college and to succeed in business, and his troublesome and abusive business practices, Trump lashes out at anyone who challenges him, no matter how insignificant the matter." (Image: DonkeyHotey/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Why Trump Keeps Telling the World 'I’m Smart'
Long before he started running for president, Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that he’s both brainy and well-educated. It is one of his most persistent lies. He did it again on Saturday. In a series of tweets, Trump told the world not only how smart but also how mentally fit he is. “Throughout my...
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“When I left the White House I had to learn that what matters in journalism is not how close you are to power, but how close you are to the truth,” (Photo: Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images) Views
Monday, December 18, 2017
Bill Moyers, America’s Conscience, Retires Again—This Time for Real
Bill Moyers has threatened to retire several times. Each time, the many fans and friends have urged the legendary PBS journalist to reconsider, and each time he did. But today, at age 83, Moyers announced his farewell, and this time it is real. Moyers ended his celebrated PBS interview program,...
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Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks during a rally against President Donald Trump's proposed tax plan outside the United States Capitol. Views
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Trump vs. Warren
President Trump on Monday referred to Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as “Pocahontas” at an event honoring Native Americans who helped the U.S. Marine Corps develop a secret code during World War II. "You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said, “Although we have...
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walmart Views
Thursday, November 23, 2017
What I’m Thankful For: Food Workers and Anti-Hunger Activists
I recently heard someone say that Thanksgiving is our least commercialized national holiday. That seems true. Thanksgiving isn’t about buying and giving gifts. It is about getting together with friends and family (even the ones you don’t like), being grateful, and being forgiving. It is a secular...
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The Albert Einstein Memorial in Washington, D.C. Views
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Where Are All the Monuments to the Progressive Americans?
The current controversy over whether to dismantle statues of some prominent Confederate figures is a battle over whom we admire and consider as heroes. It is also a battle over who has power to shape how we view our history. "Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue...
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