Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier is the E.P. Clapp distinguished professor of politics at Occidental College. He is the author of  The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books) and an editor (with Kate Aronoff and Michael Kazin) of We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism, American Style (published in January by The New Press). He is coauthor of the forthcoming Baseball Rebels: The Reformers and Radicals Who Shook Up the Game and Changed America.

Articles by this author

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Saturday, August 15, 2015
Black Lives Matter Joins a Long Line of Protest Movements that Have Shifted Public Opinion — Most Recently, Occupy Wall Street
Throughout American history, advocates for racial justice and economic justice have sometimes been at odds, but they’ve also found common ground. In recent weeks we’ve watched this tension play out in a surprising way, when Black Lives Matters (BLM) activists disrupted Bernie Sanders rallies to...
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Saturday, August 08, 2015
They're All Reactionaries
The news media is understandably trying to parse the words, tone, and body language of the Republican candidates' debate performances Thursday night to decide who "won" and "lost," who is on the rise and who is on the descent, and how they differ from each other. But the most significant revelation...
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015
America Is Still Singing Woody Guthrie's Songs
Woody Guthrie, America's most revered troubadour for social justice, would be 103 years old if he were alive today. He was born on July 14, 1912. Although he died in 1967 at 55, his songs have endured. They are still sung around the world. In fact, his popularity has grown in recent decades as we...
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Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Is Bernie Sanders Too Radical for America?
Now that Bernie Sanders is rapidly climbing in the polls and attracting huge audiences to his campaign events, his opponents are starting to attack him for being too radical. After all, Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist. Of course, few Americans know what “socialist” means. Some...
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Monday, June 29, 2015
The Warren vs Roberts Courts: Separate and Unequal Views on Marriage Equality
The Supreme Court's ruling Friday to legalize same-sex marriage is a victory for human rights and an occasion to rejoice. The decision follows in the footsteps of the Supreme Court's 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia that outlawed states' bans on interracial marriage, an earlier pathbreaking...
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Thursday, May 21, 2015
The Wage War's Two Battlegrounds: The Ballot Box and the Board Room
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 to adopt a citywide minimum wage of $15/hour by 2020. The next day, marching behind a giant banner that read, "McDonald's: $15 and Union Rights, Not Food Stamps," 5,000 cooks and cashiers show up at the company's corporate headquarters in Oak...
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Friday, May 08, 2015
Remembering Guy Carawan: The Man Who Popularized 'We Shall Overcome'
Guy Carawan, who introduced the song “We Shall Overcome” to the civil rights movement, died on May 4 at age eighty-seven after a lengthy illness. Millions of people around the world have sung the words to 'We Shall Overcome,” but few of them know the name Guy Carawan. Possessed with prodigious...
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Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Bernie Sanders' Presidential Bid Represents a Long Tradition of American Socialism
Now that Bernie Sanders has entered the contest for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Americans are going to hearing a lot about socialism, because the 73-year old U.S. senator from Vermont describes himself as a “democratic socialist.” “Ever since I was a kid I never liked to see...
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Monday, April 13, 2015
Local Hospital Nurses Defy Union-Busting Campaign in California
Dolly Wilson, a leader in the campaign to organize the registered nurses at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California, was shocked to read a text message she received from another registered nurse. While Wilson, who works in the emergency room, was off duty, someone had put a letter in...
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Thursday, January 29, 2015
At Selma and Around the World, Pete Seeger Brought Us Closer Together
One of the few missing ingredients in the wonderful new film Selma is the centrality of music during the Selma-to-Montgomery, Alabama march. A tiny snippet of field recordings from the march can be heard at the very end of the movie's credits, but otherwise the movie ignores the constant singing...
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