Larry Wittner: Working for Peace and Justice – Memoirs of an Activist Intellectual
Date: Monday, May 14, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: Goddard Riverside Community Center (593 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY at 88th Street)
A New York City-born, Columbia University-educated academic, Lawrence Wittner has been a key participant in the peace, racial equality, and labor movements of the past half-century. This talk is based on his recently-published autobiography, Working for Peace and Justice: Memoirs of an Activist Intellectual (University of Tennessee Press). Copies of Working for Peace and Justice and the author’s other book, Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
$20 donation requested, and light refreshments will be served
Copies of Working for Peace and Justice will be available for purchase, and the proceeds from their sale at this event will also benefit the Peace Action Fund.
For more information or to register and pre-pay, please click here.
About the book:
Working for Peace and Justice provides a lively, colorful account of some of the major social struggles of the modern world, as seen through the memoirs of Lawrence Wittner – an award-winning U.S. educator and scholar who has participated in the peace, racial equality, and labor movements from the early 1960s to the present.
Beginning amid the bloody, anti-Semitic pogroms of late nineteenth century Eastern Europe, the book recounts Wittner’s Brooklyn boyhood, the cross-fertilization of ideas and activism during his student days at Columbia College, the federal government’s spying upon him, his political purge and blacklisting as a young faculty member, and his subsequent work as an activist intellectual. Important portions of this story relate to his antiwar and antinuclear activism, as well as to his leadership role in the Conference on Peace Research in History (renamed the Peace History Society) and in America’s largest peace organization, Peace Action. Along the way, there are fascinating encounters with prominent individuals, such as Norman Thomas, William Appleman Williams, Michael Harrington, Cesar Chavez, the Unabomber, Robert J. Lifton, Randy Forsberg, Helen Caldicott, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and David Horowitz.
There are also vivid descriptions of picketing the Kennedy White House against nuclear testing, working as a civil rights volunteer in Louisiana and Mississippi, teaching at an African American college and at the socially élite Vassar College, organizing democratic socialist activism on the community level, coordinating solidarity work for America’s largest higher education union, being arrested as part of the Free South Africa movement, collaborating with peace-oriented intellectuals in Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, and leading the annual march of thousands of antinuclear demonstrators through the streets of Hiroshima.