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Ilene Proctor

Ilene Proctor Proudly Presents

#58 in the Great Mind Series

 

PETER DREIER

Professor of Politics, Occidental College

Author of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame

 

WHEN: Tuesday, April 2nd, at 7 p.m.

 

WHERE: Pickelz Restaurant, 151 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills.

 

Moderator: Harold Meyerson, former editor of the LA Weekly and frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times op-ed page. He is now a weekly columnist for the Washington Post and an editor of American Prospect.

 

Refreshments served — $20.00 (ADA and PDLA members $15.00)

 

Please RSVP via email: proctor@artnet.net

 

Is a new progressive movement on the horizon?

 

“There’s a new wave of activism all over the country — in workplaces, neighborhoods, college campuses and high schools, and elsewhere,” says Dreier, the author of the critically-acclaimed book, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, recently published by Nation Books. “Much of it is bubbling below the surface, just like the civil rights and women’s movements were before they became full-blown movements.” His book’s last chapter, “The 21st Century So Far…” describes the achievements of progressive movements during the past dozen years and identifies the key activists, most of them born after 1970, who are continuing the progressive tradition passed down from the previous century.

 

Dreier, a professor of Politics and chair of the Urban and Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College, frequently writes for The Nation, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, American Prospect, and Tikkun. He has recently been interviewed about his book by Bill Moyers, Bill O’Reilly, Patt Morrison, Warren Olney, Laura Flanders, Tavis Smiley, and many other TV and radio hosts.

 

Bill Moyers said: “Peter Dreier is a one-man progressive movement and a great teacher. I got a copy of his book for each of my three grandchildren. … I assigned them the joy of reading a chapter a day.” The book “is both learning and fun.”

 

The 100 men and women Drier interviewed — activists, organizers, politicians, musicians, artists, writers, theologians, playwrights, Supreme Court justices, athletes, and scientists — moved progressive ideas from the margins into the mainstream. In the book, Dreier shows how reformers and radicals, often outcasts, made America a more democratic and equitable society for all. The range of people he profiles is broad—from W.E.B. Du Bois, Jane Addams, Eugene Debs, Margaret Sanger, Alice Paul, Myles Horton, John L. Lewis, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Saul Alinsky, Harry Hay, and Walter Reuther to Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Ella Baker, Pete Seeger, Harvey Milk, Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug, John Lewis, Tony Kushner, Paul Wellstone, Michael Moore, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Bruce Springsteen. Dreier explains how these and others helped bring about progressive change against overwhelming odds.

 

An activist and organizer as well as a chronicler of contemporary movements, Dreier links the past, present, and future. He will discuss the current political scene and identify the key activists and crusades for social justice that are changing America today and over the next generation — as he has discussed in several of his recent articles, including “Fifty Young Progressive Activists Who Are Changing America;” “The 25 Best Progressive Victories in 2012;” “Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique — 50 Years Later;” “Obama Won: Now Let’s Change the System;” “Obama Asks America to Learn the Radical Lessons of Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall;” “Martin Luther King Was a Radical, Not a Saint;” and “Eleanor — The Radical Roosevelt.”

 

Dreier, a prolific writer and a long-time political activist for social justice, earned his PhD from the University of Chicago. He is the author of three previous books. He is on the board of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), chairs the Cry Wolf Project, and works closely with many community organizing groups, unions, and progressive politicians.

 

MODERATOR HAROLD MEYERSON: Since 2001, Harold Meyerson has been an editor of The American Prospect, the Washington-based liberal magazine, oscillating between the positions of Executive Editor and Editor at Large (his current post). Since 2003, he has also been a weekly Washington Post op-ed columnist. From 1989 through 2001, he was executive editor of the L.A. Weekly, the nation’s largest metropolitan weekly. His articles on politics, labor, the economy, foreign policy, and American culture have also appeared in The New Yorker; The Atlantic; The New Republic; The Nation; The New Statesman; the op-ed, commentary, and book-review sections of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times; and in numerous other publications. He is a member of the editorial board of Dissent. His print journalism has won numerous awards.

 

Harold Meyerson is also the co-author of Who Put The Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz?, a critical biography of Broadway lyricist Yip Harburg. In 1987 and 1988, he was a regular commentator for The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner; and from the late ‘70s through the mid-‘80s, he was a political consultant for a range of progressive causes and candidates. From 1991 through 1995, Meyerson hosted the weekly show Real Politics on radio station KCRW, the Los Angeles area’s leading NPR affiliate. He has been a frequent guest on television and radio talk shows. Educated in Los Angeles public schools and at Columbia University, Meyerson currently resides in Washington, DC.

 

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