Sidney Lens

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Sidney Lens (1912–1986), also known by his birth name Sid Okun, was an American labor leader, political activist, and author, best known for his book, The Day Before Doomsday, which warns of the prospect of nuclear annihilation, published in 1977 by Doubleday. He also wrote a history of U.S. intervention abroad, The Forging of the American Empire, originally published in 1974 and republished in 2003 by Haymarket Books with a new introduction by Howard Zinn; and an autobiography, Unrepentant Radical.

Formerly a member of Hugo Oehler's Revolutionary Workers League, Lens was active in retail worker unions in Chicago[1] and in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War. In 1967, he was among more than 500 writers and editors who signed the "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse to pay the 10% Vietnam War Tax surcharge proposed by president Johnson.[2]

Lens was an editor of The Progressive.

In 1980, Lens was the Citizens Party (United States) candidate for United States Senate in Illinois.

List of works[edit]

  • John Dewey, a Marxian critique [Chicago] Revolutionary workers league, U.S. 1942 written under his birth name, Sid Okun
  • Left, Right, and Center (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1949): explains some of the anomalies of the American labor movement
  • The Counterfeit Revolution (Boston: Beacon Press, 1952): why Stalinism, despite its corrupt nature, nonetheless appeals to millions of people in the non-communist world
  • A World in Revolution (1956): revolutionary movements around the word, based on extensive travels
  • The Crisis of American Labor (1959)
  • Working Men (1960): a history of labor, for young people
  • Africa, Awakening Giant for young people
  • The Futile Crusade: Anti-Communism as American Credo (1964): how American foreign policy was being hobbled by equating liberalism and socialism with communism
  • A Country Is Born (1964): the story of the American Revolution, for young people
  • Radicalism in America (1966): a history of the American left from 1620 to the present
  • What Unions Do
  • Poverty: America's Enduring Paradox (1969): poverty and anti-poverty programs from the Renaissance to the Great Society
  • The Military Industrial Complex (Kahn and Averill, 1970)
  • The Forging of the American Empire (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1971): American intervention and imperial expansionism throughout its history
  • The Labor Wars (New York: Doubleday, 1973): the struggles of the labor movement from the Molly Maguires to the 1930s
  • Poverty, Yesterday and Today (1973) a history of poverty for young people
  • The Promise and Pitfalls of Revolution (1974)
  • The Day Before Doomsday (New York: Doubleday, 1977): On the dangers of nuclear war
  • The Unrepentant Radical (Boston: Beacon Press, 1980): Autobiography
  • The Bomb (New York: Dutton, 1982): a history of the arms race, for young people
  • The Maginot Line Syndrome: America's Hopeless Foreign Policy (Ballinger, 1982)
  • The Permanent War (New York: Schocken, 1987): a shadow, unaccountable American government is committed to maintaining a permanent state of militarism
  • Vietnam: War on Two Fronts

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sidney Lens, Unrepetant Radical (Boston: Beacon Press, 1980)
  2. ^ “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” January 30, 1968 New York Post