This is a wonderful collection of articles written for the socialist press over more than thirty years, and masterful examples of sharp writing that clarifies, educates and inspires.
Cannon writes from the midst of workers' struggles, from the international defense campaigns to defend victims of capitalist frame-ups, to the powerful strikes of truck drivers, seamen and other workers in the 1930s, from the bloody upheaval of World War II to the subsequent wars of colonial conquest Washington waged in Korea and Southeast Asia. Some of his pieces are biting exposes of the hypocrisy and brutality of capitalist society; others take on big questions of leadership and organization posed to working class activists striving to form militant trade unions and revolutionary political parties.
I found particularly compelling Cannon's observations on the character and lives of the many militants and leaders of workers struggles he knew and worked with over decades, including Eugene Debs, Big Bill Haywood, Frank Little, Sacco and Vanzetti. And as a counterpart, his biting analysis of labor bureaucrats, and the cops, courts, politicians and bosses of the capitalist class who strive so hard to keep workers enslaved in their profit-driven society.