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Class Struggle in Hollywood, 1930-1950 : Moguls, Mobsters,
Published in Paperback by Univ of Texas Press (2001)
Author: Gerald Horne
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A Needed Light
Reviewer Everitt's remarks capture the book's essential value. Several points however merit emphasis. First, Horne's book brings out the symbiotic relation between the studios' desire for non-independent company unions, on one hand, and organized crime's desire for corrupt unions, on the other. By taking in one another's washing during the tumultuous events of '45 - '47, these two representatives of private capital maintained an alliance that defeated efforts by the Conference of Studio Unions to emerge as an independent union of movie-making employees. Horne the historian is detailed about this sinister and under-reported alliance. Second, by using abundant primary sources, the author debunks the nurtured image of CSU as a communist-led movement, a scare tactic still in its infancy following the anti-fascist WWII and, as the book shows, a tactic used to increasing effect by the corporate-owned press of the day. Belated communist support for CSU strikers was willfully twisted by these flacks into communist domination. Third, the inability of the CSU to cross racial and gender lines of the day is emphasized. This had the unfortunate effect of reducing potential for attracting outside allies, especially among aggrieved African-Americans and women's groups, though it's hardly surprising that prejudices within the union would reflect those of the larger society from which it sprang. It's fascinating to follow this dark underside of the Hollywood dream factory, though I did find time shifts in the narrative confusing at times. Nonetheless, Horne has focused his word-camera on a worthy and neglected real life drama.

Hollywood's buried history
Amazingly, this is the first comprehensive work written on a key event in American labor history -- an event that was headline news in the mid 1940's, and that among many other things set the stage for the passage of Taft-Hartley and propelled Ronald Reagan into politics. While countless historians have left no stone unturned in examining the Hollywood Blacklist, the story of the Hollywood studio strikes has long been relegated to footnotes and chapters in more general works. With this work Gerald Horne has shined a relentless light of painstaking scholarship on what may well be the most neglected event in American labor history. The footnotes alone are worth the price of the book and will no doubt entice many readers to follow these myriad paths deeper into the hidden corners of Hollywood history.

This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in Hollywood history, labor history, the Hollywood Blacklist, American radical history, and the history of organized crime in America. It should especially be read by anyone who earns their living as a worker in the film and television industry or is a member of IATSE and wishes to know the true story of their union's dark history.

Black Liberation/Red Scare: Ben Davis and the Communist Party
Published in Hardcover by Univ of Delaware Pr (1994)
Author: Gerald Horne
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Excellent analysis of the role of Black American Communists.
This book is an indepth, and intriguing analysis of the role played by African-American Communists, particularly Benjamin J. Davis, in the struggle for Black Liberation. The book is very-well researched and consistently objective, avoiding the standard anti-Communist, anti-Soviet biases we normally encounter.

Dr. Horne presents a liitle known history, the positive role played by the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA), in the struggle for African-American civil rights. He details and corroborates numerous examples of positive Communist involvement and activity in the Black community in the 1930s and 1940s without using the worn out "red scare" or "Communist menace" shibboleths.

He describes a very clear picture of the role played by Benjamin J. Davis, an open Communist from Harlem and twice elected to the New York City Council. It is amazing to read Horne's description of the tremendous support Davis received from both Harlemites and famous Black celebrities.

Dr. Horne's theory that the Black American civil rights establishment was given the narrow choice of renouncing Communist support and Communists in order to win government support for civil rights, appears right on target and certainly supported by history.

A very interesting and informative book.

Race Woman: The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois
Published in Paperback by New York University Press (2002)
Author: Gerald Horne
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It's a tragedy that so many great women are left out history's big picture and Shirley Graham Dubois may have been one of them.

Before reading her biography I knew Shirley Graham Dubois only as author and wife to Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, but she was so much more.

Shirley Graham Dubois' career included amongst other things, professor, playwright, author, political activist and nation builder. She was an intellectual powerhouse who just happened to be married to one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century.

Beautifully written and thoroughly researched by Dr. Gerald Horne, this book also provides personal insight into Graham Dubois' role in challenging U.S. imperialism from Ghana to Communist China.

Thank you Dr. Horne for bringing this incredible woman to our attention. Please read this book as a companion to the Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Dr. W.E.B Dubois (volumes 1 & 2), by Dr. David Levering Lewis.

The history of the twentieth century would be incomplete without her story.

From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States and the War Against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980
Published in Library Binding by Univ of North Carolina Pr (25 June, 2001)
Author: Gerald Horne
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Not good enough
This book detailing the liberation struggle has an unusual structure. It starts off with a chapter "Toward Zimbabwe," which raises three of Horne's themes in this book: racism, anti-communism, and the problem of "whiteness." It is often repetitive and padded and is the least interesting chapter in this book. The next chapter looks at the links between the Rhodesian government and its supporters in the United States. The third chapter looks at the ideological support of the white minority regime, concentrating on missionaries, anti-communist supporters and sexual violence. The fourth actually offers a summary of American diplomacy towards Rhodesia from the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965 to Zimbabwe's independence. The fifth looks at business relations with the white minority regime. The sixth looks at the mercenary scum that came mostly from the United States to ravage Rhodesia and the indulgence they received from the American government. The seventh looks at links between African-Americans and the liberation struggle. The conclusion looks at modern Zimbabwe and the often pernicious effect Rhodesian mercenaries have had, mostly on South Africa.

Horne, of course, is thoroughly in favour of the liberation struggle and is properly angry towards those who obstructed and delayed independence. Yet this is a mixed book. One point to start off with is that Horne is affiliated with the Communist Party of the United States of America. Even by the standards of world communist party leaderships, the American party is notorious for its dogmatic, simple-minded, philistine and uncritical attitude. Many intelligent and thoughtful people have joined the American Communist Party and the vast majority have left (or been expelled from) it in disgust at its dishonesty. Horne, a rather prolific scholar, is one of the very, very few who remain.

What makes this issue important is that Horne is less than frank on a number of important issues. The CPUSA, of course, supported the Soviet Union and they, in turn, supported the ZAPU movement headed by Joseph Nkomo. By contrast the first elections were won by ZANU, led by Robert Mugabe, which had support from China and Tanzania. On the one hand Horne writes that ZAPU was more authentically non-tribalist, in contrast to ZANU, which was also affected by African-American middle class nationalist ideas. (There is little research provided about Zimbabwean politics which would allow the reader to decide the issue one way or another). On the other hand, Horne writes sympathetically of Mugabe's government, and certainly does not provide a refutation of those, like R.W.Johnson, who have vociferiously criticized it for its authoritarianism and violence. There is also a passage in which Horne writes about possibility of homosexuality among Rhodesian mercenaries. The passage has a disingenous quality and certainly does not go far enough to castigate Mugabe's demagogic homophobia and massive failure in confronting the AIDS Crisis (In a footnote, Horne writes of Zimbabwean support for a book which suggests that AIDS is the result of a South African germ warfare program, without clearly stating that such views are nonsense.)

Having said that the book has some virtues. Too much is made perhaps of the letter writers to prominent Southern senators, but their racist, anti-communist, and occasionally anti-semitic tone has a certain rebarbative quality. Surprisingly little is written about Kissinger's transition to a pseduo-majority rule, though the Nixon administration has tried to keep its records as obscure as possible. There are plently of amusing information about the supporters of the repulsive Salisbury regime, as prominent William F. Buckley, Milton Friedman, Robert Dornan and Jesse Helms mix shoulders with racists, the John Birch Society and the Liberty Lobby, while Richard Burton and Percy Sledge make idiots of themselves as tourists. It is rather horrifying to learn that Bayard Rustin, one of the heroes of the civil rights struggle, pacifist and homosexual, was so poisoned by anti-communist hatred that he gave his moral support to the farcical 1979 elections in which Smith tried to buck up his regime with a few pathetic Black puppets. It is alarming to think that so many American senators were willing to give this regime the benefit of the doubt, and that it took Jimmy Carter, Margaret Thatcher and Churchill's son in law to point out basic reality. While the chapters on business and mercenaries would undoubtedly have benefited from more systematic research (as Horne himself admits) there is much information about sanctions busting and the pathology of mercenary life. Horne is not able to provide much more than insinuations over whether the American government supported these mercenaries, but they were important, they did prolong the war, and it was alarmingly easy for the scum of the earth to cross the Atlantic. Considering that it was the official view of the United Nations and the United States that Rhodesia will still a part of the United Kingdom and the Salisbury regime in illegal rebellion against it, the government did give these people a surprisingly easy time (certainly more so than those who protested the Vietnam war and went into exile so as not to serve in it). Not a bad portait of a qualid episode of seventies diplomacy, but not good enough.

The Southern Connection
Gerald Horne shows clearly how the U.S.A. encouraged the White Population to defy international law and set up Rhodesia. It show the tragic role American mercenaries played in maintaining this state.

Excellent account of thre realities of the War
Gerald Horner provides an excellent account of the realities of the fight for liberation in Zimbabwe. The author takes a unique course to make his arguement, but in the end is very effective.
The revelation of the extent of the US's involvement in the war, as an extention of white supremist aspirations under the guise of fighting 'communism'. The book will provide a good basis for understanding the present circumstances in Zimbabwe.

Fire This Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s
Published in Paperback by DaCapo Press (1997)
Author: Gerald Horne
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Probably the best examination of the Watts uprising
Written with biting irony, Horne has produced the most comprehensive analysis of the Watts uprising to date. He examines that rebellion from a variety of angles, and gives the casualties of the repression a human face. This book will become required reading for any public policy course that deals with the urban unrest of the 1960s.

A story omitted
Gerald Horne's book, Fire This Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s is an extensive scholarly study into one of the United States' most violent riots and an event that characterized the civil unrest of the turbulent 1960s. Originally published by University Press of Virginia in 1995 and reprinted by Da Capo Press as a paperback in 1997, Fire This Time thoroughly examines the causes, conflict, impact, and meaning of the 1965 Watts Uprising. Horne, a noted black social historian, contends in his thesis that the Red Scare retarded Los Angeles' left based liberalism, once a progressive minded center of the working class in the United States. This move away from the left created a "vacuum that would be later filled by black nationalism" and eventually fueled the flames of the riot. Furthermore, this black nationalism manifested itself in the Nation of Islam, cultural nationalists, and the Black Panther party, all of which played a role throughout the uprising.(5)

Although Horne devoted some of his introduction to a brief survey of Los Angeles social history, he never made a convincing argument that the absence of a left based movement brought on by the Red Scare lead to black nationalism. This accusation coupled with the work's emphasis on class struggle gave the book a Marxist slant typical of many of the author's previous works. Instead, a more convincing argument might have been that racist attitudes and behaviors on the part of a white majority in the Los Angeles area resulted in South Central's devastated economic condition thereby leading to black nationalism. In the economic squalor of Watts, African Americans had no other recourse than to turn to themselves when society abandoned them. In essence, racism served as a catalyst for the emergence of the black nationalism that the author writes.

Horne chronicled the denigration of African Americans in Los Angeles by demonstrating the numerous ways in which government failed to treat them as equal. In chapter seven the author portrayed the Los Angeles Police Department as the "principal malefactor, the single offender in angering blacks to the point of insurrection. . . . [It operated] at the behest of the political and economic elites who administered the city." (134) Later, in chapter ten, the voting populous of the State of California betrayed blacks by passing the racially biased Proposition 14. This legislation repealed the Rumford Fair Housing Act in an effort to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods.(224) The remainder of this chapter describes the appalling housing, education, and religious opportunities afforded to blacks in Los Angeles thereby steering them toward black nationalism.

Horne superbly illustrated the importance of black nationalism's role in the 1965 uprising. He explained that due to years of repression and disenfranchisement African Americans had come to be stereotyped as the subordinated, dominated, or "female" race even behind Mexican and Asian Americans.(12) Black nationalism offered African Americans an identity the void of such stereotypes. In addition, black nationalism made no apology for being black and anti-white sentiments in Watts intensified. Organizations that celebrated black nationalism such as the Nation of Islam, gangs, and the Black Panther party grew in popularity along with a new cultural identity. Black organizations established in white society like the NAACP, with their lighter-skinned, middle-class leadership lost appeal.(13) The nonviolent message of Dr. Martin Luther King seemed diminished compared to the rising popularity of Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam.(102) Clearly, by 1965 black nationalism championed the view that African Americans were no longer the submissive race dominated by white society. Blacks tired of the long, slow civil right movement demanded taking back economically depressed neighborhoods for themselves.

The author's thorough academic research of the black nationalistic movement in Los Angeles brought a human characteristic to the story of Watts. The stories, in many cases tragedies, spoke of people affected by the riot and demonstrated an uprising directed against the LAPD and the "well-to-do."(340) A careful analysis of the events that followed the Watts Uprising showed a significant "white backlash" to the violence that propelled Ronald Reagan into the governor's mansion and eventually the White House.(281) Finally, Horne revealed that little changed since the 1965 revolt and the Rodney King Beating Trial of 1992 sparked similar civil unrest.(358)

The author extensively drew on the papers from Governor's Commission on the Los Angeles Riots and transcripts from the McCone panel both governmental studies into the uprising. Horne used records from various city and county agencies along with studies and oral histories from Southern California universities. The most valuable primary sources came from The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research which is located in what was once the curfew zone and is a depository of numerous historical facts on the Watts community. At this library, Horne collected oral histories from residents in conjunction with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the riot invaluable to his study.(423) Before the extensive notes the book is 364 pages and includes a map of Los Angeles and photographs from the period.

An Exceptionally Brilliant Work of Intellect and and Heart
Unequivocally there is no other treatment of urban racial unrest that can compare!

Black and Red: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Afro-American Response to the Cold War, 1944-1963 (Suny Series in Afro-American Society)
Published in Paperback by State Univ of New York Pr (1985)
Author: Gerald Horne
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Communist Front?: The Civil Rights Congress, 1946-1956
Published in Hardcover by Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Pr (1988)
Author: Gerald Horne
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Poverty, Democracy, and Macro Economic Management: The Case of Malawi
Published in Paperback by Sapes Books (1999)
Authors: M. L. C. Mkandawire and Gerald Horne
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Powell V. Alabama: The Scottsboro Boys and American Justice (Historic Supreme Court Cases)
Published in School & Library Binding by Franklin Watts, Incorporated (1900)
Author: Gerald Horne
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Race for the Planet: The U.S. and the New World Order
Published in Paperback by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company (1994)
Author: Gerald Horne
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