Issue #3! Our publication schedule has been irregular, sure, but here we are, back again.
We feature Mary Lawlor’s excerpt of her memoir, Fighter Pilot’s Daughter (Rowman & Littlefield), an anguished account of climbing down from the parapets of empire and confronting the Cold War as personified by her father. She introduces the excerpt by meditating on some surprises the book has offered since its publication. (The paperback edition is in production!)
We also feature a fresh take on Mad Men from Jeremy Varon, which captures both our fascinations and our frustrations with this show. He digs into its political unconscious, and comes out alive. I’m not sure the rest of us will survive another viewing, but with Varon as my guide, I’m willing to rewind.
Lisa Benisti then leads us cinematically along Jerusalem’s Street of the Prophets as if space were time. She conjures a past that is not even past, no matter what the material evidence might tell us.
Mike Fennell follows with an angry review of Edward Baptist’s prize-winning book on antebellum slavery. He argues that its premise—that slaveholders increased the productivity and output of their labor force by torture—is preposterous, and that the displacement of Eugene Genovese’s work on the social relations of goods production under slavery can’t be good for historical consciousness or political activism.
John McClure writes again for us about what Podemos means for the future both of Spain and of Greece. The question he keeps asking is how a Left engaged in parliamentary politics can keep its programmatic integrity. Or rather, can the Left claim such a property and still address its electorate in good faith? It’s a question the recent debacle of Syriza has raised in a way that must give us pause, make us wonder.
Greg Renoff, the author of the forthcoming Van Halen Rising, is a professor who gave up tenure to become a trade book writer. I asked him to tell us why and how he did so. Here’s his story. Look for his book in October!
James Livingston—that would be me—writes about foreign policy once again, this time about the pivot to Iran and its implications.
And Bruce Robbins, the associate editor of P/L, contributes an interview with Dana Yahalomi, brilliant director of the Israeli political theater group “Public Movement.” The interview is an outtake from his documentary, Some of My Best Friends Are Zionists.
The music is by The Last Drummers, one of whom is teaching me how to play that conga, and Moral Hazard, one of whom is me. I write the songs, sing them, and play rhythm guitar. Matt Friedman, the managing editor of P/L and a musical genius, plays all the other instruments, keyboards included, and does the arrangements. He’s our producer, in every sense.