Julie Jacobson

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 11 11:44:26 MST 2003


I found out this morning that Julius Jacobson died on Saturday. There
should be some note in the NY Times - not sure who is handling that.

Julie, whom I knew from the late 1950's when I moved to New York City,
had been a close associate of Max Shachtman and was the editor the
theoretical journal of the Trotskyist Independent Socialist League (I am
fairly sure the name was "The New Internationalist" - but not positive).

After Shachtman entered the Socialist Party in 1958 (approximate date)
and began to shift to the far right, Julie and his wife, Phyllis, along
with a number of other's - Hal Draper, Sam Bottone, etc. - left the
Socialist Party (they had joined with Max) and pursued left politics in
independent ways. For many years Julie and Phyllis have managed to put
out New Politics, a solid independent socialist journal.  Julie had been
hampered in recent years by the illness of Phyllis, who had suffered a
stroke. The magazine, which tried to be a quarterly (often failing,
limited by finances), was genuinely independent and left - something of
a rarity at a time when Dissent had long since drifted into academic
respectability.

I had not known he had been ill this past year and don't have
information at this time on plans for the Memorial - though I will relay
it as soon as I have it.

Once, some years ago when I had been on the Editorial Board of New
Politics, and after the death of Shachtman, I said New Politics couldn't
ignore his death and needed to try in some way to publish some
"accounting", and that this wasn't a task for me, since I'd never been
in the ISL, but that Julie should try it.

He surprised me with a wonderful obituary titled "the two deaths of Max
Shachtman" which summed up his best years and his most important
contributions, then documented his "first death" as he drifted toward
support of Washington. And, of course, the "second death". It was in the
best of the Trotskyist tradition from which Julie had come - objective,
free of bitterness.

In the death of Julie Jacobson, the Left has lost a solid rock.

Fraternally, David McReynolds

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