[Marxism] Re: Los Angeles working class movements

Brian Shannon brian_shannon at verizon.net
Tue Apr 11 19:39:30 MDT 2006

If the west coast Peoples World, published from the 1930s well into  
the 1960s and perhaps longer, is on microfilm, that may be your best  
source. It had some excellent writers and, although affected by the  
politics of the Communist Party, many of its contributors were  

I don't have a copy of Art Preis's Labor's Giant Step, which is a  
revolutionary socialist history of the rise of the CIO. It may not be  
as strong regarding the West Coast as the Mid-West and Eastern  
seaboards. However, the footnotes and other references may lead you  
in the right direction.

Another source to check out would be the leading labor papers of the  
West Coast. I would guess that they are well maintained although not  
on microfilm. The better ones would not have confined their articles  
to their own union.

Finally, the Los Angeles Times is now on ProQuest. ProQuest has a  
complete archive of several of the major newspapers in in the  
country. Almost all college libraries, and perhaps some of the bigger  
public ones (less likely but possible), will have this available on  
their computers. Using this program, you can search for specific  
events, issues or individuals. Be sure to look at the search  
protocols; they are not entirely the same as some others. The  
problem, of course, is that you can't save the article on your own  
personal computer for future work. You will have to take notes.

But if you are doing research you would have to take notes anyway.  
And the college libraries during the normal academic year are open  
ungodly hours.

Once you set up a search protocol that seems to work, you should  
write it down. Then return at your leisure to redo your search  
without having to recall your refinements. Best would be to get a  
student to allow you to use his or her access. That way you can  
access it from home and save the pdf files.

You can't treat these files like normal pdf files. By that I mean  
that you can't highlight text and then paste it into a world- 
processing program. It is just an image. Another problem is that not  
all search engines work the same. I have found that Safari is  
completely inadequate. It saves the files only in a Preview form,  
which restricts your enlargement and print options. Netscape  
(Macintosh) works fine.

Using a student's access is cheating of course. If, however, you have  
low morals and find a pliant student to help you, the biggest problem  
may be that it would give you access to the student's e-mails.  
Perhaps they wouldn't be aware of that or not mind because they live  
uninteresting lives and have uninteresting friends or best of all  
trust you not to spy.

Brian Shannon

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