[Marxism] Franklin Rosemont

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Wed Apr 15 07:34:08 MDT 2009

I still cherish that surrealist collection from the 1970s.

My all-too-brief but very intense collaboration with Franklin and
Penny revolved around our noble attempt to revive the Charles H. Kerr
Company as a broad, independent radical publishing house.  This was so
much more ambitious than the times and the state of the movement could
have realized, but the company survived and the project was well worth
the attempt.

The thing really loved about Franklin was his almost child-like
curiosity about damned near everything in the range of human
experience.  If you went out for a coffee with him, you never knew if
you'd wind up discussing surrealism, the revolutionary impact of
printing, Lenin's views on hydroelectric power, early American labor
history, etc.  His father was a remarkable working class intellectual,
an unaffiliated labor radical of the old school, typical of what you'd
find in the printers' unions back in the day.  When Henry Rosemont
joined the Typographical Union in California, there were still people
around who remembered Henry George and the Haymarket anarchists....

It imparted a kind of intellectual fearlessness that's become too rare
in an age of television (which, when I knew them, they steadfastly
refused to have in their house).

During my time working with the Rosemonts, their intellectual energy
sparked a lot of what I've found myself revisiting over the next
thirty years....  I wish that close collaboration would have been of
longer duration, but am grateful for what time I had with them.

There's certainly a bit of what I took away from the collaboration in
almost everything I've subsequently done, unexpected surprises...like
a locomotive roaring out of a fireplace...


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