Below is a review by the Iran Book News Agency of The Changing Face of U.S. Politics: Working-Class Politics and the Trade Unions, published in Iran by Talaye Porsoo, which translated the Pathfinder Press book into Farsi from the original English. The semiofficial news agency published the review Oct. 25, and an excerpt from the book appeared in its “One Page Out of Thousands” column Nov. 1. Translation of the review is by the Militant.
BY SAMIRA SARKHANZADEH
The Changing Face of U.S. Politics: Working-Class Politics and the Trade Unions seeks to show its readers how workers in their millions, through intensifying their political struggles, will revolutionize their unions and all of society.
Authored by Jack Barnes, the book describes the unfolding events that began with the 1974-75 world economic downturn, the first generalized recession since the 1930s. Within this framework the author examines the social consequences as well as the actual and potential resistance by working people.
Shohreh Izadi [of Talaye Porsoo Publications] decided to translate this book because rarely does one find books that tell the story from within the United States and attempt to place social developments there in the context of world and historic events.
Readers will find issues deep in American society that are novel and little known — issues that are generated by the social and historic interactions of sections of that society.
Jack Barnes has been politically active since the early 1960s and in this work he presents a summary of his and his comrades’ experiences. As national secretary of the Socialist Workers Party, Barnes has endeavored from the early 1970s to build communist parties in the U.S. and other countries.
As explained in the introduction, The Changing Face of U.S. Politics “is a handbook for the generations of workers coming into factories, mines, and mills in the last half of the 1990s, workers who will react to the increasingly uncertain life, ceaseless turmoil, and brutality that will accompany the arrival of the twenty-first century.”
In other words, the book is a guide for the workers in their millions whose intensifying resistance to these ever-deteriorating conditions will raise their class consciousness and, before they are finished, will revolutionize the unions and all of society.
This new edition of the book is a guide for young people who are increasingly discontented with the racism, inequality of women, and other social ills — which, as a result of capitalist exploitation and oppression on a world scale, continually reproduce themselves and weigh heavily on them.
The Changing Face of U.S. Politics: Working-Class Politics and the Trade Unions, written on the basis of working-class experiences in the last 20 years, reflects the hard-won lessons of that section of the working class that is disciplined, conscious, and revolutionary.
The most important point the book poses is why it is the working class — who own no major instruments of production — who can inspire their allies and lead humanity out of the crises endemic to capitalism.
The pages of this book contain explanations for the changing face of U.S. politics, which concretely began early in the 1970s following a long period of economic growth after the Second World War. The author reminds us that the collapse of the New York Stock Market on Oct. 19, 1987, signaled the accelerating rate of decline of capitalism — a fall that literally became global overnight.
The capitalists unleash an unrelenting war, at times open at times hidden, against the health, safety, unionization, and human spirit of the working class. The bosses are constantly pressing to lower wages and benefits.
The collected knowledge in this book may be considered a short prologue to an objective study of strategic and tactical tasks that have fallen on the shoulders of the labor unions.
The fact that the book has been translated into French, Greek, Spanish, and Swedish shows the author’s ability, because of his concrete experiences, to provide a multidimensional, comprehensive, and above all a reflective analysis of unfolding events inside America that is interacting with the trends of modern times.
Barnes has been active for more than half a century in organizing and leading political efforts in defense of the socialist revolution in Cuba. In 1965 he was elected the national chairperson of the Young Socialist Alliance, and at the same time he undertook responsibility to guide the Young Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Workers Party in activities in the widening anti-Vietnam War movement in the U.S. and internationally.
Barnes has been a member of the National Committee of the Socialist Workers Party since 1963 and since 1969 has been a national officer of the party. He is a contributing editor of New International magazine.
The translator — through her accurate comprehension of the text and by choosing to use uncomplicated words — has succeeded in conveying the concepts of the book to the readers. In lucid language, she has related the story of workers revolution.
Talaye Porsoo Publications has published The Changing Face of U.S. Politics: Working-Class Politics and the Trade Unions in a run of 1,000 copies, 233 pages, 9,000 tomans [$3].
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