Author Nichols to address ‘Socialism in America’

Nationally known political writer and journalist John Nichols will address the topic “Socialism in America” as the next installment in UW-Green Bay’s long-running Historical Perspectives Lecture Series.

Nichols’ talk, free and open to the public, takes place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 in the Christie Theatre of the UW-Green Bay University Union.

Nichols has worked as associate editor of The Capital Times newspaper in Madison since 1993 and is a contributing writer for The Progressive and The Nation magazines. He is regarded as one of Wisconsin’s best-known progressive political voices. The late author Gore Vidal once said of him, “Of all the giant slayers now afoot in the great American desert, John Nichols’ sword is the sharpest.”

Nichols’ work has appeared in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune, among others. He has appeared on “Bill Moyers Now” and has been a regular contributor to MSNBC with appearance on the Ed Schulz and Chris Hayes commentary shows.

In his March 24 talk at UW-Green Bay, it is expected Nichols will discuss themes presented in his 2011 book The ‘S’ Word: A Short History of An American Tradition… Socialism. In it, he argued that while the words “socialist” and “socialism” have become widely used as smear terms in American politics, the actual application of socialist principles is rather widely accepted. Many of its concepts, Nichols writes, remain alive and well in programs including Social Security and the “sewer socialism” that stressed public works projects and the common good in U.S. cities including Milwaukee.

Nichols’ most recent book, Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America, co-authored with media critic Robert W. McChesney, examines what they view as the way big money and special interests are challenging the DNA of American democracy. Nichols also is the author of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street.

The lecture series is the foremost activity of the Center for History and Social Change. First organized in 1985, the series brings in a wide variety of historians and social scientists who speak on relevant issues. It is made possible thanks to funds from the University, the Democracy and Justice Studies Student Organization, the UW-Green Bay University League and the UW-Green Bay Founders Association. Supporters hope to create an endowment for continued support of the lecture series.

The Center for History and Social Change promotes historical thought, study and discourse at UW-Green Bay and in the larger community through lectures, seminars and other campus events. It is associated most directly with the University’s academic program in Democracy and Justice Studies, and pursues its activities in relation to that program’s goals. It also works closely with other academic programs to reinforce and support UW-Green Bay’s interdisciplinary mission.


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