Ghost of Tom Joad
I'm teaching in Labor Studies at Penn State and the University of Illinois in on-line classes. I've been continuing with my work as freelance writer, with my immediate aim to complete a book on corporate media coverage of globalization (tentatively titled The Giant Sucking Sound: How Corporate Media Swallowed the Myth of Free Trade.) I write frequently for Z, The Progressive Magazine's on-line site, The Progressive Populist, Madison's Isthmus alternative weekly, and a variety of publications including Yes!, The Progressive, Foreign Policy in Focus, and several websites. I've been writing a blog on labor issues for workinginthesetimes.com, turning out over 300 pieces in the past four years.My work specializes in corporate globalization, labor, and healthcare reform... I've been a progressive activist since the age of about 17, when I became deeply affected by the anti-war and civil rights movements. I entered college at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee just days after watching the Chicago police brutalize anti-war demonstrators at the Democratic Convention of 1968. I was active in a variety of "student power" and anti-war activities, highlighted by the May, 1970 strike after the Nixon's invastion of Cambodia and the massacres at Kent State and Jackson State. My senior year was capped by Nixon's bombing of Haiphong Harbor and the occupation of a university building, all in the same week I needed to finish 5-6 term papers to graduate, which I managed somehow. My wife Carolyn Winter, whom I met in the Wisconsin Alliance, and I have been together since 1975, getting officially married 10/11/81. Carolyn, a native New Yorker, has also been active for social justice since her youth (she attended the famous 1963 Civil Rights march where Dr. King gave his "I have a dream speech"). We have two grown children, Lane (with wife Elaine and 11-year-old grandson Zachary, who introduced poker to his classmates during recess) living in Chicago and Rachel (who with her husband Michael have the amazing Talia Ruth,5, who can define "surreptitious" for you) living in Asbury Park, NJ. My sister Francie lives down the block from me. I'm a native of the once-heavily unionized industrial city of Racine, Wis. (which right-wingers sneeringly labeled "Little Moscow" during the upheavals of the 1930's), and both my grandfathers were industrial workers and Socialists. On my father's side, my grandfather was fired three times for Socialist or union activity. His family lost their home at one point during the Depression. My mom's father was a long-time member of UAW Local 72 at American Motors, where he worked for more than 30 years. Coming from impoverished families, my parents met through a very low-cost form of recreation: Racine's Hiking Club.