David Roediger: Writing Socialist History

This podcast features a talk by Professor David Roediger, Kendrick Babcock Chair of History and Afro-American Studes at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. A long-time scholar-activist, his books include The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class and How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon.

Roediger is introduced by Professor Nathan Godfried of the Department of History at the University of Maine.

Today’s talk focuses on Professor Roediger’s study of the life and work of his late friend and colleague, the labor activist and historian for the Industrial Workers of the World, Fred Thompson. Thompson died in 1987.

I found the discussion of Thompson’s years as a professor at Work People’s College in Duluth, Minnesota personally quite interesting. This was a labor school founded by radical Finns and operated for about fifty years from the 1920s to 1970.