Maurice Isserman

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Maurice Isserman

Template:TOCnestleft Maurice Isserman teaches history at Hamilton College. A Democratic Socialists of America member, he is author of If I Had a Hammer: The Death of the Old Left and Birth of the New and co-author of Dorothy Healey Remembers: A Life in the American Communist Party[1].

"Socialism in America" conference

In late 1984, more than 700 people attended a conference at Princeton "Socialism in America" to mark the centenary of the birth of Norman Thomas.

The conference was organized by historians Gary Gerstle, Peter Mandler and Sean Wilentz.

Speaker included Michael Harrington, Maurice Isserman, Irving Howe, H. L. Mitchell, Millie Jeffrey, Harry Fleischman, Ben McLaurin, and Frances Fox Piven. [2]

DSA member

In 1989, Maurice Isserman was a member of Democratic Socialists of America. [3]

Communist Party history

Maurice Isserman of Democratic Socialists of America , a "respected historian of the left" at Hamilton College, has written Which Side Are You On?: The American Communist Party in the Second World War; If I Had a Hammer, The Death of the Old Left and Birth of the New Left; and The Civil War of the 1960s, with coauthor Michael Kazin.[4]

DSA’s Cuba Letter

Maurice Isserman signed an April 2003 Statement on Cuba, initiated and circulated[5] by prominent Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Leo Casey, calling for the lifting of trade sanctions against Cuba.

“a statement circulating among democratic left/socialist folks, largely by members of Democratic Socialists of America, condemning the recent trials and convictions of non-violent dissenters in Cuba”.

The petition criticized Cuba's poor human rights record, but shared the blame for Cuba's problems with reactionary elements of the U.S. administration...

The democratic left worldwide has opposed the U.S. embargo on Cuba as counterproductive, more harmful to the interests of the Cuban people than helpful to political democratization. The Cuban state's current repression of political dissidents amounts to collaboration with the most reactionary elements of the U.S. administration in their efforts to maintain sanctions and to institute even more punitive measures against Cuba.

Many of the petition's 120 odd signatories were known members of DSA.

"Continental Divide"

Maurice Isserman , a member of Democratic Socialists of America, is the author of Continental Divide, A History of American Mountaineering, W.W. Norton & Company, 2016. Through mountaineering, Isserman explores the creation of the National Parks Service and the modern environmentalist movement.[6]

Democratic Socialists of America Unity

Maurice Isserman supported the Democratic Socialists of America Unity grouping, established for the 2017 Democratic Socialists of America National Convention in Chicago.[7]

NYC-DSA Socialist Day School

May 12th and May 13th, 2017, NYC-DSA will host a Socialist Day School that will investigate the influence these historical movements have on our current moment and what lessons we can learn as activists and organizers fighting for socialism today.

Speakers include: Jabari Brisport, Meghan Brophy, Maurice Isserman, Dan La Botz, Mark Levitan, Joseph Luders, Bob Master, Nivedita Majumdar, Yotam Marom, Maxine Phillips, Frances Fox Piven, Rene Rojas, Kristin Schall, Joseph Schwartz, Gay Semel, Reg Wilson.[8]

Stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

We Stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a 2018 letter signed by several Democratic Socialists of America members mainly from the DSA North Star in response to attacks on Ocasio-Cortez over remarks she made on Palestine.

A recent petition circulated by some DSA members criticizes Ocasio-Cortez for supporting a two state solution to the Palestine-Israel question and not aligning with a long list of demands regarding Palestine and Israel. Should Ocasio-Cortez fail to agree with this list of demands, the petitioners are calling for DSA to revoke her endorsement. These attacks on Ocasio-Cortez have come despite the fact that she has staked out positions which will make her one of the strongest advocates of Palestinian rights and self-determination in Congress.
We stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The position she has taken on Israel and Palestine are principled stances, worthy of a democratic socialist, in its recognition of both Palestinian humanity and rights and Israeli humanity and rights. On this issue, as many, she will be a voice for the voiceless in Congress.

Signatures included Maurice Isserman.[9]

DSA North Star


In 2018 Maurice Isserman was an original signatory of the DSA North Star founding principles statement.