Speaking in Chicago Next Monday

I’m speaking in Chicago next Monday evening, talking about my new book on the Obama phenomenon at the Open University of the Left, which is meeting at the Lincoln Park Library on the North Side. 

Please no lame excuses for not attending, like, "I live in England"  … I just found a roundtrip ticket from London to Chicago and back for $769, so I mean, really…

Here”s the OUL announcement:


PAUL STREET: Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics

September 8, Monday, 6:45 PM

Lincoln Park Library

1150 W Fullerton

1 block west of Fullerton Red Line

Bike rack, free parking in adjacent lot

Author Paul Street’s acclaimed new book examines candidate Obama in relation to contemporary issues of class, race, war, and empire. The adherence to long-prevailing power structures and party doctrines demonstrates that Obama is no magical exception to the narrow-spectrum electoral system and ideological culture that have done so much to define and limit the American political tradition. Yet, there are ways in which Obama potentially advances democratic transformation.

Now based in Iowa City, Paul Street was a civil rights researcher and advocate on the south side of Chicago (2000–2005), and served as a campaign activist in Iowa during the long and critical Iowa primary (caucus) season of 2007–2008. He thus has considerable direct experience with the history and relevance of the Obama phenomenon. He was Director of Research and Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League from 2000 to 2005. Previous publications include Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: A Living Black Chicago History (New York: Rowman & Littlefield 2007); Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post–Civil Rights Era (New York: Routledge 2005); and Empire and Inequality: America and the World since 9/11 (Boulder: Paradigm 2004).

"All those interested in truth rather than seduction should read urgently this wise book by Paul Street, who peels away the mask of the ‘Obama phenomenon’ and reveals power as it is, not as many of us wish it to be."
—John Pilger, Director of the film, The War on Democracy

"That the Obama phenomenon is of considerable significance in American social and political history should hardly be in doubt. But what exactly is it, and where might it lead? This lucid and penetrating book situates it firmly within the ‘corporate-dominated and militaristic U.S. elections system and political culture,’ explores in depth its substantive content and its limits, and draws valuable lessons about how these might be transcended in the unending struggle to achieve a more just and free society and a peaceful world. It is a very welcome contribution in complex and troubled times." —Noam Chomsky

"Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics is a much needed burst of clear, brisk conceptual air that cuts through the fog of fantasy and wish-fulfillment. His meticulously researched, carefully argued analysis of Obama’s career and his politics performs an important task of demystification. It is also an eloquent and bracing reminder that progressive agendas will not be advanced through vesting hopes and aspirations in candidate-centered politics, that there is no quick and easy substitute for the task of building a serious, institutionally grounded, working-class based political movement —from the bottom up and top down." —Adolph Reed Jr., University of Pennsylvania

Chicago Cable Access Network will tape this event for broadcast.

Co-sponsors: Open University of the Left, Democratic Socialists of America-Chicago, Chicago Socialist Party, Solidarity-Chicago Chapter, New World Resource Center

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