Writings by Jesse Lemisch

In connection with the December 6, 2018 memorial event for Jesse, organizers of the event have created the following list of his writings that we were able to track down. If you know of additional writings, please contact us at jimobrien48@gmail.com.

In the first section of the list, consisting of articles that are available on-line, the ® symbol means that access is restricted, either by the publication itself or by an intermediary service such as JSTOR.

Articles Posted On-Line

“Who Won the Civil War, Anyway?” The Nation, April 3, 1961, pp. 300-302 (critique of the forthcoming Civil War centennial and the pro-Confederate bias in mainstream history)

“New Left Elitism,” Radical America (September-October 1967), pp. 43-53 (response to a critique of his “Towards a Democratic History” by Joan Scott and Donald Scott in the same issue)

 “Who Will Write a Left History of Art While We Are All Putting Our Balls on the Line?” (leaflet for the 1968 New University Conference meeting in Chicago, reproduced within a 2014 blog post) 

® “Jack Tar in the Streets: Merchant Seamen in the Politics of Revolutionary America,” William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 3 (July 1968), pp. 371-407 (See also the Books list)

® “Listening to the ‘Inarticulate’: William Widger’s Dream and the Loyalties of American Revolutionary Seamen in British Prisons,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Autumn 1969), pp. 1-29

“‘If You Gotta Ask, Man, You’ll Never Know,’” Independent Socialist, September 1969, p. 10

® “Radical Plot in Boston (1770): A Study in the Use of Evidence,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 84, No. 2 (December 1970), pp. 485-504 (review of The Boston Massacre by Hiller B. Zobel)

“The American Revolution Bicentennial and the Papers of Great White Men: A Preliminary Critique of Current Documentary Programs and Some Alternative Proposals,” American Historical Association Perspectives on History [formerly AHA Newsletter], November 1, 1971

® “The White Oaks, Jack Tar, and the Concept of the ‘Inarticulate’” [with John K. Alexander], William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 1 (January 1972), 109-142

“History, Complete with Historian,” New York Times Book Review, November 19, 1972 (review of Black Mountain by Martin Duberman)

® Naomi Weisstein and Jesse Lemisch, “Boogeyman’s Background,” Harper’s, January 1975

® “Syllabus: The Bicentennial of the American Revolution,” Radical History Review, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring 1976), pp. 61-62 

“‘Bicentennial Schlock’ Spoofs Tradition” [Not by Jesse but about him], New York Times, October 11, 1976

® “Bicentennial Schlock,” The New Republic, November 6, 1976, pp. 21-23 

® “Bailyn Besieged in His Bunker,” Radical History Review, Winter 1977, pp. 72-83

“I Dreamed I Saw MTV Last Night,” The Nation, October 8, 1986 (posted on-line by Louis Proyect after Jesse’s death)

“Lemisch Replies: The Politics of Left Culture,” The Nation, December 20, 1986 (response to letters criticizing his article “I Dreamed I Saw MTV Last Night”)

“Social Conservatism on the Left: The Abandonment of Radicalism and the Collapse of the Jewish Left into Faith and Family,” Tikkun, Vol. 4, No. 3 (May-June 1989), pp. 110-111 

“Radicals, Marxists, and Gentlemen: A Memoir of Twenty Years Ago,” Radical Historians Newsletter, No. 59 (November 1989) (on the 1969 American Historical Association annual meeting)

“Do They Want My Wife to Die?” New York Times op-ed, April 15, 1992

® “The First Amendment Is Under Attack in Cyberspace,” Chronicle of Higher Education, January 20, 1995

“Angry White Men on the Left; and No Exit: The Death of Utopia at the 1996 Socialist Scholars Conference,” Radical Historians Newsletter, No. 74 (June 1996)

“Angry White Men of the Left,” New Politics, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Winter 1997)

® “Anti-Impeachment Historians and the Politics of History,” Chronicle of Higher Education, December 4, 1998 

® “Film: Black Agency in the Amistad Uprising: Or, You’ve Taken Our Cinque and Gone,” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Culture, Politics, and Society, Vol. 1, No. 1 (1999)

“A Movement Begins: The Washington Protests Against the IMF/World Bank,” New Politics, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Summer 2000)

“Students for a Democratic Society, Heroically Portrayed, Before the Inexplicable Fall: Consensus History in a Left Film,” H-Labor, H-Net Reviews, March 2001

“Nader vs. the Big Rock Candy Mountain,” New Politics, Vol. 8 No. 3 (Summer 2001)

“2.5 Cheers for Bridging the Gap between Activism and the Academy,” History News Network, April 14, 2003

® “Historians, Repression, and the Iraq War,” New Politics, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Summer 2004)

“Hotchkiss in the Fifties: Myths and Realities,” History News Network, November 28, 2004

“Are Gilder and Lehrman Tilting American History to the Right? A Case in Point,” History News Network, November 7, 2004 (review of the New-York Historical Society’s exhibit on Alexander Hamilton)

“Art for the People? Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s ‘The Gates’” New Politics, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Summer 2005)

“Weather Underground Rises from the Ashes – They’re Baaack!” New Politics, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Summer 2006)

“About the Herbert Aptheker Sexual Revelations,” History News Network, October 6, 2006

“History at Yale in the Dark Ages, 1953-76,” History News Network, January 6, 2007

“Historians and Facebook: In the Halls of an Electronic AHA,” History News Network, June 14, 2008

“George Clooney’s Haiti – and Beyond,” New Politics website, January 23, 2010

“Professors as Welfare Queens?” Truthout.org, August 3, 2010 (critical review of a book by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus on higher education)

“New York City to Disabled: Take a Hike,” The Nation, January 11, 2011

“The New-York Historical Society Sinks to a New Low with a Black-Tie Gala for Henry Kissinger,” History News Network, October 23, 2011

“History Is Worth Fighting For, but Where Is the AHA,” History News Network, October 27, 2011

“A WPA for History: Occupy the American Historical Association,” New Politics website, January 4, 2012 (an expanded version of his talk on a panel at the January 2012 AHA annual meeting)

“Historians Respond to the New Republic’s Diatribe Against Howard Zinn,” Zinn Education Project, March 20, 2013 (short pieces by Jesse Lemisch, Staughton Lynd, and Robert Cohen)

® “Individual Statements on E. P. Thompson: Jesse Lemisch,” Labor / Le Travail, Fall 2013

“How a Famous 90-Year Doctor Survived Hospitalization, But You Probably Won’t,” Truthout.org, February 2, 2014

“Higham, Hofstadter and Woodward: Three Liberal Historians?” Guest post on the U.S. Intellectual History Blog, March 15, 2014

“Jesse Lemisch’s ‘Politics and Ideology in the American Historical Profession’ Now Available Free Online,” History News Network, posted March 24, 2014 (see On Active Service in War and Peace under Books)

“Steve Kindred (1944-2013) and University of Chicago Students for a Democratic Society: A Distinctive Strain within the New Left, Both Passionate and Reasoned,” New Politics website, May 17, 2014

“What Are Leftists Thinking,” History News Network, June 1, 2014 (impressions of the 2014 Left Forum in New York City)

“A Radical Historian’s 60th Reunion at Hotchkiss,” History News Network, June 22, 2014

“Naomi Weisstein: Psychology, Science, and Women’s Liberation,” Guest post on the U.S. Intellectual History Blog, March 9, 2017

“Eric Foner and Staughton Lynd: ‘Usable Past’ Reconsidered,” Guest post on the U.S. Intellectual History Blog, May 5, 2017


Books by Jesse or Including Essays by Him

L. Jesse Lemisch, ed.,Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings (New York: Signet Classics, 1961/ reprint 2014)

Barton J. Bernstein, ed., Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in American History (New York: Vintage Books, 1969). Includes Jesse Lemisch, “The American Revolution Seen from the Bottom Up” (pp. 3-43)

Jesse Lemisch, On Active Service in War and Peace: Politics and Ideology in the American Historical Profession (Toronto: New Hogtown Press, 1975).

Naomi Weisstein, Virginia Blaisdell, and Jesse Lemisch, The Godfathers: Freudians, Marxists, and the Scientific and Political Protection Societies (New Haven: Belladona Publishing, 1976)

Jesse Lemisch, Jack Tar vs. John Bull: The Role of New York’s Seamen in Precipitating the Revolution (New York: Garland, 1997) (Jesse’s 1962 PhD dissertation, published 35 years later, with foreword by Marcus Rediker.

In Search of Early America: The William and Mary Quarterly, 1943-1993 (Richmond: Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1993). (This book includes a reprint of “Jack Tar in the Streets,” chosen for this collection as one of the 11 most influential early American history articles of the half century; a postscript by Lemischis also included.)


Writings Not Currently Available On-Line or in Books

“Towards a Democratic History,” Radical Education Project Occasional Paper, February 1967

“Some Remarks on the Lemisch Case,” University of Chicago Maroon, May 19, 1967

“No Work for [Staughton] Lynd,” New University Conference Newsletter, May 24, 1968

“What Made Our Revolution?” New Republic, May 25, 1968, pp. 25-27 (review of The Origins of American Politics by Bernard Bailyn)

“A College Course in Women’s Liberation,” American Institute for Marxist Studies Newsletter, Vol. 6 Nos. 2, 3 (March-April, May-June, 1969)

“‘What’s Your Evidence’: Radical Scholarship as Scientific Method and Anti-Authoritarianism, Not ‘Relevance’” New University Conference Papers, No. 2 (1970)

“The Papers of a Few Great Black Men and a Few Great White Women,” Maryland Historian, 6 (1975), pp. 60-66 (follow-up to his influential 1971 article)  

“If Howard Cosell Can Teach at Yale, Why Can’t Herbert Aptheker?” Newsletter of the Radical Historians Caucus, No. 22 (May 1976) 

“A Statement in Support of the [Yale-Aptheker] Resolution,” Organization of American Historians Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1 (July 1976)

“Statement on Proposed Constitutional Changes” [with Eric Foner and Kathryn Kish Sklar], Organization of American Historians Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 2 (January 1978) 

“American History Seen Through a (No Longer) Red Lens: Present-Mindedness, Konyunkturschina, and the Divorce of Truth from Power,” Novaya i Noveishaya [New and Contemporary History] (Moscow), January-February 1992 

Jesse Lemisch and Naomi Weisstein, “How We Learned to Love Our White Rabbit Hats: Cornucopia Isn’t Consumerism,” Against the Current, January-February 1992, pp. 31-34