Mike Marqusee

Mike MarquseeMike Marqusee 1953–2015, wrote a regular column for Red Pepper, 'Contending for the Living', and authored a number of books on the politics of culture, on topics ranging from cricket to Bob Dylan.

From the archives: A victim of America—Muhammad Ali and the war against terrorism November 2014

When Hollywood bosses were asked by the Bush administration to do their bit in the 'war on terrorism', they signed up eagerly – and they came up with the notion of getting much-loved former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali to promote US policy. Mike Marqusee tells the story (first published March 2002)

William Frend: A radical to remember August 2014

Frend's founding texts of the British anti-war movement deserve to be better-known, writes Mike Marqusee – and that was just the beginning of his work

Macmillan Cancer Support gets it wrong, big-time July 2014

The charity tries not to be 'political' – but it is embracing a highly ideological privatisation initiative, writes Mike Marqusee

Uneven playing fields June 2014

Enjoyment of mega-sporting events such as the World Cup and critique of their context can and should go hand in hand, writes Mike Marqusee

Anyone but Ingerland? June 2014

From the archives: Mark Perryman puts the case for flying the St George cross at the World Cup, while Mike Marqusee explains why he'll be rooting for any other country to win it (Published in issue 142, June 2006)

The price of experience June 2014

The personal is political in this extract from Mike Marqusee's new book of writings on living with cancer

Past visions, future dreams March 2014

While art is always the product of a particular social and historical context, it cannot be reduced to that context, writes Mike Marqusee – not if it is of any lasting value

Why I am an unrepentant Bennite March 2014

Mike Marqusee remembers one of the great modern communicators of the socialist cause

The British anti-war movement should be standing with anti-war protesters in Russia March 2014

The argument against Western imperialism can only be strengthened by a firm opposition to other imperialisms, argues Mike Marqusee

Fifty years ago, Cassius Clay ‘shook up the world’ by winning the heavyweight title – and embracing the Nation of Islam February 2014

Mike Marqusee remembers the victory of the underdog who became Muhammad Ali – and how it wasn't just sport's hierarchies that were rocked by it

Conscience little stirred February 2014

It took many decades and much bitter argument before the British left embraced the Palestinian cause, writes Mike Marqusee

‘If not now, when?’ On BDS and ‘singling out’ Israel… January 2014

It's not possible to campaign against any injustice anywhere without 'singling it out', argues Mike Marqusee

Held hostage by Big Pharma: a personal experience November 2013

Mike Marqusee looks at how drug firms can make huge profits from their state-enforced monopoly on an essential good

A party to dream of September 2013

When the left alternative goes unvoiced, the real choices unposed, democracy is drained of content, writes Mike Marqusee. That's why we need a new party of the left

World’s longest running industrial dispute sets example for us all September 2013

A group of council workers in South Africa have been fighting for 19 years, writes Mike Marqusee

Us and them: how the far right feed off the racism of the mainstream September 2013

Contrary to right-wing myth, Britain’s imperial past goes largely unexamined, so its assumptions remain active in forming our views, writes Mike Marqusee

NHS financial squeeze is a contrived crisis July 2013

Mike Marqusee says the problems at Barts health trust are caused by attempts to make impossible levels of cuts – while handing billions to private firms

‘An hereditary crown! A transmissible throne! What a notion!’ July 2013

Mike Marqusee notes Thomas Paine’s views on the ‘master-fraud’ of monarchy

We could have won! July 2013

Mike Marqusee looks back at the rate-capping revolt of the 1980s, and how close it came to victory

The People’s Assembly – an absentee contribution June 2013

Mike Marqusee looks at the choices and debates this Saturday's People's Assembly will face

Brushing history against the grain May 2013

We can’t decipher the present without examining its foundations in the battles of the past, writes Mike Marqusee

Thinking beyond boundaries March 2013

Mike Marqusee on the importance of C L R James' Beyond a Boundary - beyond cricket

Dare to fail, dare to win December 2012

Only by accepting that we may fail will we take the risks that may lead to a better world, argues Mike Marqusee

The second revolution: 1792 December 2012

The year 1792 saw demands for social democracy and equality create a revolutionary impulse felt far beyond France, writes Mike Marqusee

Politics, our missing link September 2012

A movement without an electoral intervention is doomed to lose out, argues Mike Marqusee

A critical perspective on the Olympic enterprise August 2012

Mike Marqusee argues that the ceaseless injunction to consume, cheer and celebrate the Olympics has made the enjoyment of competitive sport something it is not and never should be – mandatory

Olympics: The Games turned upside down July 2012

The famous clenched-fists image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos protesting against black oppression at the 1968 Olympics is worth revisiting as London 2012 presents us with a regime of licensed private dictatorship, writes Mike Marqusee

Beyond church and state April 2012

‘Religion’ and ‘secularism’ are not mutually exclusive categories, writes Mike Marqusee. Secularists need to focus more on the shared, public realm that has been eviscerated by neoliberalism

Broader horizons April 2012

Mike Marqusee asks: are the emerging forms of resistance up to the challenge?

Streets of the imagination October 2011

At the front of the crowd in the ‘Gordon riots’ of 1780, William Blake would have seen much that he recognised in the events of this summer, writes Mike Marqusee

This is what Swazi democracy looks like September 2011

Protest is escalating in Africa's last absolute monarchy reports Mike Marqusee

The bedrock of autonomy August 2011

A life beyond illness rests on a delicate and complex web, writes Mike Marqusee

Let’s talk utopia July 2011

It’s utopian thinking, not grim pragmatism, that best informs and inspires the struggle for a better society, argues Mike Marqusee

Palestine’s wandering poet April 2011

Mike Marqusee on Mahmoud Darwish, the poet of the Palestinian people

A vicarious potency April 2011

In the case of Libya, liberal interventionists ignore the history of imperialism and the realities of power, writes Mike Marqusee

Biblical justice February 2011

The bible’s social vision isn’t as simple as many think – this contradictory book can be as radical as it is repressive, writes Mike Marqusee

Spreading the pain November 2010

Patients need health workers to take action on their behalf, says Mike Marqusee

An idealist and a sceptic September 2010

In his best work, director John Ford depicted a complex world through the lens of an understated but powerful critique says Mike Marqusee

Small country, big struggle August 2010

Mike Marqusee has just returned from a visit with trade unionists and democracy activists in Swaziland

No turning back August 2010

To respond effectively to the coming onslaught, we will have to engage with a deep crisis of working class confidence. To do so requires not only vigorous, unapologetic counter-propaganda, but collective action

A living gallery of resistance July 2010

Against the Wall: The Art of Resistance in Palestine by William Parry (Pluto), reviewed by Mike Marqusee

Fighting a protean force June 2010

Pretending that it's not racism that motivates the BNP vote, or that we can defeat the BNP simply by proposing a left alternative, is to misunderstand the nature of racism in Britain today

The left lacuna May 2010

Before even a vote is cast, the left's failure in the coming election is an established fact. Elections aren't everything, but they do matter and we should start working now to ensure that there is a meaningful left alternative at the one after next, writes Mike Marqusee

Anything but background music January 2010

It's often said that flamenco is not political because it dwells exclusively on the individual. That seems to imply a narrow definition of both the political and the personal, writes Mike Marqusee

Busting the straitjacket January 2010

Rolling back the new 'common sense' of spending cuts may seem like a difficult job, but it's not impossible, says Mike Marqusee

The politics of cancer November 2009

Mike Marqusee argues that the 'war on cancer' is a misplaced metaphor for what is as much a political as a medical issue

The other India October 2009

Mike Marqusee reviews Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy by Arundhati Roy

Tom Paine, restless democrat June 2009

This June marks the bicentenary of the death of a man who was buried in obscurity but whose ideas are today claimed by everyone from anarchists to neoliberals. Mike Marqusee celebrates the life, work and ideas of the great revolutionary who declared that 'my country is the world and my religion is to do good'

Contending for the living May 2009

In the first of a new regular column for Red Pepper, Mike Marqusee finds hope for a new internationalism in the actions of South African dockworkers and their allies

No redemption March 2009

Mike Marqusee talks to 'Red Riding' quartet author David Peace about 'GB84', his dark novel on the 1984 miners' strike

The US and Israel February 2009

Behind Israel stands the richest and most powerful nation on earth. Without material support from the US, the onslaught on Gaza would not be possible, writes Mike Marqusee

Who’s afraid of the Indian Premier League? June 2008

Mike Marqusee on why it's just not cricket anymore

1968 The mysterious chemistry of social change April 2008

The last thing the legacy of 1968 needs is nostalgic commemoration, writes Mike Marqusee. Even as it was happening, it was being packaged for consumption. Nor should we celebrate it in the name of some abstract spirit of resistance. It was a year of contradictions and confusions, many of which continue to confront anyone who wants to take part in a movement for radical change

Anti-semitism and the Israel lobby April 2008

In this extract from his book, If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew, Mike Marqusee says that no one should be deterred from criticising the Israel lobby by charges of anti-semitism

The Tet Offensive 40 years on February 2008

The end of January 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of an event that astonished the world, changed the course of history, and remains pregnant with lessons for today. In the early hours of 31 January 1968, soldiers of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam and the Army of North Vietnam launched what came to be known as the Tet Offensive (it coincided with Tet Nguyen Dan, the lunar new year) against the US occupiers and their puppet government, writes Mike Marqusee

Veiled threats November 2006

Multiculturalism has been getting the blame for the alleged lack of integration of minority groups into British society. It isn't beyond criticism, but neither is it the main cause of social division. That's down to racism and economic inequality, writes Mike Marqusee

An empire in denial October 2005

Mike Marqusee looks at the long history of US politicians' denial of their country's imperial reach

Telling a different story October 2005

Kim Longinotto was one of this year's Cannes film festival prizewinners for her documentary about African women using the law to establish their rights. She talked to Mike Marqusee about making films that are on the side of those who stand up to tradition and authority

Attacking the outside agitators September 2005

Throughout the 1960s, volunteers who joined the struggle for African-American civil rights in the US southland were denounced as 'outside agitators.' The white establishment accused them of stirring up the local blacks, who of course would otherwise have remained content with their lot.

Rocking for revolution November 2004

Steve Earle is the foremost political songwriter in the US today, and his new album an unapologetic intervention in the presidential election.

The lessons of Abu Ghraib June 2004

The images of occupying troops torturing and abusing Iraqi detainees are a challenge to every British and US citizen. These horrors are being perpetrated in our name, and unless we act to stop them we are culpable. But to stop them, we have to understand them, along with the other horrors taking place in Iraq: the collective punishment of Falluja; the shooting of civilians; the raids by US and British troops on Iraqi homes; the detention of thousands of Iraqis without charge or trial; the slow progress in restoring basic services.

The Politics of Bob Dylan November 2003

The protest songs for which Bob Dylan is most famous were written in a 20-month burst in the early 1960s. Within a year Dylan had turned his back on them - not in renunciation of politics, argues Mike Marqusee, but to pursue a deeper kind of radicalism

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