Thursday, April 21, 2016

How I miss Tony Judt


"Tony Judt was an inspiration: an intellectual Titan, a fierce warrior, a brilliant orator, a charismatic public intellectual. To be sure, he was all of the above. But he never set out to attain any of those accolades. He just wanted to say what he thought had to be said and say it until people noticed"
The Observor newspaper 

Six years have passed since the death of Tony Judt, the distinguished historian, public intellectual, political commentator, essayist and author.  His words, ideas and invigorating presence are missed in these troubled and dystopian times.

Judt was a speaker of unfashionable truths about history and the contemporary politics of Europe, America, and Israel. He was an outspoken critic of conventional wisdom and intellectual and academic dogma on many issues, including political and economic issues, social policy, American foreign policy, the war on terror, global politics, the future of Europe and the state of Israel. For his staunch criticism of Israel he was vilified and attacked.

Tony Judt died, aged 62, on 6th August 2010, just 2 years after he was diagnosed with  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS is a progressive motor-neuron disease that causes the central nervous system to degenerate. Over time, patients lose the ability to move their bodies, but retain full control over their minds.

Judt once described the effects of the disease as "progressive imprisonment without parole."

Within months of the symptoms appearing in 2008 he was paralyzed and unable to breathe without mechanical assistance.

Despite his illness, he produced some of his finest work during that time. 

He wrote the book Ill Fares the Land, a searing critique of market fundamentalism and the way we live today and an argument for a politics and economics shaped by ideas of progressive social democracy.

Judt argued that we face the terrifying prospect of perpetual insecurity and growing inequality as a result of the triumph of corporate power and market capitalism.

How prescient he was. Judt wrote:

"For 30 years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest. ... The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears 'natural' today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth-creation, the cult of privatization and the private sector, the growing disparities [between] rich and poor. And above all, the rhetoric which accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets, disdain for the public sector, the delusion of endless growth."

Judt warned of a “new age of insecurity”- which has come to fruition. If social democracy had any future he argued, it had to be reformed, not as a set of idealist and utopian promises, but as a bulwark against all that had gone wrong during the 20th century.


Although he was critical of parts of the European left and key leftist figures, such as Eric Hobsbawn for their attachment to Soviet Communism, Judt presented the seemingly contradictory notion that a key task for the Left was to conserve its past achievements, as well as renew their moral appeal, whilst being able to change policies and develop new agendas where necessary.

Judt was prolific in the last years of his life and numerous collections of his essays, interviews and writings have appeared since his death, including, When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010 (published in 2015), Thinking the Twentieth Century: Interviews between Tony Judt and Timothy Snyder (published in 2012) and The Memory Chalet (published in 2012).

Many of his essays can be found here at the New York Review of Books. 

Words were important to Tony Judt.

He believed that words lose their integrity when they privilege personal expression and rely on rhetorical flourishes. When this happens, Judt believes, public ideas that can be expressed and discussed through language fall into disrepair and eventually are lost.

Judt argues that the professionalization of writing, be it by academics, journalist, writers or politicians, favors obscurantism and has:
"encouraged the rise of a counterfeit currency of glib popular articulacy.. It is the performer rather than the subject, to whom the audience's attention is drawn".
His conclusion is a timely warning to us all:
"If words fall into disrepair, what will substitute? They are all we have".

Sings of Renown: For a Short Time- Weddings, Parties, Anything

"Tell me how long is a short time, is it longer than two hours,
Or a bit less than a weekend. Is it shorter than a year?
Is it the time it takes to not complete your business with a person,
With a friend you make in transit,
to a daughter held so dear."
Mick Thomas and Weddings Parties Anything


The song For a Short Time appears on the 1997 album River'Esque, the ninth album by the Australian folk/alternative rock band Weddings Parties Anything.

Weddings Parties Anything (known as Weddings or WPA) were a seminal Australian band with a passionate fan base and cult following, who played music rooted in Australian history and Australian culture. 

Revered for their live performances, Weddings recorded and toured continuously for 15 years from 1984 until 1999 when they split up. They have reunited occasionally for gigs since then, with the last reunion concert being in 2012.

Mick Thomas, the band's lead singer, front man and composer of the majority of songs, is recognized as one of Australia's finest songwriters. 

The song For a Short Time was written by Mick Thomas and proved to be one of the band's more melodic and emotional songs, regularly featuring as a favorite in live gigs. The song also features regularly in Mick Thomas solo gigs, often closing the show.

The song is about people who come into the orbit of our lives for short time and then are gone for good, leaving a legacy that combines melancholia, regret and sorrow, with joy and appreciation for the memory of that person. 

As a friend of mine said, the song "speaks to the fragility of the heart".

And sometimes you can feel more, for someone you've barely kissed,
but you don't see it at the time, and the moment that you've missed.
For a short time, she was standing there,
and you saw her, 
she saw you 
and you recall the colour of her hair.
For a long time, you never thought of her,
Then you heard she was gone for good,
You might have cried then if you could,
Would have looked foolish if you did, somewhere
The tears are falling in your mind,
For a short time.

Mick Thomas wrote the song about a young woman, 'a daughter held so dear', who was a friend of the band 'for a short time'

There's a photo of your gang, 
on the night she hung about,
and you're looking like a wag, 
you've got your fat tongue poking out.
But she's no-where to be seen, 
you won't spot her anywhere.
It was her who took the picture, 
you were looking straight at her.

A few years later he found out that she had died in an accident.

The song features the haunting violin of Jen Anderson and the evocative piano accordion playing of Mark Wallace.



For a Short Time
Michael Thomas and Weddings, Parties Anything

Sometimes you can say more, in a drunken hour or so
than some people get across, in a life of lying low.
And sometimes you can feel more, for someone you've barely kissed
but you don't see it at the time, and the moment that you've missed.
For a short time, she was standing there,
and you saw her, she saw you and you recall the colour of her hair.
For a long time, you never thought of her,
Then you heard she was gone for good,
You might have cried then if you could,
Would have looked foolish if you did, somewhere
The tears are falling in your mind,
For a short time.

There's a photo of your gang, on the night she hung about,
and you're looking like a wag, you've got your fat tongue poking out.

But she's no-where to be seen, you won't spot her anywhere.
It was her who took the picture, you were looking straight at her.
For a short time, she was standing there,
and you saw her, she saw you and you recall the colour of her hair.

For a long time, you never thought of her,
Then you heard she was gone for good,
You might have cried then if you could,
Would have looked foolish if you did, somewhere
The tears are falling in your mind,
For a short time.

Tell me how long is a short time, is it longer than two hours,
Or a bit less than a weekend. Is it shorter than a year?
Is it the time it takes to not complete your business with a person,
With a friend you make in transit,
to a daughter held so dear.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday's poem: Nazim Hikmet: Things I didn't know I loved

"I have no silver saddled horse to ride,
no inheritance to live on,
neither riches nor real estate-
a honey pot is all I own.
A pot of honey
               red as fire!"
Nazim Hikmet
About My Poetry

THINGS I DIDN'T KNOW I LOVED
Nazim Hikmet

it's 1962 March 28th
I'm sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
night is falling
I never knew I liked
night descending like a tired bird on a smoky wet plain
I don't like
comparing nightfall to a tired bird


I didn't know I loved the earth
can someone who hasn't worked the earth love it
I've never worked the earth
it must be my only Platonic love

and here I've loved rivers all this time
whether motionless like this they curl skirting the hills
European hills crowned with chateaus
or whether stretched out flat as far as the eye can see
I know you can't wash in the same river even once
I know the river will bring new lights you'll never see
I know we live slightly longer than a horse but not nearly as long as a crow
I know this has troubled people before
and will trouble those after me
I know all this has been said a thousand times before
and will be said after me

I didn't know I loved the sky
cloudy or clear
the blue vault Andrei studied on his back at Borodino
in prison I translated both volumes of War and Peace into Turkish
I hear voices
not from the blue vault but from the yard
the guards are beating someone again
I didn't know I loved trees
bare beeches near Moscow in Peredelkino
they come upon me in winter noble and modest
beeches are Russian the way poplars are Turkish
"the poplars of Izmir
losing their leaves. . .
they call me The Knife. . .
lover like a young tree. . .
I blow stately mansions sky-high"
in the Ilgaz woods in 1920 I tied an embroidered linen handkerchief
to a pine bough for luck

I never knew I loved roads
even the asphalt kind
Vera's behind the wheel we're driving from Moscow to the Crimea
Koktebele
formerly "Goktepé ili" in Turkish
the two of us inside a closed box
the world flows past on both sides distant and mute
I was never so close to anyone in my life
bandits stopped me on the red road between Bolu and Geredé
when I was eighteen
apart from my life I didn't have anything in the wagon they could take
and at eighteen our lives are what we value least
I've written this somewhere before
wading through a dark muddy street I'm going to the shadow play
Ramazan night
a paper lantern leading the way
maybe nothing like this ever happened
maybe I read it somewhere an eight-year-old boy
going to the shadow play
Ramazan night in Istanbul holding his grandfather's hand
his grandfather has on a fez and is wearing the fur coat
with a sable collar over his robe
and there's a lantern in the servant's hand
and I can't contain myself for joy
flowers come to mind for some reason
poppies cactuses jonquils
in the jonquil garden in Kadikoy Istanbul I kissed Marika
fresh almonds on her breath
I was seventeen
my heart on a swing touched the sky
I didn't know I loved flowers
friends sent me three red carnations in prison

I just remembered the stars
I love them too
whether I'm floored watching them from below
or whether I'm flying at their side

I have some questions for the cosmonauts
were the stars much bigger
did they look like huge jewels on black velvet
or apricots on orange
did you feel proud to get closer to the stars
I saw color photos of the cosmos in Ogonek magazine now don't
be upset comrades but nonfigurative shall we say or abstract
well some of them looked just like such paintings which is to
say they were terribly figurative and concrete
my heart was in my mouth looking at them
they are our endless desire to grasp things
seeing them I could even think of death and not feel at all sad

I never knew I loved the cosmos


snow flashes in front of my eyes
both heavy wet steady snow and the dry whirling kind
I didn't know I liked snow

I never knew I loved the sun
even when setting cherry-red as now
in Istanbul too it sometimes sets in postcard colors
but you aren't about to paint it that way
I didn't know I loved the sea
except the Sea of Azov
or how much

I didn't know I loved clouds
whether I'm under or up above them
whether they look like giants or shaggy white beasts

moonlight the falsest the most languid the most petit-bourgeois
strikes me
I like it

I didn't know I liked rain
whether it falls like a fine net or splatters against the glass my
heart leaves me tangled up in a net or trapped inside a drop
and takes off for uncharted countries I didn't know I loved
rain but why did I suddenly discover all these passions sitting
by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
is it because I lit my sixth cigarette
one alone could kill me
is it because I'm half dead from thinking about someone back in Moscow
her hair straw-blond eyelashes blue

the train plunges on through the pitch-black night
I never knew I liked the night pitch-black
sparks fly from the engine
I didn't know I loved sparks
I didn't know I loved so many things and I had to wait until sixty
to find it out sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
watching the world disappear as if on a journey of no return

19 April 1962, Moscow
Translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)


Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963) is considered Turkey's greatest 20th century poet, although his work was suppressed in Turkey for over 50 years. It is only recently that Hikmet's citizenship was restored by the Turkish Government.

John Berger claims that Hikmet is one the great poets of the 20th Century. Berger wrote;

His work is about the universal nature of love and the fraternity of beauty; he was one of those rare people who matched his actions with words.

Hikmet was born in Thessaloniki, (now part of Greece) and had a Polish grandfather.  After the crushing defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WW1 and the occupation of Turkey by Western, European and Russian powers, Hikmet left Thessaloniki to fight in the Turkish War of Independence in Anatolia. He was unable to return after Thessaloniki became part of the Greek nation state.

He was an outspoken revolutionary and a dedicated political activist and communist who was first jailed in 1924 at the age of 22 for working on a leftist magazine.

In total he spent 18 years in prison in Turkey as a political prisoner.Because he spent so much of his life in prison, Hikmet's poems are the letters of a political prisoner, full of passion, optimism and love.

Hikmet was awarded the World Peace Prize in 1950, the same year he gained his release from prison after 12 years, following an international campaign for his release led by Picasso, Paul Robeson, Bertrand Russell, Pablo Neruda and Jean Paul Sartre. Within a short time of being released he was again forced into exile from Turkey in 1951.

He spent the last 13 years of his life in exile from Turkey. He died in Moscow in 1963, where he is still buried, although there are
moves to return his remains to Turkey.

Blog pieces featuring Hikmet's poetry is
here.

An article about Nazim Hikmet for a Festival in Amsterdam in 2015 to consider the contemporary relevance of his work is
here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A poetic reflection on the corporate form: Ruth Knight 'Persons'


"Limited liability is a subsidy for corporations paid not out of government coffers but from the pockets of those hurt by corporate malfeasance. It’s an avoidance of responsibility.”
Kent Greenfield

“Persons”
Ruth Knight

At the top of the city 
in a glass-chromed room 

an attorney assures the board of directors 

that the corporation is the person 

against which any or all action may be taken, 

not against each and every director joint or several. 
The multiheaded person exhales dry-iced victory 
as counsel backs out the door 
descending floor after floor 
to wait for a cab in the cold. 
Nearby a breathing bundle of rags 
sits on a grate of steam 
and waits just waits 
wondering where warmth went.

Ruth Knight's [1] unpublished poem is a precise depiction of the modern corporation and the concept of limited liability, which gives the legally constructed corporation protection from personal liability from unlawful conduct and criminality.

Limited liability is the notion that investors in a corporation should not be liable for bad things the corporation or business does. In effect, the corporation is a legal invention or fiction that allows individuals to personally profit from the activities, without being full liability for unlawful or illegal activities or activities that do harm.

Legal scholar Kent Greenfield has written about limited liability in the following terms[2]:

“When someone does not have to pay for bad behavior, it increases the likelihood and severity of bad behavior. Corporate subsidiaries drilling for oil in the Arctic, making shoes in Vietnam or harvesting hardwood in the Amazon will be more likely to spill oil, exploit child labour and destroy virgin jungle”



[1] We have been unable to find any specific information about Ruth Knight or her poetry.
[2] Greenfield, K (2011) Reforming limited liability law, the Nation, June 27 2011 http://www.thenation.com/article/reforming-limited-liability-law

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Try to Praise the Mutiltated World: Adam Zagajewski

"Don't allow the lucid moment to dissolve
On a hard dry substance
you have to engrave the truth"
Adam Zagajewski
 
 Try to Praise the Mutilated World
 Adam Zagajewski
 
 Try to praise the mutilated world.
 Remember June's long days,
 and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.
 The nettles that methodically overgrow
 the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
 You must praise the mutilated world.
 You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees going nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

Adam Zagajewski, "Try to Praise the Mutilated World" from Without End: New and Selected PoemsCopyright © 2002 Adam Zagajewski.
 
Adam Zagajewski (b 1946) is a Polish poet, essayist and novelist.
 
Zagajewski was born in a part of Poland that was incorporated into the Soviet Union after WW2 and his family was forcibly repatriated to Poland. His first book of poetry was published in Poland in 1972. His work sought to resist and expose communist propaganda and he was a major figure on the Polish Solidarity movement. He wrote poems attacking the imposition of martial law in Poland.
 
In 1982 he left Poland to live in Paris, but returned to Poland in 2002.
 
He became better known after a translation of the poem Try to Praise the Mutilated World was published in The New Yorker  after the 2001 September 11 attacks.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Austerity kills

“If austerity were tested like a medication in a clinical trial, it would have been stopped long ago, given its deadly side effects…. One need not be an economic ideologue – we certainly aren’t – to recognize that the price of austerity can be calculated in human lives.”
David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu,“The body economic: Why austerity kills."

There is a chilling study in the latest edition of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that shows that austerity measures, including reductions in income and welfare support imposed by the UK Government, are killing vulnerable elderly people in England.

The study shows a clear link between rising mortality rates among older people in England and the austerity measures imposed by the UK Government.

The authors conclude that:

" Rising mortality rates among pensioners aged 85 and over were linked to reductions in spending on income support for poor pensioners and social care"

One of the study authors is David Stuckler, whose 2013 book The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills (co-authored with Sanjay Basu) documents and describes the profoundly harmful effect of austerity policies on the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people and those who live precarious lives.

Stuckler argues that austerity policies imposed by national governments in response to economic crises bring about increases in disturbing public health and housing outcomes, particularly among the most vulnerable people.

He documents the unnecessary suffering and rising mortality rates associated with austerity policies.

Stuckler's book reveals that austerity polices in Europe and North America contributed to 10,000 additional suicides and a million extra case of depression.

Stuckler describes austerity as 'a public health disease". His conclusion is:

'Recessions harm but austerity kills'

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Songs of Renown: Billy Bragg interprets Woody Guthrie's 'I Aint Got No Home'


"I mined in your mines and I gathered in your corn
I been working, mister, since the day I was born
Now I worry all the time like I never did before
'Cause I ain't got no home in this world anymore
Now as I look around, it's mighty plain to see
This world is such a great and a funny place to be;
Oh, the gamblin' man is rich an' the workin' man is poor,
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore."
 Woody Guthrie

No one does Woody Guthrie's songs of capitalist plundering and immiseration better than Billy Bragg.

On his most recent album, Tooth and Nail, Billy Bragg does a magnificent cover version of Woody Guthrie's Great Depression era song 'I Aint Got No Home', one of the great political folk songs.

Woody Guthrie composed 'I Ain't Got No Home'  in 1940 and recorded the song in the same year. It first appeared on Woody Guthrie Dust Bowl Ballads Volume 2.

The tune is based on a  traditional hymn titled 'I Can't Feel Home in this World Anymore' that was made famous by the Carter Family.

The song could have been written in the last 8 years. It is all there- people losing their homes to the bankers, people dying for lack of proper health care, the rich making millions by gambling on the stock market while ordinary people's wages go backwards.

The song has a contemporary resonance with its musings about "Now I worry all the time like I never did before/ Cause I ain't got no home in this world anymore", how the “rich man took my home and drove me from my door” and mention of “the banker’s store”.
Earlier versions of Guthrie's song concluded by stating that the hardship expressed in the song is happening to "a hundred thousand others and a hundred thousand more," all of whom were victimized by the more fortunate elite.  Once again, a reflection of what has happened since the 2008 economic crash.
Bragg, like Woody Guthrie, is a singer songwriter who made his name with socio-political songs and his involvement in social movements and political campaigns. Bragg is known as a combative British socialist who doggedly opposed the British Conservative Party and its leader Margaret Thatcher throughout the ’80s and ’90s.

This version of Woody Guthrie's song appears on Billy Blagg's 2013 album Tooth and Nail, which was produced by American singer songwriter Joe Henry whose work has appeared on this blog before.


Woody Guthrie's version of the song is here



The song has also been covered by Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen's version (with slightly different lyrics) is here.



I Aint Got No Home
By Woody Guthrie

I ain't got no home, I'm just a-roamin' 'round,
Just a wandrin' worker, I go from town to town.
And the police make it hard wherever I may go
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore.
My brothers and my sisters are stranded on this road,
A hot and dusty road that a million feet have trod;
Rich man took my home and drove me from my door
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore.
Was a-farmin' on the shares, and always I was poor;
My crops I lay into the banker's store.
My wife took down and died upon the cabin floor,
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore.
I mined in your mines and I gathered in your corn
I been working, mister, since the day I was born
Now I worry all the time like I never did before
'Cause I ain't got no home in this world anymore
Now as I look around, it's mighty plain to see
This world is such a great and a funny place to be;
Oh, the gamblin' man is rich an' the workin' man is poor,
And I ain't got no home in this world anymore
.
© Copyright 1961  and 1963  by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.; TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday's poem: Nirvana by Charles Bukowski


Nirvana
by Charles Bukowski

not much chance,
completely cut loose from
purpose,
he was a young man
riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the way to somewhere
and it began to snow
and the bus stopped
at a little cafe
in the hills
and the passengers
entered.

 he sat at the counter
with the others,
he ordered and the
food arrived.
the meal was
particularly
good
and the
coffee.
the waitress was
unlike the women
he had
known.
she was unaffected,
there was a natural
humor which came
from her.
the fry cook said
crazy things.
the dishwasher.
in back,
laughed, a good
clean
pleasant
laugh.
the young man watched
the snow through the
windows.
he wanted to stay
in that cafe
forever.
the curious feeling
swam through him
that everything
was
beautiful
there,
that it would always
stay beautiful
there.
then the bus driver
told the passengers
that it was time
to board.
the young man
thought, I’ll just sit
here, I’ll just stay
here.
but then
he rose and followed
the others into the
bus.
he found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus
window.
then the bus moved
off, down a curve,
downward, out of
the hills.
the young man
looked straight
forward.
he heard the other
passengers
speaking
of other things,
or they were
reading
or
attempting to
sleep.
they had not
noticed
the
magic.
the young man
put his head to
one side,
closed his
eyes,
pretended to
sleep.
there was nothing
else to do-
just to listen to the
sound of the
engine,
the sound of the
tires
in the
snow.


“Nirvana,” by Charles Bukowksi is an evocative and affecting poem about a young man  'on the way to somewhere' who whilst travelling through North Carolina on a bus finds in the quaint strangeness of a local diner a respite from the struggles and confusion of his  own life.
 
The poem speaks to the experience of the traveller away from home who finds solace in the moment; the significance of which is not shared by others with whom he is travelling on the bus.
Tom Waits considered Bukowski something of a father figure. 
 
Waits and Bukowski were both Southern Californians. Waits observed once that Bukowski “seemed to be a writer of the common people and street people, looking in the dark corners where no one seems to want to go.”
 
A performance of the poem by Tom Waits is below.

A short film by Patrick Biesemans based on the Bukowski poem is here.


 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday's poem: We Believe by Staughton and Alice Lynd

We Believe
Staughton and Alice Lynd (copyright 1990)

We believe
Not only in the lengthening of days
And the return of springtime,
But in sudden reversals,


 Unexpected triumphs.

 We believe in the restoration
Of trust between friends,
And in the ability of ordinary folk


 To puncture lies.

We believe in the way to be safe
Is not to enclose ourselves in walls
Of cash and property,


But to live in solidarity
With those who need us.


 How can we give the Good
More chance to prevail?


 What can we add
To the chemistry of change?


 Surely, first, persistence.
Prisoners are obliged to learn it.


 How many times did Nelson Mandela
Reach for his shovel in the limestone quarry?


 Soon Mumia will have been behind bars
More than Mandela's 27 years.


 "Keep smiling," we told 

The man serving two life sentences
For crimes of which he may be
Completely innocent.


 He replied "I have to.
But inside my heart is broken."


 So, while we ask to persist,

 To be dogged, to stay strong,

 We must also be open every moment
To that which only yesterday
Seemed impossible,
To transformation
Of quantity into quality,


 To the instantaneous advent
Of the unimaginably new.

***
ALSO:

The good we secure for ourselves
Is precarious and uncertain
Until it is secured for all of us

And incorporated into our common life.

Staughton Lynd (b. 1929) taught history at Spelman College and Yale University. He was active in the civil rights movements.  In April 1965, he chaired the first march against the Vietnam War in Washington.  In December 1965 he made a controversial trip to Hanoi, in hope of clarifying the peace terms of the Vietnamese government and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam.

Because of his practice of civil disobedience, Lynd was unable to continue as a full-time history teacher.  He was offered positions at  Universities in Chicago but the offers were withdrawn by University administrators.  He became a lawyer in 1976  and worked for Legal Services in Youngstown, Ohio until his retirement in 1996.  After retirement he continues to practice employment law and defend and protect workers' and prisoners' rights.

Alice Lynd (b 1930) trained as an early childhood educator and directed day care and health centres. She was active in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war and peace movements. In 1985 she completed a law degree and became senior attorney for Northeast Ohio Legal Service. She continues to practice law in Youngstown Ohio.
 
Staughton and Alice Lynd married in 1951 and have worked for racial equality, against war, with workers and prisoners, and against the death penalty for 70 years. The Lynds became Quakers in the 1960's.
 
Between them, they  have written over 30 books.

An interview with the Lynds is here.

The Lynds are inspired by the  concept of accompaniment, which involves placing themselves at the side of the poor and oppressed, not as dispensers of charity or as fugitives from the middle class, but as equals in a joint process to which each person brings an essential kind of expertise.
 
In his book  Accompanying, Staughton Lynd distinguishes between organizing and accompaniment strategies of social change. The critical difference is that in accompanying,  colleagues view themselves as two experts, each bringing indispensable experience to a shared project- the idea of together as equals.
 
An interview with Lynd about the approach is here.