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Robert D. Parmet


  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Robert D. Parmet: Review of Robert M. Lichtman's "The Supreme Court and McCarthy-Era Repression: One Hundred Decisions" (Illinois, 2012)

    Robert D. Parmet is Professor of History at York College of the City University of New York.Irving Adler was one of 378 New York City teachers ousted for violating the state’s Feinberg Law (1949), which made past or present membership in the Communist Party sufficient ground for dismissing public school teachers.  Fifteen years after Adler’s removal, in Keyishian v. Board of Regents (1967), the United States Supreme Court declared that law unconstitutional, enabling his reinstatement and subsequent receipt of a pension. Ensnared in the Second Red Scare, a period dominated by the presence of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the fear his presence generated, Adler and other loyal Americans were injured in many ways.

  • Originally published 08/21/2012

    Robert D. Parmet: Review of Eric Laursen's "The People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan" (AK Press, 2012)

    Robert D. Parmet is professor of history at York College of the City University of New York.In 1964 Barry Goldwater discovered that suggestions to reduce or replace Social Security can be politically hazardous. Twelve years later Ronald Reagan lost the Republican presidential primary election in Florida in part because he attacked Social Security. Nevertheless, the assaults persisted, and since Reagan’s election in 1980 have become increasingly sophisticated and intense. In more than seven hundred pages of text, Eric Laursen describes these efforts in great detail, presenting the provisions of proposed legislation, the campaigns to substitute alternate retirement schemes, and the coalitions of politicians, businessmen, and financiers who to the present day have sought to subvert the landmark social legislation of the New Deal. With Social Security and Medicare major issues in this presidential year, this book provides the background for anyone who wishes to be well-informed.