Jack Newfield

“Jack Abraham Newfield (February 18, 1938 – December 21, 2004) was an American muckraking journalist, columnist, author, documentary filmmaker, activist, and fierce champion of underdogs. Newfield wrote for the Village Voice, New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Sun, New York Magazine, Parade Magazine, Tikkun, Mother Jones, and The Nation and monthly columns for several labor union newspapers. Newfield believed that ‘the facts’ should be contextualized within larger understandings. … He was drawn to the Civil Rights Movement and the Students for a Democratic Society (‘SDS’), under the tutelage of Michael Harrington. In his youth, Newfield was a supporter of antiwar New Left politics in the 1960s. He was arrested in the South at a sit-in in 1963 and spent two days in a Mississippi jail with Michael Schwerner, who was later murdered with James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. A self-identified populist, Newfield was from the outset a politically active journalist and author. In 1968, he signed the ‘Writers and Editors War Tax Protest’ pledge, vowing to refuse to pay tax to protest against the Vietnam War. By 1971, Newfield had begun to question the ideology of the New Left, writing that ‘in its Weathermen, Panther and Yippee incarnations, [the New Left] seems anti-democratic, terroristic, dogmatic, stoned on rhetoric and badly disconnected from everyday reality’. … Newfield considered himself a ‘participatory journalist,’ involved in politics and advocacy. Inspired by Lincoln Steffens, Jacob Riis, and IF Stone, Newfield held himself to a professional standard of moral emotionalism. On this he wrote, ‘Compassion without anger can become merely sentiment or pity. Knowledge without anger can stagnate into mere cynicism and apathy. Anger improves lucidity, persistence, audacity, and memory.’ …”
Jack Newfield
NY Times: Let’s soak the rich (March 12, 1972)
The Nation

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Books, Civil Rights Mov., CORE, Newspaper, Pacifist, SCLC, SDS, SNCC, Vietnam War, Weather Underground and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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