Outsider's Reverie by Leslie Evans - Read Online



He grew up in a home steeped in the lore of ghostly apparitions, spirit guides, star charts, and the astral plane. His parents met at a séance conducted by a dead thirteenth century crusader. In high school he called himself an outsider, beginning a quest for mystic experience. At LACC he organized a student political party with black nationalist ideologue Ron Karenga.

In 1961 he was recruited to the Socialist Workers Party, American followers of Leon Trotsky, the ultimate political outsiders. Over the next twenty years he rose to serve as managing editor of the English news service of the Trotskyist Fourth International, under Joseph Hansen, who had been Trotsky’s secretary and had captured Trotsky’s assassin. He was later editor of the party’s theoretical magazine and became the group’s China specialist, where he befriended Peng Shu-tse, an early leader of the Chinese Communist Party who once outranked Mao Zedong.

In the 1960s the SWP masterminded antiwar demonstrations that brought more protesters to Washington, D.C., than the entire city population. Evans spent three years on the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota, two of them working in the iron mines. In later years he worked as web journalist for UCLA’s International Institute, and carried out assignments for the World Health Organization and the World Bank. Along the way he:

* Organized an antinuclear rally from the home of the Pentagon’s top nuclear war strategist;
* Was enlisted by SWP founder James P. Cannon to challenge what Cannon saw as the party’s fatally self-isolating policy;
* Was put on the FBI’s list for immediate arrest and detention in a national emergency;
* Worked with Jerry Rubin to build the May 1965 Berkeley teach-in of 30,000;
* Was the SWP’s liaison with Ralph Schoenman, who tried to persuade Castro’s intelligence chief to mount a rescue operation for Che Guevara;
* Knew Lyndon LaRouche and watched carefully as his organization careened into madness;
* Served for two years as production editor on a World Health Organization report documenting the failure to invest in research on the diseases that ravage the third world;
* Restored a 1910 house in South Los Angeles that became a city Historic Cultural Monument, in the process probing deeply into the lives of its former residents, founders of the privately owned industrial city of Vernon.


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Outsider's Reverie by Leslie Evans

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