Martin Glaberman - Biography

Biography

Glaberman was associated with the Johnson-Forest Tendency, a radical left group that split from the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, which understood the Soviet Union as a state capitalist society rather than as a degenerated workers' state.

In 1950, the Johnson-Forest Tendency left the Trotskyist movement and became known as the Correspondence Publishing Committee. When this group suffered a major split in 1955 with a large number supporting Raya Dunayevskaya (or "Forest" of "Johnson-Forest") and forming a new group called the News and Letters Committees, Glaberman remained loyal to C.L.R. James ("Johnson") and the Correspondence group. James advised Correspondence from exile in Britain. It remains a matter of dispute whether the majority in 1955 supported James or Dunayevskaya. Glaberman has claimed in New Politics that the majority supported James but historian Kent Worcester claimed the opposite in an important biography of C.L.R. James.

In 1962, when Grace Lee Boggs, James Boggs, Lyman Paine, and Freddy Paine split from Correspondence Publishing Committee in a third worldist direction, Glaberman and a small number of other activists remained loyal to C.L.R. James, largely in Detroit and started a new group to continue James' legacy. He was a major figure in the new group, Facing Reality, until he proposed its dissolution in 1970, over the objections of C.L.R. James because Glaberman felt it was too tiny to operate effectively. He continued to write and publish widely until his death and established a now defunct publishing company, Bewick Editions to keep James' work in print. He was for many years, until his death, a sponsor of New Politics and served as an associate editor of Radical America, along with individuals such as Paul Buhle.

Glaberman has been described as a legendary figure in Detroit radical circles and he influenced activists that would play a major role in the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. He was a professor and later professor emeritus at Wayne State University as he resumed his academic path after retiring from factory work.

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