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Paul Street (born May 23, 1958) is an American journalist, author, historian, and political commentator. He has a doctorate in U.S. History from Binghamton University.

Street served as both the Director of Research and Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League from 2000 to 2005. He is the author of four books: "Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: A Living Black Chicago History" (New York: Rowman & Littlefield 2007); "Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post–Civil Rights Era" (New York: Routledge 2005); "Empire and Inequality: America and the World since 9/11" (Boulder: Paradigm 2004).

His latest book is "Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics" (Boulder: Paradigm Oct. 2008)

Street's articles and commentary have been published in the Chicago Tribune; Journal of American Ethnic History; Journal of Social History; Mid-America; Chicago History; Review of Education; Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies; Studies in History and Politics; History of Education Quarterly; In These Times; Dissent; Capital City Times; Z Magazine; Black Commentator; Black Agenda Report; ZNet; AlterNet; Tom’s Dispatch; History News Network; and Monthly Review.[1]

He is a regular contributor to the ZNet website, and according to his ZSpace author's profile he "once hit a 25-foot jump shot over the outstretched arm of Michigan Wolverine basketball great and future NBA veteran Ricky Green."

Street cites Martin Luther King's philosophy against the "triple evils" of "racism, economic exploitation (capitalism), and militarism-imperialism" as a primary influence on his life and works.[2]


"Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics"

Street's latest book is about Barack Obama's political and personal history, candidacy, campaign strategy, and political philosophy, as it relates to modern American political culture. The book has received favorable reviews from many journalists, commentators, historians, and intellectuals among the left, including documentary film-maker and journalist John Pilger and M.I.T. Professor Noam Chomsky, along with many others.

According to Pilger:

“All those interested in truth rather than seduction should read urgently this wise book by Paul Street, who peels away the mask of the ‘Obama phenomenon’ and reveals power as it is, not as many of us wish it to be.”[1]

And Chomsky:

“That the Obama phenomenon is of considerable significance in American social and political history should hardly be in doubt. But what exactly is it, and where might it lead? This lucid and penetrating book situates it firmly within the ‘corporate-dominated and militaristic U.S. elections system and political culture,’ explores in depth its substantive content and its limits, and draws valuable lessons about how these might be transcended in the unending struggle to achieve a more just and free society and a peaceful world. It is a very welcome contribution in complex and troubled times.”[1]

Political Beliefs

Street's work is very much in the same vein as Thomas Frank, John Pilger, Thomas de Zengotita, Curtis White, Adam Curtis, Noam Chomsky and others among the cultural and intellectual left.

Like Thomas Frank, Street is an outspoken critic of pseudo-populism, which is usually engineered with the help of mass media, especially as it perpetuates corporatism or corporate socialism within society. Street is also an acute commentator on the psychology and politics of contemporary race relations in the United States and the world.

In an October 2008 interview with Little Village magazine, Street said:

"We either transcend the corporate-managed profits system or we descend ever further into barbarism, totalitarianism, and ecological ruin over the long haul."[3]

External links

  • Paul Street's ZSpace Page: [1]
  • Paul Street on [2]
  • Paul Street at Paradigm Publishers [3]
  • Paul Street Lecture on "Empire and Inequality" at the Internet Archive [4]


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