In 2008 I retired from having worked as a machinist (precision metal worker) for the previous thirty years. During that time I operated lathes and milling machines to produce machinery parts to close tolerances from a variety of materials - steel, cast iron, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, etc. I was fortunate to be employed at socially useful work and almost entirely at civilian work (much of the goods for warfare are produced in machine shops). During the first half of my work life I worked in large unionized production shops which formed a part of the marvelous industrial plant that once existed in America and was the pride of the country. Then, incredibly, this stuff was all scrapped when the bosses discovered that they could get the same work done elsewhere for less and shopwork in the US came to be located in smaller, non-union job shops. This was the atmosphere in which I worked the last 15 years or so.
During those years I was a member of the Machinists Union (twice), the United Steelworkers, oddly the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, and the Shipbuilders. Earlier when I did primarily warehouse work I was in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and District 65 (twice).
Since 1969 I have been a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), an affiliation that has profoundly influenced the course and content of my life. I have served in a variety of IWW offices, both local and international, edited the Boston branch newsletter, spoken publicly on the union’s behalf, and have served as a delegate since 1976. I cannot imagine how many miles I've walked on picket lines and at demonstrations.
I attended Boston University where I was awarded a BA in history and Fordham University where I almost got an MA in American history. I got a certificate in Machine Shop from the Franklin Institute and one in Large Machine Operation from Wentworth Institute. I taught History of Western Civilization at the Berklee School of Music and machine shop skills at the Boston Technical Center.
I have been a student of history and literature my entire life and have specialized in studies of the struggle for social justice down to our time.
I have lived my entire life in either Boston or New York and am active in Jewish religious affairs.