In These Times Remembers Staughton Lynd, Peter Marcuse, Paul Schrade and Eric Werthman

While thanking our supporters in the May 2023 issue, we also remember those who are no longer with us and are honored to recognize several of our champions who passed away in 2022.

In These Times Editors

From left to right, Staughton Lynd, Peter Marcuse, Paul Schrade and Eric Werthman.

Each spring, In These Times recognizes all of our supporters from the previous year who made our independent, progressive journalism possible. We also remember the donors who are no longer with us. In our May 2023 issue, In These Times was honored to recognize several of our supporters who passed away in 2022. We were able to feature obituaries for four of these champions. You can read more about their lives and legacies below.

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Staughton Lynd

(Nov. 21, 1929 – Nov. 172022)

Staughton was a founding sponsor of In These Times in 1976.

Staughton Lynd was born in 1929 and passed on November 17, 2022 four days before his 93rd birthday. His parents, Robert and Helen Merrell Lynd, were authors of the well-known Middletown books.

Staughton grew up in New York City during the Great Depression and World War II. He went through the schools of the Ethical Culture Society, where he took to heart the words in the auditorium: The place where men meet to seek the highest is holy ground.” As a senior at Fieldston, he was elected class president and captain of the baseball team.

Staughton received a bachelor’s at Harvard, a master’s and a Ph.D. in history from Columbia, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Staughton and Alice Lee Niles met in Cambridge, Mass., in the summer of 1950, shortly after the beginning of the Korean War. They were married a year later at the Stony Run Friends Meeting house in Baltimore, where Alice’s parents were members.

During the mid-1950s, they lived in an ecumenical religious community in northeast Georgia. Several years later, they joined the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers. Eager to participate in the Southern Civil Rights Movement, in 1961, Staughton accepted an offer to teach history at Spelman College in Atlanta.

In 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee recruited him to be coordinator of the Freedom Schools for Black teenagers as part of the interracial Mississippi Summer Project. Staughton later accepted a position teaching history at Yale and the Lynds moved to New Haven, Conn.

Staughton chaired the first march against the war in Vietnam in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 1965. On Aug. 9, 1965, he was arrested together with Bob Moses and David Dellinger at the Assembly of Unrepresented People in Washington, where demonstrators sought to declare peace with the people of Vietnam on the steps of the Capitol. From December 1965 to January 1966, Staughton, along with Tom Hayden and Herbert Aptheker, made a controversial trip to Hanoi in hopes of clarifying the peace terms that might be acceptable to the North Vietnamese government and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam.

Because of his notoriety and controversy over his advocacy and practice of civil disobedience, Staughton was denied tenure at Yale and was blocked as an academic historian.

In order to respond to the needs of workers whose problems were not being addressed, Staughton went to law school in 1973. Following his graduation in 1976, the Lynds moved to the Youngstown area, shortly before the steel mill closings began. While employed by Northeast Ohio Legal Services, an office that represented clients that could not afford to pay a lawyer, Staughton served as attorney for the Ecumenical Coalition of the Mahoning Valley in its unsuccessful efforts to implement a plan for worker/​community ownership of the area steel mills: Local 1330 v. U.S. Steel.

After retirement in 1996, the Lynds became deeply involved in advocacy for prisoners. They served as co-counsel in a class action on placement and retention of prisoners in solitary confinement at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown. A favorable decision in Austin v. Wilkinson (N.D. Ohio, 2002) was affirmed in part by the U.S. Supreme Court in Wilkinson v. Austin (2005).

Among many books and articles by Staughton, some of which were co-authored with Alice, the following titles reflect their many concerns over the years:

Class Conflict, Slavery, and the United States Constitution (2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Intellectual Origins of American Radicalism
(2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2009)

with Alice Lynd, Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History (Orbis Books, 2009)

with Alice Lynd, Rank and File: Personal Histories by Working-Class Organizers (Haymarket Books, 2012)

The Fight Against Shutdowns: Youngstown’s Steel Mill Closings
(Singlejack Books, 1982)

Living Inside Our Hope: A Steadfast Radical’s Thoughts on Rebuilding the Movement
(Cornell University Press, 1997)

Doing History from the Bottom Up: On E. P. Thompson, Howard Zinn, and Rebuilding
the Labor Movement from Below (Haymarket Books, 2014)

We Are All Leaders”: The Alternative Unionism of the Early 1930
(University of Illinois Press, 1996)

with Andrej Grubacic, Wobblies and Zapatistas: Conversations on Anarchism, Marxism, and Radical History (PM Press, 2008)

with Daniel Gross, Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law (PM Press, 2011)

with Sam Bahour and Alice Lynd, Homeland: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (Interlink Books, 1994)

Accompanying: Pathways to Social Change
(PM Press, 2012)

Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising
(2nd ed., PM Press, 2011)

with Alice Lynd, Stepping Stones: Memoir of a Life Together (Lexington Books, 2011)

Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance: Breaking the Cycle of Violence in the Military and Behind Bars
(PM Press, 2017)

edited by Luke Stewart, My Country Is the World: Staughton Lynd’s Writings, Speeches, and Statements against the Vietnam War (Haymarket Books, 2023)

Staughton Lynd is survived by Alice Lynd, his wife of 71 years; their daughter, Barbara L. Bond; their son, Lee Rybeck Lynd; their daughter, Marta Lynd-Altan; seven grandchildren; and six great grandchildren.

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Peter Marcuse

(Nov. 13, 1928 – March 42022)

Peter and Frances Marcuse were supporters of In These Times for 30 years. Lightly edited from the Santa Barbara Independent:

Peter Marcuse passed away quietly at home at Vista del Monte in Santa Barbara, Calif., on March 4, 2022, attended by his wife Frances and sons Andrew and Harold.

Peter was born in Berlin in November 1928. Shortly after Hitler came to power, the family relocated to Switzerland. In 1934, they immigrated to the United States. Peter attended Harvard College, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1948. That same year he met his future wife at a May Day rally in New York.

He attended Yale Law School, earning his J.D. in 1952, and practiced law for 20 years in New Haven and Waterbury, Conn., where his three children were born in 1953, 1957 and 1965. He served as the majority leader of the Waterbury Board of Aldermen from 1959 to 1963 and was a member of the Waterbury City Plan Commission from 1964 to 1968.

Participation in the Freedom Summer in Mississippi in July 1964 focused his engagement even more strongly toward social justice issues. He earned a master’s at Columbia in public law and government in 1963, and at Yale in Urban Studies in 1968. He earned his Ph.D. at Berkeley in 1972 with a thesis on the implications of home ownership for low-income families.

He then taught at UCLA and was president of the Los Angeles city planning commission. In 1975, he became the director of Columbia’s planning program. He dedicated his legal expertise to social justice causes, advocating radical solutions to realize a more just society. He combined his academic work with civic engagement, serving on a community board in Manhattan, and on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union.

After retiring from teaching in 2003, he continued to publish. In 2010, he began a blog, Critical planning and other thoughts,” which grew to 150 posts by 2021. Since 2005, he was also involved in a professional society interested in developing and disseminating the ideas of his father, the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, critiquing capitalist systems and exploring ways an equitable, non-utopian utopia could be realized.

In 2017, he and Frances moved to Santa Barbara, where they found a welcoming community at Vista del Monte. Peter was an engaged participant in several weekly discussion groups. He sought occasions to discuss solutions to social problems, and enjoyed expressing himself in poetry and limericks. One of his last poems mused about the purpose of life: Is life just there to light a fire and then go? Or must it be blow after blow? To tell the truth we’ll never know. And life won’t stand still and let you parse its flow.”

Paul Schrade

(Dec. 17, 1924 – Nov. 92022)

Paul was a founding sponsor of In These Times in 1976.

Paul Hermann Schrade, labor and community organizer with few equals, died peacefully at his Los Angeles home Nov. 9, 2022, after a short illness. Born Dec. 17, 1924, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Paul spent his entire adult life dedicated to labor and social justice causes. As a young man recently arrived in California, Paul moved up rapidly through the ranks of the United Auto Workers (UAW), serving as a top aide to UAW President Walter Reuther and eventually being elected Western regional director of the union. In that role, Paul rekindled a friendship with Robert Kennedy, and early on joined Kennedy’s 1968 campaign for president. Paul was instrumental in gaining union support for the early farmworker movement and for its leaders Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.

On June 5, 1968, Paul was one of five people wounded when Robert Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Following his recovery, Paul fought a successful 20-year campaign to convert the 24-acre Ambassador Hotel site into public schools benefitting the large underserved community in the neighborhood. Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, serving 4,000 students at 6 separate schools, opened in 2010. The library was dedicated in Paul’s honor.

In the 50-plus years following the 1968 shooting, Paul never gave up researching the possibility that a second gunman was present at the Ambassador Hotel that fateful June evening. His tireless research into what he saw as a deeply flawed investigation led him to the conviction that another gunman had fired the shots that killed the senator, and that Sirhan Sirhan, while a shooter in the pantry that night, was wrongly convicted of murder. Up until his death, Paul continued working to have the Robert Kennedy assassination reopened, and to have Sirhan paroled.

Paul is survived by his sister, Louise (“Weezie”) Duff, a resident of Pennsylvania. As Weezie said, It was a privilege to have Paul in our lives.” 

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Eric Werthman

(April 5, 1941 – Sept. 102022)

Eric Werthman and Polly Howells have been supporters of In These Times for 30 years. Lightly edited from the Hudson Valley One:

Eric Day Werthman passed away in Maine on Sept. 10, 2022, at the age of 81. He was in the presence of his wife and partner of 54 years, Polly Howells. In addition to Polly, he is survived by two sons, Nick and Jesse; their wives, Audrey Wallace and Alessandra De Almeida; and four granddaughters, Elinor, Alice, Emilia and Pina. For 50 years, he was a fixture for many in the community of Park Slope, Brooklyn, and for the past 18 years, he and Polly developed a deep connection with friends and neighbors in the mid-Hudson Valley.

During the course of a well-lived life, Eric was a Gestalt psychotherapist for 38 years, produced and directed two feature films—Going Under (2004) and The Drummer (2021) — and was a life-long activist for political causes in which he deeply believed. He sat in at a lunch counter in Kingston, N.Y., when he was a student at Bard in the late 1950s. He went to Mississippi in Freedom Summer of 1964 to register voters. He marched against the Vietnam War, for abortion rights, and against fracking, in addition to many other causes. In recent years, as a member of Woodstock Transition, he was involved in expanding local access to solar power and developing an innovative project to install community heat pumps in the village. 

Above all, Eric was a loving husband, a dedicated father and a fun and energetic grandfather. His varied intellectual, artistic and political pursuits continue to be an inspiration to his friends and family, and his family was the foundation for the rich and varied life he lived. He made connections wherever he went and touched all those he met. He will be missed by all who knew him.

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Fellow 2024 Izzy awardees include Trina Reynolds-Tyler and Sarah Conway for their joint investigative series “Missing In Chicago," and journalists Mohammed El-Kurd and Lynzy Billing. The Izzy judges also gave special recognition to Democracy Now! for coverage that documented the destruction wreaked in Gaza and raised Palestinian voices to public awareness.

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