June 18, 2005


JAMES WEINSTEIN, 79: Leftist adopted Chicago as home, started In These Times magazine (Stephen Franklin, June 17, 2005, Chicago Tribune)

In the 1970s James Weinstein had a dream for a socialist magazine unlike any other in the country, a magazine that would speak to average people. But he wasn't sure where to launch it.

New York was too tainted by the old and the New Left. And California was too California.

So, he came to Chicago, a place where he had no roots but which appealed to him because of its heartland nature, its rich social and populist history and people of all kinds who might heed his message.

Thus, In These Times magazine was born in Chicago in 1976 in a classic display of Mr. Weinstein's personal quest not to fit any mold.

A former member of Communist front groups in the 1950s, he preferred to call himself more of a Groucho Marxist influenced as much by "Duck Soup" as "Das Kapital," according to Miles Harvey, a former managing editor of In These Times.

Indeed, Mr. Weinstein thrived on humor, a gift that sometimes baffled his more intense colleagues, some of them said.

No word from its tens of millions of victims on whether they too thought Communism a lark.

Posted by orrinj at June 18, 2005 8:26 AM

Was his humor very funny?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 18, 2005 2:01 PM

"Funny socialist" is one of those oxymorons like "Canadian nationalism", "customer service" or "delicious vegetarian meal."

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 18, 2005 3:44 PM