William ('Bill') Pelz:
Againist the Current vol. 192

Quinn, Patrick M.; Schuster, Eric
Date Written:  2018-01-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2018
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23261

In memoriam, Patrick M. Quinn and Eric Schuster discuss the life and contributions of William ('Bill') Pelz, a well-known socialist activist and prolific scholar in the field of European and comparative Labour History.



He joined the Chicago branch of the International Socialists (IS) at the beginning of the 1970s and soon became one of the best known leaders of the Left in Chicago. He was a founding member of the Red Rose Collective along with the historians Mark Lause and David Roediger, and a member of the New World Resource Center. Both Red Rose and New World were radical book stores and important local organizing and information centers. He helped organize Chicago's first Rock Against Racism concert, and later joined Solidarity, the Socialist Party, and served as Chicago Political Education Officer for the Democratic Socialists of American (DSA).

Bill became an academic scholar and professor of history and political science at Roosevelt University and DePaul University, where he was Director of the Social Science Programs. For the last 20 years he was a popular faculty member at Elgin Community College. He earned a Ph.D. in History at Northern Illinois University, where he studied under the Marxist historians Meg and C. H. George and wrote a dissertation on the German Revolution and the Spartakusbund. He founded and became the head of the Institute of Working Class History, co-founded the International Association for the Study of Strikes and Social Conflicts, and was one of the editors of the Encyclopedia of the European Left.

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