Peter Dreier

Peter Dreier teaches politics and chairs the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His latest book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012).

Recent Articles

Mourn. Then Organize.

This nation has survived political crises before, and it will again if progressives refrain from pointing fingers and start organizing.

Molly Riley/AP Images for AVAAZ
Molly Riley/AP Images for AVAAZ Members of the global civic movement Avaaz gather outside the White House on election night to protest against bigotry, Tuesday November 8, 2016 in Washington, D.C. A t a time like this, many liberals and progressives will recall the words of labor activist Joe Hill: “Don't mourn, organize.” But let's be honest. We're in shock. We need time to mourn. To recover from the trauma of this election. I feel awful for my 19-year-old twin daughters, who voted for the first time this year and now have to spend their college years with Trump as president. They're upset. They talked about moving to Canada. They were half serious. We talked and texted all night, trying to console ourselves. It was tough. I reminded them that we've been through periods like this before. The Civil War. The Gilded Age. The Great Depression. I told them that in 1968, when I was 20, America elected Richard Nixon. At the time, we thought that this was the apocalypse. I had worked for...

Can New CEO Tim Sloan Fix Scandal-Plagued Wells Fargo’s Corporate Culture?

Tim Sloan has replaced John Stumpf as Wells Fargo’s New CEO, but some wonder whether such a longtime insider can really change the bank’s culture of customers and employee abuse.

AP Photo/Richard Drew
AP Photo/Richard Drew Wells Fargo Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Timothy J. Sloan is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, November 13, 2013. S candal-plagued Wells Fargo’s recent selection of long-time bank insider Tim Sloan to replace John Stumpf as its CEO has done little to mollify critics, given Sloan’s central management role during more than a decade of consumer and community complaints. Sloan has largely escaped scrutiny during the thumping Wells Fargo has taken from Congress, the media, and bank reform activists for boosting its own stock price by secretly creating more than two million unauthorized checking and credit-card accounts. As lawmakers and state and federal regulators line up to investigate the bank following Stumpf’s resignation, Sloan now replaces him on the hot seat. Sloan’s role as a member of the bank’s inner circle at a time when Wells Fargo stood accused of reckless and discriminatory practices is...

Tom Hayden Always Rocked The Boat

An appreciation of the legendary political activist.

AP Photo / The Ann Arbor News, Patrick Record
AP Photo / The Ann Arbor News, Patrick Record University of Michigan graduate and political activist Tom Hayden speaks about climate change at the Downtown Ann Arbor Library Branch in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Monday, September 15, 2014. I n 2013, Tom Hayden—who died on Sunday at 76 from complications related to a stroke he suffered a year-and-a-half ago while investigating fracking and oil drilling in California—donated his archives to his alma mater, the University of Michigan. The 120 boxes of material include more than 22,000 pages of his FBI files, the result of the agency’s 15-year surveillance of Hayden. Historians and journalists will mine this treasure trove of documents to learn about the key movements and personalities in American culture and politics since the early 1960s. Throughout his remarkable career, Hayden was both a prophetic voice and a political strategist, a rare combination. No single figure embodied the spirit of the generation that came of age in the 1960s more...

Trump No Longer Really Running for President

The Donald’s real political goal is to make it impossible for Hillary Clinton to govern.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump leaves following the third presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, October 19, 2016. I f it wasn't clear before Wednesday night's debate, it should be obvious now that Donald Trump is no longer seriously running for president. He is using his campaign to become the leader of what he calls “our movement”—a white supremacist, nativist, and nationalist crusade—to boost his ego, settle scores (including with many Republicans), and make it impossible for Hillary Clinton to govern. He intends to become America's first celebrity demagogue. For at least the past month, Trump had realized that he is going to lose the race for president on November 8. Indeed, every day, it looks more and more likely that Clinton will beat him by landslide margins in both the popular vote and the Electoral College. If he were still running for president, and trying to win 270...

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