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The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy

Overview

No other radical historian has reached so many hearts and minds as Howard Zinn. His A People's History of the United States has gone into more than 25 printings and sold over 400,000 copies. It is rare that a historian of the Left has managed to retain as much credibility while refusing to let his academic mantle change his beautiful writing style from being anything but direct, forthright, and accessible. Whether his subject is war, race, politics, economic justice, or history itself, each of his works serves as...
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1888363541 New. No dust jacket as issued. Brand New! Support Radical Independent Pacific Northwest Booksellers! Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. Audience: General/trade. No ... other radical historian has reached so many hearts and minds as Howard Zinn. His A People's History of the United States has gone into more than 25 printings and sold over 400, 000 copies. It is rare that a historian of the Left has managed to retain as much credibility while refusing to let his academic mantle change his beautiful writing style from being anything but direct, forthright, and accessible. Whether his subject is war, race, politics, economic justice, or history itself, each of his works serves as a reminder that to embrace one's subjectivity can mean embracing one's humanity, that heart and mind can speak with one voice. Zinn Reader represents the first time Zinn has attempted to present the depth, and breadth, of his concerns in one volume. result is a monumental book, one that will remain, alongside A People's History of the ... Read more Show Less

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The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy

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Overview

No other radical historian has reached so many hearts and minds as Howard Zinn. His A People's History of the United States has gone into more than 25 printings and sold over 400,000 copies. It is rare that a historian of the Left has managed to retain as much credibility while refusing to let his academic mantle change his beautiful writing style from being anything but direct, forthright, and accessible. Whether his subject is war, race, politics, economic justice, or history itself, each of his works serves as a reminder that to embrace one's subjectivity can mean embracing one's humanity, that heart and mind can speak with one voice. The Zinn Reader represents the first time Zinn has attempted to present the depth, and breadth, of his concerns in one volume. The result is a big book, and a monumental book, one that will remain, alongside A People's History of the United States, as an essential and necessary Zinn text.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Historian, leftist activist, author of the popular People's History of the United States (New Pr., 1995) and other works of history, politics, and drama, retired professor Zinn has compiled 61 previously published essays on various historical topics and illuminates here his passionate commitment to social justice and political and economic democracy. The essays are arranged in six categories: race, class, war, law, history, and "means and ends." Lucid and at times poignant, they convey Zinn's belief that a historian's judgment about what should be written reflects her or his values. Some of the riveting events covered include the social revolution of the Civil Rights Movement, Allied atrocities during World War II, the murderous suppression of the Attica, New York, prison rebellion, and the hagiographic persistence of the Christopher Columbus narrative. Recommended for academic and public libraries.Charles L. Lumpkins, Bloomsburg Univ. Lib., Pa.
Kirkus Reviews
A welcome collection of essays and occasional pieces by the dean of radical American historians.

This portly tome is primarily intended for the Howard Zinn faithful, of course, of whom there are likely to be many; his People's History of the United States has sold 400,000 copies, after all. For the uninitiated, this collection offers a useful introduction to Zinn's idealistic, Marxist-anarchist view of the world, a view he has championed for many decades. Zinn began his career as a historian at Atlanta's Spelman College, then a school for African-American women; fittingly, a large part of his book is given over to first-hand reports on the civil-rights movement in the South. Rejecting too-easy black-versus-white views of the struggle, Zinn insists that class analysis be brought to bear on the study of inequality: "Once the superficiality of the physical is penetrated and seen for what it is," he writes, "the puzzle of race loses itself in whatever puzzle there is to human behavior in general. Once you begin to look, in human clash, for explanations other than race, they suddenly become visible." Elsewhere Zinn combs through the annals of American history to turn up examples of the evils of capitalism, discussing among other subjects the conduct of the Spanish-American War, the brutal suppression of the Filipino Revolt, the origins of the abolitionist movement, and the ironies of the war in Vietnam (he notes that in 1966 the US was paying $34 in condolence money for each Vietnamese civilian accidentally killed in air strikes—but $87 for every rubber tree thus destroyed). When not looking deep into the past, Zinn cheerfully lampoons such conservative foes as the late Allan Bloom, who "swoons over Plato," and generally has a good time arguing for an equitable, just, and division-free America.

A worthy gathering for Zinn fans and fledgling historians alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781888363548
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
I Race
1 The Southern Mystique (from The American Scholar & The Southern Mystique) 23
2 A Quiet Case of Social Change (from The Crisis) 31
3 Finishing School for Pickets (from The Nation) 40
4 Out of the Sit-Ins (from SNCC: The New Abolitionists) 47
5 Kennedy: The Reluctant Emancipator (from The Nation) 67
6 Alabama: Freedom Day in Selma (from SNCC: The New Abolitionists) 75
7 Mississippi: Hattiesburg (from SNCC: The New Abolitionists) 91
8 The Selma to Montgomery March (from The Nation) 108
9 Abolitionists, Freedom Riders and the Tactics of Agitation (from The Anti-Slavery Vanguard & The Columbia University Forum) 112
10 When Will the Long Feud End? (from the Boston Globe) 139
II Class
1 Growing Up Class-Conscious (from You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train) 145
2 LaGuardia in the Jazz Age (from The Politics of History) 163
3 The Wobbly Spirit (from The Nation) 177
4 The Ludlow Massacre (from The Politics of History) 183
5 The Limits of the New Deal (from New Deal Thought) 203
6 Who Owns the Sun? (from the Boston Globe) 220
7 The Secret Word (from the Boston Globe) 223
III War
1 Just and Unjust War (from Declarations of Independence) 229
2 The Bombing of Royan (from The Politics of History) 267
3 Vietnam: A Matter of Perspective (from Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal) 281
4 Of Fish and Fishermen (from Ramparts & Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal) 289
5 A Speech for LBJ (from Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal) 296
6 Dow Shalt Not Kill (from The New South Student) 302
7 Aggressive Liberalism (from The Politics of History) 309
8 The Curious Chronology of the Mayaguez Incident (from the Boston Globe) 322
9 The CIA, Rockefeller, and the Boys in the Club (from the Boston Globe) 325
10 Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day? (from the Boston Globe) 328
11 What Did Richard Nixon Learn? (from the Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin) 331
12 Machiavellian Realism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Means and Ends (from Declarations of Independence) 336
13 Terrorism Over Tripoli (from Failure to Quit) 360
IV Law
1 Law and Justice (from Declarations of Independence) 367
2 The Problem is Civil Obedience (from Violence: The Crisis of American Confidence) 403
3 The Bill of Rights (from Failure to Quit) 412
4 Testifying at the Ellsberg Trial (from The Real Paper) 420
5 Amazing Grace: The Movement Wins in Camden (from Liberation) 427
6 Punishment (from Justice in Everyday Life) 433
7 Attica (from The Saturday Review) 444
8 The Biggest Secret (from the Boston Globe) 449
9 Where to Look for a Communist (from Newsday & Z Magazine) 452
10 Plato: Fallen Idol (from Z Magazine & Failure to Quit) 457
11 Upton Sinclair and Sacco & Vanzetti (Introduction to Boston) 462
V History
1 Columbus and Western Civilization (from Open Magazine Pamphlet Series) 479
2 The Uses of Scholarship (from The Saturday Review & The Politics of History) 499
3 Historian as Citizen (from the New York Times Book Review) 509
4 Secrecy, Archives, and the Public Interest (from The Midwestern Archivist) 516
5 Freedom Schools (from The Nation) 529
6 The New History (from the Boston Globe) 540
7 "A University Should Not Be a Democracy" (from The Progressive) 543
8 The Marines and the University (from the Boston Phoenix) 554
9 How Free is Higher Education? (From Failure to Quit) 567
10 "Je Ne Suis Pas Marxiste" (from Z Magazine & Failure to Quit) 574
11 Jack London's The Iron Heel (Introduction to The Iron Heel) 579
12 Discovering John Reed (from the Boston Globe) 586
VI Means and Ends
1 Violence and Human Nature (from Declarations of Independence) 595
2 Non-Violent Direct Action (from the American Journal of Ortho-Psychiatry) 612
3 The New Radicalism (from The New Left) 620
4 The Spirit of Rebellion (from the Boston Globe) 633
5 Beyond Voting (from the Boston Globe) 636
6 The Optimism of Uncertainty (from Failure to Quit) 639
7 Anarchism (Introduction to Herbert Read's Anarchy & Order) 644
8 Failure to Quit (from Failure to Quit) 656
Suggestions for Further Reading 663
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