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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Artists in Times of War (Open Media Series)
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on April 17, 2017
Every artist should own it. Period.
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on July 2, 2004
This slim volume (I read it in an hour) by famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) revisionist historian Zinn is direct and to the point: "It is the job of the artist...to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare to say things that no one else will say." Of course, what Zinn thinks that artists should be saying is to speak out against war in ways that traditional journalists do not, CAN not. He cites Catch-22 by Joseph Heller as a case in point: "If, right after World War II, someone had written a nonfiction book on the ambiguities of war and the atrocities committed by the supposed good guys...such a book would have been difficult to publish. But...artists can be sly. They can point to things that take you outside traditional thinking because you can get away with it in fiction."
This makes me think of the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 and how remarkable it is that Michael Moore has broken through that wall to bring forth a nonfiction artistic statement about the current administration and war. I think Zinn would be pleased. Now if only someone would make some of the movies he suggests in this book (the story of Emma Goldman, the Ludlow Massacre, the Phillipine-American war to name a few).
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on October 4, 2006
Howard Zinn makes fine points about how Artists are the voice of conscience for nations. An artist's role is to tell the truth as he or she sees it. True artistic endeavors are truth, whether music, painting, sculpture or writing - truth through emotion or satire. Artists show us the truth whether we can see it or not. Joseph Heller told the truth of war, even when war was still patriotic social obligation. Mark Twain was the ultimate satirist, against imperialism and no one can accuse Twain of unpatriotism. Who else? Bob Dylan, e. e. cummings, Thomas Paine, Emma Goldman, and others.

Howard Zinn is right and we are all artists in a time of war.
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on March 22, 2004
Dr. Zinn does a great job in this collection of essays letting a new generation understand that an untold section of American history involves, as Dr. King put it in his last speech, "our right to protest for right." This manifesto which urges people to speak out on what's going on no also includes historial precedents of this in his discussion of stories Hollywood doesn't tell (It$ not hard to gue$$ why). But in either case, read this book and then FIGHT THE POWER!
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on January 4, 2004
Where is our public debate about excesses of government? If the radical perspective in national affairs continues to be hidden, what then? Zinn deserves prizes and accolades for bringing the radical perspective to the fore in this book at this urgent time. Like sheep, our nation wanders, but nonetheless follows the well-oiled public relations machine of our American president who spins and grins his way into the projection of power that is his prime directive.
Zinn provides a very different, critically important lens through which we might view life in these United States and our impact beyond our shores. He calls for the artist in each of us to be voice of those who are "collateral damage," left behind or otherwise choose peace, while the genius-not at the helm chooses war.
He speaks to the impact of the US rushing pell-mell into the maelstrom of a consumerism that transforms our nation-state into a market-state with increasingly more losers and fewer winners, and a state of public affairs and policy determined by a smaller and smaller group of corporate and business imperatives in a global Realpolitik.
Zinn gives us a strong reminder of that separate, but critically important reality of everywoman and -man that is more arresting than the cable that brought W's plane to an abrupt stop on the carrier.
Had enough? Read this book and get active! Or, at the very least, let Howard remind you in his ever-passionate way that governments always lie.
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on March 30, 2007
It is important for all painters, writers, musicians, actors, photographers, etc. to read books like this one because it is important for artists to ask themselves poignant questions such as, "What is the political effect of my art?", "Should I take on political topics to express how I feel about certain issues?", and "What are the potential benefits/consequences if I do?" Zinn's book offers a springboard toward thinking about these questions, and he puts forth some powerful arguments that, not only should artists create political works, but that when artists do, their works have potential that nonfiction works can never have.
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on March 8, 2007
Its a shame Howard Zinn is residing in the bosom of Western Society. This tome rambles and rambles with his inane observations. Zinn is in the same vein as Nietzsche, he uses his hammer to destroy, not to build solution.
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