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The People Speak: American Voices, Some Famous, Some Little Known Paperback – Bargain Price, March 2, 2004
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In this book, which showcases great American activists such as Mother Jones, Malcolm X, and Hellen Keller, Zinn takes a backstage role, introducing each speaker, then letting them do the talking, always in the name of the oppressed, always questioning the motives of the oppressor.
In this book we learn that Helen Keller was not only a woman who overcame incredible odds to become a gifted communicator, but a staunch critic of war and imperial agendas. We learn from Samuel Clemens that Teddy Roosevelt was a war-monger (aren't they all?), firing off a letter of commendation to a military strategist after he slaughtered 600 mostly defenseless Philippine men, women and children. We are treated to great poetry from Chicana activist Maria Herrera Sobek, and the late, great black poet Langston Hughes. But the chapters devoted to John Brown, Frederick Douglass, and Eugene Debs really send a shiver up the spine.
Eugene Debs said: "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." He then added that he could "have been in congress long ago, but that (he) preferred to go to prison."
This book is a treasure trove of voices, "some famous, some little known."
Five stars. Check it out.
Amazon lists this as both abridged and unabridged. On the back of the disc says unabridged. But you must know that only excerpts are performed. So don't think that you are going to hear a dramatization of the entire "Grassroots" speech by Malcolm X.
Get the book "The People Speak" too for when you want to read along and listen at the same time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely great easy read with short vignettes, I also purchased the dvd and love the readings. If you don't know Howard Zinn you don't know History!Published on May 11, 2014 by Bob Johnson
Anybody interested in his or her well being has to read this. There is no excuse to be a bystander, get involved.Published on March 31, 2014 by Richard Sachs
Powerful and moving! This is absolutely amazing! The speakers were phenomenal and the stories were heartbreaking and inspiring! Just wow!Published on November 22, 2013 by Hannah