- Paperback: 308 pages
- Publisher: City Lights Publishers (December 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0872864758
- ISBN-13: 978-0872864757
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 49 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
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From Publishers Weekly
Prolific author, WWII veteran and outspoken history/political science professor Zinn collects here almost three dozen brief, passionate essays that follow in the tradition of his landmark work, A People's History of the United States, taking up the cause of ordinary Americans fighting for social justice. Shunning conventional notions of American history, Zinn instead strives to decouple the country's history from its "mythology," in part by examining familiar contemporary concerns like class, race, civil liberties, immigration and the Iraq War. Indeed, this veteran's profound disillusionment with war suffuses the work, but a polemic against the Bush administration this is not; while Zinn scarcely shies from critiquing the governing elite, he prefers to focus on little-known or underappreciated historical episodes such as Revolutionary War soldiers driven to mutiny or 1999 World Trade Organization protestors in Seattle. He also revisits and reframes well-known events, including the Boston Massacre and the Holocaust, and invokes figures like union organizer Eugene Debs and Vietnam War protestor Philip Berrigan to point the way forward. Though his observations can be bleak, Zinn's belief that "history is powerful" and will "break down the credibility of the war makers" gives his book a great sense of hope. Readers seeking to break out of their ideological comfort zones will find much to ponder here.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Strong, incisive ... penetrating ... embraces the sweep of history." -- Jonathan Kozol, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Shame of The Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I would never have anticipated that in reading this book today, I would not only encounter a second "erudite patriot," but that my somewhat anxious decision to directly and repeatedly focus public attention on the high crimes and misdemeanors of Dick Cheney, would be so elegantly validated with a firm grounding in public resistance to tyranny and amorality.
The author, an eminent historian, is the people's historian. He alone has documented the many times in which public resistance brought odious government programs to a stop.
Although a collection of past essays, this book actually reads fast and well as a survey of the fundamentals empowered by historical example and accuracy. I was strongly reaffirmed in my beliefs by this book, reinforced in my relatively recent commitment to bringing Cheney to justice.
The author, unique qualified to do so, informs us that people have resisted before, that the osmosis of truth ultimate swings the public, and as the book title suggests, no government can resist an aroused public.
The author suggests, and I agree, that impeachment of Cheney first, is essential. Our government has lost all legitimacy in my eyes, and I would resist arrest by this goveernment to the death of them or I, after first attempting to persuade the good-hearted people sent to arrest me that they should disobey the illegal order to arrest me, and live to see their families that night.
Every single essay in this book is moving, intelligent, cogent, and relevant to the greatest crisis our Republic has ever faced. The author's review of our greatest betrayal, of the wounded from Gulf I and Gulf II (he does not mention that unlike Gulf I, Gulf II produced 16 instead of 6 wounded for every death, and we have 75,000 amputees across the land, lives shatted by Dick Cheney's lies, by Paul Wolfowitz's lies, by Donald Rumsfeld's idiocy and arrogance).
The author is compelling in stating that war is the enemy, and one is reminded of the outcome of War Games: the only winning strategy is not to play at war for profit or any other reason.
The author is compelling in cataloging the litany of lies by our Presidents, and the manner in which our Founding Fathers designed the government to protect the rich and enslave the poor.
The author is compelling in pointing out that we must all question authority, and that the one thing we should all recognize now is that we can unite and be invincible, non-violently invincible, in demanding dignity, justice, and liberty for all--not just all Americans, but every person on the planet and especially those repressed by the 44 dictators, 42 of whom are Bush-Cheney "allies."
The author is compelling in damning the hypocrisy of this Administration, and I will tell everyone for a fact that below the White House level, most political appointees are shocked, scared, scared, angry, and hopeful that America will impeach the idiot-in-chief and the thief-in-chief. I am an estranged moderate Republican, and I never, ever, imagined that the Republican Party would become the runner up to global crimes so grotesque and extensive that only Hitler and his genocide against the Jews rate above it.
The author is compelling in calling for new new ways, for waging peace instead of war, for undertaking a general strike (I even thought the time has come to make all our tax payments to an escrow account instead of to the existing hijacked government).
I stand with the author in commiting to non-violent opposition to this totalitarian and amoral White House. Non-violence works. All that We the People need to do is withdraw our obedience. I really like the idea of a general strike, and I respectfully suggest to one and all that if America attacks Iran with Israel, that is the day when we should all go on indefinite general strike, and not return to work, nor pay taxes, until all US forces are withdrawn from the Middle East.
Under existing law & regulations, the above statement could be interpreted by Bush-Cheney as giving comfort to the enemey, and I could be arrested and all my property confiscated. That is how low this Republic has gone.
I must say, Howard Zinn's brilliance and integrity have bathed me with a warm glow of confidence in We the People. I feel protected, reinforced, encouraged, renewed, heartened by his wisdom. With such great minds as his speaking out, I am confident We the People will prevail.
You must, absolutely, buy this this book, read it, and recommend it to others. Other books that I have reviewed and recommend:
The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation's Most Ordinary Citizen
Escaping the Matrix: How We the People can change the world
All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity (BK Currents)
Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
Peppered with bits of history as made by ordinary people, each chapter of this book contains a short essay by Howard Zinn dealing with topics of social injustices such as war, capital punishment, and violence of capitalism and the active reactions by ordinary people to bring attention to the problem and to drive change at the grass-root level from the founding of America to present day.
"Our culture--the media, the educational system-- tries to crowd out of our political consciousness everything except who will be elected president and who will be on the Supreme Court, as if these are the most important decisions we make. They are not. They deflect us from the most important job citizens have, which is to energize democracy by organizing, protesting, sharing information, and engaging in acts of civil disobedience that shake up the system."
The theme is the same: Many, many everyday people, whom abused in some way (or seeing the abuse) by the artificial entity that is government and its many bureaucratic arms of privilege/commerce/imperial-driven warfare against the majority class of the subjugated, the poor and those simply born of a different nationality, race or sex; yet are not afraid to face down the police, the military, the farcical legal system or neighbors blinded by patriotic fervor to bring justice to those unrepresented by the 'system' or the media.