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A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

Howard Zinn

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Description

"Thank you, Howard Zinn. Thank you for telling us what none of our leaders are willing to: The truth. And you tell it with such brilliance, such humanity. It is a personal honor to be able to say I am a better citizen because of you."--Michael Moore, director of the film Fahrenheit 9/11, and author of the New York Times bestseller, Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!

"Find here the voice of the well-educated and honorable and capable and human United States of America, which might have existed if only absolute power had not corrupted its third-rate leaders so absolutely."-- Kurt Vonnegut, author of A Man Without a Country

A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, is a major new collection of essays on American history, class, immigration, justice, and ordinary citizens who have made a difference. Zinn addresses America's current political/ethical crisis using lessons learned from our nation’s history. Zinn brings a profoundly human, yet uniquely American perspective to each subject he writes about, whether it’s the abolition of war, terrorism, the Founding Fathers, the Holocaust, defending the rights of immigrants, or personal liberties. Written in an accessible, personal tone, Zinn approaches the telling of U.S. history from an active, engaged point of view. "America's future is linked to how we understand our past,” writes Zinn; "For this reason, writing about history, for me, is never a neutral act."

Zinn frames the book with an opening essay titled "If History is to be Creative," a reflection on the role and responsibility of the historian. "To think that history-writing must aim simply to recapitulate the failures that dominate the past," writes Zinn, "is to make historians collaborators in an endless cycle of defeat." "If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, and occasionally win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past’s fugitive moments of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare."

Buzzing with stories and ideas, Zinn draws upon fascinating, little-known historical anecdotes spanning from the Declaration of Independence to the USA PATRIOT Act to comment on the most controversial issues facing us today: government dishonesty, how to respond to terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of our liberties, immigration, and the responsibility of the citizen to confront power for the common good.

Considered a "modern-day Thoreau" by Jonathon Kozol, Zinn's inspired writings address the reader as an active participant in history making. "We live in a beautiful country,” writes Zinn, in the book’s opening chapter. “But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back."

Featuring essays penned over an eight-year period, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress is Howard Zinn’s first writerly work in several years, an invaluable post-9/11-era addition to the themes that run through his bestselling classic, A People’s History Of the United States.

Howard Zinn is a veteran of World War II and author of many books and plays, including the million-selling classic, A People’s History of the United States. For more information about Howard and his speaking schedule see www.citylights.com

Publishers Weekly Review

Dec 04, 2006 – 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.
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Dec 01, 2006
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 308 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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