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The Historic Unfulfilled Promise Paperback – 1 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Books (1 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087286555X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872865556
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,168,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review


This posthumous collection of Zinn's passionate, iconoclastic, and wryly humorous articles from the "Progressive" magazine spans 30 years--from 1980 to 2010--though most are of 21st-century vintage. Zinn argues repeatedly for an alternative to war, totalitarianism, and redistribution of resources and energy away from the military and "toward ideals of egalitarianism, community, and self-determination... which have been the historic, unfulfilled promise of the word democracy." Zinn persists with his optimism and sometimes proves astounding in his almost clairvoyant analysis, as the essays progress from Boston University student and faculty protests against the Vietnam War and the academic "Establishment" through the two Iraq wars, to Obama's expansion of the war in Afghanistan. In addition, Zinn writes of his own youth and radicalization, and his admiration for artists who "wage the battle of justice in a sphere which is unreachable by the dullness of ordinary political discourse," including a warm and perceptive memorial to Kurt Vonnegut, with whom he became friends late in life, and with whom he shared a conversion to pacifism after serving in WWII. His call to action will strike a chord with a younger generation of occupiers. --Starred review from "Publisher's Weekly"



"A useful introduction to one of America's great scholar-activists."--"Kirkus Reviews"

"This posthumous collection of Zinn's passionate, iconoclastic, and wryly humorous articles from the "Progressive" magazine spans 30 years--from 1980 to 2010--though most are of 21st-century vintage. Zinn argues repeatedly for an alternative to war, totalitarianism, and redistribution of resources and energy away from the military and "toward ideals of egalitarianism, community, and self-determination... which have been the historic, unfulfilled promise of the word democracy." Zinn persists with his optimism and sometimes proves astounding in his almost clairvoyant analysis, as the essays progress from Boston University student and faculty protests against the Vietnam War and the academic "Establishment" through the two Iraq wars, to Obama's expansion of the war in Afghanistan. In addition, Zinn writes of his own youth and radicalization, and his admiration for artists who "wage the battle of justice in a sphere which is unreachable by the dullness of ordinary political discourse," including a warm and perceptive memorial to Kurt Vonnegut, with whom he became friends late in life, and with whom he shared a conversion to pacifism after serving in WWII. His call to action will strike a chord with a younger generation of occupiers." --Starred review in "Publisher's Weekly"


"A useful introduction to one of America's great scholar-activists."--"Kirkus Reviews"

"Howard Zinn's life and work are an unforgettable model, sure to leave a permanent stamp on how history is understood and how a decent and honorable life should be lived."--Noam Chomsky

"Proudly, unabashedly radical . . . Mr. Zinn delighted in debating ideological foes, not the least his own college president, and in lancing what he considered platitudes, not the least that American history was a heroic march toward democracy.""--New York Times"

"For Howard, democracy was one big public fight and everyone should plunge into it. That's the only way, he said, for everyday folks to get justic--by fighting for it."--Bill Moyers


"Both Zinn's critics and his fans (there are many of both) will not see any appreciable watering-down of his often contentious views on democracy and war, the two subjects most abundantly represented here. But here there is also an opportunity to see a side of Zinn that was often kept private. His 2007 essay, 'Remembering Kurt Vonnegut, ' for example, eulogizes the acclaimed novelist with a rather touching personal statement of Zinn's own affection for him. A sharp and insightful collection from one of the country's most visible historians and critics."--"Booklist"
"Howard Zinn's life and work are an unforgettable model, sure to leave a permanent stamp on how history is understood and how a decent and honorable life should be lived."--Noam Chomsky
"Proudly, unabashedly radical . . . Mr. Zinn delighted in debating ideological foes, not the least his own college president, and in lancing what he considered platitudes, not the least that American history was a heroic march toward democracy.""--New York Times"
"For Howard, democracy was one big public fight and everyone should plunge into it. That's the only way, he said, for everyday folks to get justic--by fighting for it."--Bill Moyers
"Howard Zinn was called a lot of different names: anarchist, socialist, and communist. He called himself a lot of different names, too: anarchist, socialist, and communist. No one ever seems to have called him Zen, but maybe it's time to start . . . "The Historic Unfulfilled Promise" is a testament to Zinn's Zen politics: his refusal to be silent, to acquiesce, or to sever his ties with the downtrodden."--"The Monthly Review"

"Both Zinn s critics and his fans (there are many of both) will not see any appreciable watering-down of his often contentious views on democracy and war, the two subjects most abundantly represented here. But here there is also an opportunity to see a side of Zinn that was often kept private. His 2007 essay, 'Remembering Kurt Vonnegut, ' for example, eulogizes the acclaimed novelist with a rather touching personal statement of Zinn s own affection for him. A sharp and insightful collection from one of the country s most visible historians and critics."Booklist
"Howard Zinn's life and work are an unforgettable model, sure to leave a permanent stamp on how history is understood and how a decent and honorable life should be lived."Noam Chomsky
"Proudly, unabashedly radical . . . Mr. Zinn delighted in debating ideological foes, not the least his own college president, and in lancing what he considered platitudes, not the least that American history was a heroic march toward democracy."New York Times
"For Howard, democracy was one big public fight and everyone should plunge into it. That's the only way, he said, for everyday folks to get justicby fighting for it."Bill Moyers
"Howard Zinn was called a lot of different names: anarchist, socialist, and communist. He called himself a lot of different names, too: anarchist, socialist, and communist. No one ever seems to have called him Zen, but maybe it's time to start . . . The Historic Unfulfilled Promise is a testament to Zinn's Zen politics: his refusal to be silent, to acquiesce, or to sever his ties with the downtrodden."The Monthly Review"

About the Author

Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 - January 27, 2010) was a historian, playwright, and activist. He wrote the classic A People's History of the United States, "a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories," that has sold over two million copies to date. Zinn was a prolific writer and penned many books including The Bomb and A Power Governments Cannot Suppress. He was widely acknowledged in popular culture; A People's History was even depicted in The Sopranos and The Simpsons.


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