The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy

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The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy — No other radical historian has reached so many hearts and minds as Howard Zinn. It is rare that a historian of the Left has managed to retain as much credibility while refusing to let his academic mantle change his beautiful writing style from being anything but direct, forthright, and accessible. Whether his subject is war, race, politics, economic justice, or history itself, each of his works serves as a reminder that to embrace one’s subjectivity can mean embracing one’s humanity, that heart and mind can speak with one voice. Here, in six sections, is the historian’s own choice of his shorter essays on some of the most critical problems facing America throughout its history, and today. [Publisher’s description.]

Published by Seven Stories Press, 1997; updated in 2009.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments • p. 13

Introduction • p. 15

Race
    1. The Southern Mystique (from The American Scholar & The Southern Mystique) • p. 23
    2. A Quiet Case of Social Change (from The Crisis) • p. 31
    3. Finishing School for Pickets (from The Nation) • p. 40
    4. Out of the Sit-Ins (from SNCC: The New Abolitionists) • p. 47
    5. Kennedy: The Reluctant Emancipator (from The Nation) • p. 67
    6. Alabama: Freedom Day in Selma (from SNCC: The New Abolitionists) • p. 5
    7. Mississippi: Hattiesburg (from SNCC: The New Abolitionists) • p. 91
    8. The Selma to Montgomery March (from The Nation) • p. 108
    9. Abolitionists, Freedom Riders and the Tactics of Agitation (from The Anti-Slavery Vanguard & The Columbia University Forum) • p. 112
    10. When Will the Long Feud End? (from the Boston Globe) • p. 139
Class
    1. Growing Up Class-Conscious (from You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train) • p. 145
    2. La Guardia in the Jazz Age (from The Politics of History) • p. 163
    3. The Wobbly Spirit (from The Nation) • p. 177
    4. The Ludlow Massacre (from The Politics of History) • p. 183
    5. The Limits of the New Deal (from New Deal Thought) • p. 203
    6. Who Owns the Sun? (from the Boston Globe) • p. 220
    7. The Secret Word (from the Boston Globe) • p. 223
War
    1. Just and Unjust War (from Declarations of Independence) • p. 229
    2. The Bombing of Royan (from The Politics of History) • p. 267
    3. Vietnam: A Matter of Perspective (from Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal) • p. 281
    4. Of Fish and Fishermen (from Ramparts & Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal) • p. 289
    5. A Speech for LBJ (from Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal) • p. 296
    6. Dow Shalt Not Kill (from The New South Student) • p. 302
    7. Aggressive Liberalism (from The Politics of History) • p. 309
    8. The Curious Chronology of the Mayaguez Incident (from the Boston Globe) • p. 322
    9. The CIA, Rockefeller, and the Boys in the Club (from the Boston Globe) • p. 325
    10. Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day? (from the Boston Globe) • p. 328
    11. What Did Richard Nixon Learn? (from the Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin) • p. 331
    12. Machiavellian Realism and U.S. Foreign Policy: Means and Ends (from Declarations of Independence) • p. 336
    13. Terrorism Over Tripoli (from Failure to Quit) • p. 360
Law
    1. Law and Justice (from Declarations of Independence) • p. 367
    2. The Problem is Civil Obedience (from Violence: The Crisis of American Confidence) • p. 403
    3. The Bill of Rights (from Failure to Quit) • p. 412
    4. Testifying at the Ells berg Trial (from The Real Paper) • p. 420
    5. Amazing Grace: The Movement Wins in Camden (from Liberation) • p. 427
    6. Punishment (from justice in Everyday Life) • p. 433
    7. Attica (from The Saturday Review) • p. 444
    8. The Biggest Secret (from the Boston Globe) • p. 449
    9. Where to Look for a Communist (from Newsday & Z Magazine) • p. 452
    10. Plato: Fallen Idol (from Z Magazine & Failure to Quit) • p. 457
    11. Upton Sinclair and Sacco & Vanzetti (Introduction to Boston) • p. 462
History
    1. Columbus and Western Civilization (from Open Magazine Pamphlet Series) • p. 479
    2. The Uses of Scholarship (from The Saturday Review & The Politics of History) • p. 499
    3. Historian as Citizen (from the New York Times Book Review) • p. 509
    4. Secrecy, Archives, and the Public Interest (from The Midwestern Archivist) • p. 516
    5. Freedom Schools (from The Nation) • p. 529
    6. The New History (from the Boston Globe) • p. 540
    7. ”A University Should Not Be a Democracy” (from The Progressive) • p. 543
    8. The Marines and the University (from the Boston Phoenix) • p. 554
    9. How Free is Higher Education? (from Failure to Quit) • p. 567
    10. “Je Ne Suis Pas Marxiste” (from Z Magazine & Failure to Quit) • p. 5 7 4
    11. Jack London’s The Iron Heel (Introduction to The Iron Heel) • p. 579
    12. Discovering John Reed (from the Boston Globe) • p. 586
Means and Ends
    1. Violence and Human Nature (from Declarations of Independence) • p. 595
    2. Non-Violent Direct Action (from the American Journal of Ortho-Psychiatry) • p. 612
    3. The New Radicalism (from The New Left) • p. 620
    4. The Spirit of Rebellion (from the Boston Globe) • p. 633
    5. Beyond Voting (from the Boston Globe) • p. 636
    6. The Optimism of Uncertainty (from Failure to Quit) • p. 639
    7. Anarchism (Introduction to Herbert Read’s Anarchy & Order) • p. 644
    8. Failure to Quit (from Failure to Quit) • p. 656

Suggestions for Further Reading • p. 66