President Obama’s recent Africa tour could be of great significance.
When President Obama, in his Second Inaugural address, declared "that all of us are created equal" and that this principle "is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall," he laid out a vision of our country's progressive values and the historic journey toward a more just society that includes women's rights, racial equality, gay rights, and immigrant rights.
Here at The Progressive magazine, we've been documenting that journey for the last 104 years.
Our "Hidden History" e-book series offers installments of riveting selections from our archives for Kindle and NOOK.
Newly digitized and fully searchable, The Progressive archives are a treasure trove of progressive history, beginning with the magazine's founding in 1909 by Fighting Bob La Follette, who declared, "In the course of every attempt to establish or develop free government, a struggle between Special Privilege and Equal Rights is inevitable." In its early years, it joined the cause of women's suffrage under the leadership of Belle Case La Follette, Fighting Bob's wife.
The Progressive documented that struggle, throughout its early, suffragist years under the guidance of Belle Case La Follette, during the great civil rights battles of the 1950s and 1960s, and with joyful declarations of gay liberation by Allen Ginsberg and Harry Hay, founder of the modern gay rights movement, who said in a Progressive interview: "We have to be people who set each other free."
This collection also features writing from civil rights leaders, including James Baldwin and A. Phillip Randolph, in the 1950s and 1960s, and early celebrations of gay liberation by Allen Ginsberg and Harry Hay.
Among the distinguished authors: Clara Bewick Colby, Olympia Brown, Jane Addams, Carl Sandburg, Harriet Burton Laidlaw, William Jennings Bryan, Isabel Bacon La Follette, Judith Nies McFadden, Michelle Wasserman, William O. Douglas, Murray Kempton, June Jordan, Roger Wilkins, and Kate Clinton. Interview subjects include Dan Savage, Urvashi Vaid, Randy Shilts, Jesse Jackson, Cecile Richards, Lizz Winstead, Ani DiFranco, Gloria Steinem, Katha Pollitt, and a young senator from Illinois named Barack Obama.
For more than a century now, The Progressive has been publishing groundbreaking reporting and writing on the environment. The best of that writing has been gathered in Preserving Our Home on Earth: 100 Years of Environmental Writing from the Archives of The Progressive Magazine. A host of great writers are collected here. Senator Gaylord Nelson, Ralph Nader, Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, Wendell Berry, and Terry Tempest Williams inspire, inform, and remind us of the great beauty of this Earth that we're trying to preserve.
"Senator Gaylord Nelson's classic 1967 expose of pollution in The Progressive helped plant the seeds of Earth Day, and many of these pieces sound the trumpet of the modern environmental movement," says editor Matthew Rothschild.
In March of 1909, just two months after he founded what was to become The Progressive, Senator Robert M. La Follette took to the pages of his own magazine to highlight the need for conservation. The Earth, he said, is "the home of a posterity to whom we owe a sacred duty."
"The Progressive carries on that duty today, as the problems we face become more urgent," said Rothschild.
Authors represented in this anthology include James R. Garfield (Secretary of the Interior for President Theodore Roosevelt), Denis Hayes, Daniel Zwerdling, Robert Redford, Murray Bookchin, and Dave Foreman.