When Californians need more water, they take it from their neighbors. Image credit: Robert Goldstrom
Howard Zinn's legacies go beyond just his approach to history, his profound optimism, his impact on popular culture, and they're all celebrated in a new collection of essays from The Progressive: Howard Zinn's Legacies, now available in paperback and Kindle editions.
Indeed, as Davis D. Joyce writes in his introduction, Zinn held consistently to a radical American vision. It was radical in the sense that it sought to bring about fundamental change in the political, economic, and social order to get to the roots. But it was also profoundly American: his writings were grounded firmly in the ideals on which the United States of America was founded, the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, such ideals as life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness and equality and self-determination that are so self-evident and inherent that no government has the right to take them away.
In Howard Zinn's Legacies, Noam Chomsky hails Zinn's influential writings while noting that his actions were equally inspirational a combination rare in modern life. Staughton Lynd explains the complexities of both Zinn's life and his writings, stressing his urge to speak not to academicians but to the general public. John Tirman, who studied under Zinn, argues he led his life as a good citizen: participating in the great discussions of the day while working toward a decent society. Matthew Rothschild hails Zinn's ever-present optimism and explains how his theory of social change presaged citizen movements creating change around the world. Alvin O. Turner assesses Zinn as a prophet, whose work and life inspired a new generation of historians and political scientists. Christine Pappas examines the complex issue of Zinn's treatment of women, a subject that's drawn strong opinions from feminists and other critics. Rachel C. Jackson argues Zinn's people's history can be applied locally to Oklahomans seeking social change. Critics from both the left (Michael Kazin) and the right (Robert Cheeks) present their views of the Zinn legacy.
"I have heard him speak to tens of thousands at demonstrations, to small groups of homeless people, to activists enduring brutal treatment, and at many other times and places," writes Noam Chomsky. "Always with the right tone and message, always inspiring, a gift to all of us to be treasured, and with lessons that should not be forgotten."
–– Davis D. Joyce was born and raised in Arkansas, but has lived most of his life in Oklahoma, receiving his Ph. D. from the University of Oklahoma and teaching at three Oklahoma universities: the University of Tulsa, East Central University, and Rogers State University. Joyce has authored, co-authored, or edited twelve books, including Howard Zinn: A Radical American Vision.
Print ISBN: 978-1-938532-14-6, 192 pages, $18.95
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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.