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January 2009 Volume 73, Number 1

Comment The Great Recession

Dave Zirin finds precedent for protesting the Mormon Church.

Adolph Reed Jr. shreds Obama’s centrist credentials.

How to Push Obama John Nichols

The way to influence him is to speak to America.

Finding Our Collective Voice Ruth Conniff

Is it too early to be in protest mode?

Poking the Racist Beehive Chip Berlet

Obama’s election is already provoking a backlash.

Growing Food and Justice Barbara Miner

Meet Will Allen, urban farmer extraordinaire.

Bill McKibben Diane Silver

“In the United States, cheap fossil fuel has eroded communities,” says the environmentalist. “We’re the first people with no real practical need for each other.”

Poem Stephen Ajay

Kate Clinton confirms that the recession is making us all let go.

Sonia Shah reviews More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want, by Robert Engelman.

2008 Index Ina Lukas

Jim Hightower marvels at the multiple handouts to Wall Street.

February 2009 Volume 73, Number 2

Comment Restraining Israel

Dave Zirin throws an elbow at Obama’s Education Secretary.

What Is NorthCom Up To? Matthew Rothschild

The U.S. Northern Command now has a dedicated fighting unit—fresh from Baghdad—for dispatching here at home. Is that even legal?

Being Kind to the Land Wendell Berry

True farmers respect a home place that is healthful and fertile.

Latin America Breaks Free Benjamin Dangl

Washington no longer calls the shots.

Careful with Your Old TV Set Julia Scott

By forcing Americans to upgrade their televisions, the government is creating “the biggest e-waste tsunami in history.”

To Kill or Not to Kill Tyler E. Boudreau

A former Marine who served in Iraq reveals the cold-heartedness of today’s corps.

Naomi Klein Matthew Rothschild

“We don’t have a right to be disappointed” by Obama, says the author of The Shock Doctrine.

Will Durst is grateful for the new guy with strange beliefs—like diplomacy and science.

Poem Rafael Campo

Interrogation Room of One’s Own Matt Pascarella

The performance artist Coco Fusco presents women who torture.

Jason Mark reviews American Earth, edited by Bill McKibben, and The Green Collar Economy, by Van Jones.

Jim Hightower can’t resist some parting shots at Bush.

March 2009 Volume 73, Number 3

Comment Nationalize the Banks

Eduardo Galeano denounces Israel’s destruction of Gaza.

Dave Zirin watches Gaza bleed into sports arenas.

Ruth Conniff monitors the implosion of conservatism.

Luis J. Rodríguez makes a case for the special role of the arts.

Barbara Ehrenreich traces the rise of the Nouveau Poor.

Toxic Prison Labor Anne-Marie Cusac

Computer recycling facilities behind bars are causing serious health problems.


Fighting Foreclosures Colin Asher

Activists and homeowners are joining hands in Boston.


Arundhati Roy David Barsamian

“It might be easier to be an American when there isn’t an American empire,” says the author and activist.


Kate Clinton sees good omens in Obama’s actions.

Poem Martín Espada

Books Eleanor J. Bader reviews All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America? by Joel Berg.

Jim Hightower exposes Timothy Geithner’s flaws.

April 2009 Volume 73, Number 4

This collector's item takes year by year through The Progressive, starting in 1909.

The editors have culled the best and pithiest items from each volume every published.

You'll be amazed at the names: James Addams and Helen Keller to Theodore Dreiser and Sinclair Lewis; from Upton Sinclair to George Orwell and Norman Thomas; from Huey Long to Adlai Stevenson, JFK, Hubert Humphrey, Gaylord Nelson and Paul Wellstone; from James Weldon Johnson to A. Philip Randolph and James Baldwin and Martin Luther King Jr; from Belle Case La Follette to Helen Gahagan Douglas to Gloria Steinem, June Jordan, and Molly Ivins; from Noam Chomsky to Edward Said to Howard Zinn, and many more!

Special 100th anniversary issue of the The Progressive (132 pages).

May 2009 Volume 73, Number 5

Editor’s Note


Comment One Step Backward

No Comment


Ruth Conniff watches Tim Geithner get bewildered.

Dave Zirin hits it around with Pete Rose.

On the Line


Changing Obama’s Mindset Howard Zinn

Obama has to be pulled in the right direction.


Paid Sick Leave Pays Off Barbara Miner

With a victory in a Milwaukee referendum, the movement is now national.

Window Dressing in Iraq David Enders and Alaa Majeed

The U.S. military is doing the bare minimum—and sometimes less—when it comes to abiding by the Status of Forces Agreement.

The Myth of the Efficient Car Alec Dubro

The problem with the car is the car.

A One-Woman AIDS Campaign Violet Law

Meet Dr. Gao Yaojie, who spreads the word about HIV in China at great personal risk.


Rajendra Pachauri Amitabh Pal

“The U.S. has lost a lot of time—the world has lost a lot of time—in moving from fossil fuels to alternatives,” says the Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist.


Will Durst says steroids, schmeroids—let’s play ball.

Poem Timothy Liu

Books Matthew Rothschild reviews Plunder and Blunder, by Dean Baker; The Great Financial Crisis, by John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff; and The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008, by Paul Krugman.

Jim Hightower decries the surge in private contractors in Afghanistan.


June 2009 Volume 73, Number 6

June 2009 Volume 73, Number 6

Editor’s Note


Comment No Impunity
No Comment


Ruth Conniff examines Obama’s mixed record.

Dave Zirin bemoans the price of a baseball game.
Luis J. Rodríguez finds poverty—and beauty—on the border.

On the Line


Afghan War Stories

A Friend Falls in Afghanistan by Amy Yee

When someone you care about gets killed in war, it transcends politics.

Uprooting an Afghan Village by Anand Gopal

U.S. and NATO attacks send people packing.


GM Ghost Town by Roger Bybee

The car company’s shortsightedness and Obama’s hardline attitude bring anxiety.

Shepard Fairey, Citizen Artist by Antonino D’Ambrosio

The maker of the iconic “Hope” poster has turned frustration and anger into inspiration.


Robert Redford by Matthew Rothschild

“Art is the language of the soul,” says the Hollywood icon and activist. “That’s why it’s important to subsidize it.”


Kate Clinton debates her partner on whether to get married.

Poem Ellen Bass

Books Ben Adler reviews 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation, by James Carville, with Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza.

Jim Hightower watches the Democrats boil off all the populism.

July 2009 Volume 73, Number 7

Editor’s Note


Comment A Bankrupt Move


Eduardo Galeano wonders why justice is blind in one eye.

Dave Zirin tackles the great Jim Brown.

Matthew Rothschild tracks the FBI infiltration of an Iowa City protest group.

On the Line


A Just Cause ≠ A Just War Howard Zinn


Off on Vacation Elizabeth DiNovella

Gandhi’s Grandson Amitabh Pal

The scion of the global icon carries on the family tradition.

A Literary Bust in Jerusalem Matthew Rothschild

Israeli security forces disrupt a Palestinian book festival.

Don’t Ask Permission Representative Keith Ellison

Our Progressive Vision Representative Dennis Kucinich

We’ve Got the Power Dolores Huerta


Representative Marcy Kaptur Ruth Conniff

“The people who helped elect President Obama have to help him even more now,” says the senior-most woman in Congress. “Because he’s in with a lot of barracudas.”


Poem Frederick Foote

Will Durst says Dick Cheney and torture are redundant.

Books Richard Greenwald reviews The Woman Behind the New Deal, by Kirstin Downey.

Jim Hightower traces the roots of genuine populism.

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White supremacist posters on campuses play on ignorance and fear within the very institutions that should be our...

Trump's politics are not the problem.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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