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- A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, by Howard Zinn -- "the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of — and in the words of — America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers.As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles — the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality — were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance."
- Organizing Urban America: Secular and Faith-based Progressive Movements, by Heidi Swarts -- "Examines the strategies of the most successful and racially diverse community organizations. Collective action through organized social movements has long expanded American citizens’ rights and liberties. Recently, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has helped win living wage initiatives in more than 130 cities across the country. Likewise, congregation-based groups have established countless social programs at city and state levels. Despite modest budgets, these organizations—different in their approach, but at the same time working for social change—have won billions of dollars in redistributive programs."
- Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists, by Betsy Leondar Wright -- "Movements for social change could be more powerful if they had more class diversity-a factor that has limited their past size and clout. But attempting to cross class barriers has frequently left middle-class activists frustrated, with few resources to turn to for help. Based on interviews with 40 diverse activists and thinkers, "Class Matters fills this gap by demystifying this taboo topic. A guide to building bridges across class lines and collaborating more effectively in mixed-class social change efforts, it is designed in lively, highly readable short "bites," full of stories, ideas, quotations, tips and resources. Economic justice activist Betsy Leondar-Wright is the communications director at United for a Fair Economy. She has worked in mixed-class movements for over 25 years."
- Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism, by Cornel West -- "From the bestseliing author of Race Matters, a bold and eloquent call for the deepening of democracy both at home and abroad in this threatening post-9/11 age of imperial overreach and fundamentalist rage.... if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy.... a brilliant and deeply moving call for the revival of our better democratic nature."
- Granny D: You're Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell, by Doris Haddock -- "In February 2000, ninety-year-old Doris "Granny D" Haddock became a national heroine when she completed her 3,200-mile, fourteen-month walk from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., to bring attention to the issue of campaign finance reform. Granny D recalls and celebrates an exuberant life of love, activism, and adventure — from producing one-woman feminist plays in the 1930s to stopping nuclear testing near an Eskimo fishing village in 1960 to her current crusade. Threaded throughout is the spirit of her beloved hometown of Dublin, New Hampshire (Thornton Wilder's inspiration for Grovers Corners in Our Town), a quintessentially American center of New England pluck, Yankee ingenuity, and can-do attitude. Told in Doris's vivid and unforgettable voice, Granny D will move, amuse, and inspire readers of all ages with its clarion message that one person can indeed make a difference."
- Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, by Rebecca Solnit -- "Hope in the Dark is an exploration of optimism in an era of seeming defeat and cultural pessimism. When the worldwide movement against war in Iraq failed to persuade the Bush administration against military action, many activists felt that their actions had been futile, their voices ignored. Hope in the Dark arises out of this moment, arguing millions marching against war did not constitute a failure, but a step toward success. Throwing out the crippling assumptions with which many activists proceed, Solnit proposes a new vision of how change happens. She counts historic victories that we have forgotten — from the fall of the Berlin war to the Zapatista uprising to Seattle in 1999 to Cancun in September 2003 — tracing the rise of a sophisticated, supple, nonviolent new movement of movements that unites all the diverse and fragmentary issues of the eighties and nineties. Hope in the Dark is not a manifesto for something that does not yet exist, but an invitation to recognize and to join something that does: The vast, inclusive, inchoate, nameless, wonderful movement that shut down the Seattle WTO, that marched by the tens of millions against war in Iraq, that has learned many lessons from the past and is making its own future, and ours, against empire, against violence, and against the multinationals.
- The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and The Media That Love Them, by Amy Goodman and David Goodman -- "Journalist and radio host Goodman brings her hard-hitting, no-holds-barred brand of reporting to an array of human rights, government accountability and media responsibility issues, and the result is bracing and timely. Goodman isn't about to let anyone slide by with easy explanations, not even then President Clinton when he called in on her daily Pacifica news show. And she is fierce and tireless in her commitment to dig behind official versions of the facts to get to very different stories. Her analysis of Iraq War contracts won by certain key Bush campaign donors will open many eyes, not only with its neat comparison of donation amount with contract value but also with its bold presentation of 'Crony Connections.' A gadfly's life in these turbulent times is neither restful nor boring, and Goodman's perspective on events like genocidal massacres in East Timor and mainstream coverage of the Jessica Lynch rescue is both important and alarming. Instances in which newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post have published stories based on leaked reports from unnamed government sources only to have to retract the stories later as being unfounded allow Goodman to argue that sophisticated news management techniques of spin, disinformation and controlled access to sources are undermining the reliability of media reporting. How, she asks, could journalists 'embedded' with U.S. troops in Iraq be objective reporters of all that was occurring there, and whose interests were being served? These and other provocative questions power Goodman's stirring call for a democratic media serving a democratic society." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
- The Impossible Will Take a Little While, by Paul Loeb -- "mixing my own essays with the voices of some of the most eloquent writers and activists around. Think Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Arundhati Roy, Tony Kushner, and Vaclav Havel. Alice Walker, Jonathan Kozol, Diane Ackerman, Susan Griffin, and Marian Wright Edelman. Cornel West, Terry Tempest Williams, Jim Hightower, Desmond Tutu, and Howard Zinn."
- The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition, by Timothy Patrick McCarthy and John McMillian -- "Radicalism is as American as apple pie. One can scarcely imagine what American society would look like without the abolitionists, feminists, union organizers, civil rights workers, gay and lesbian activists, and environmentalists who have fought to breathe life into the promises of freedom and equality, the lifeblood of American democracy. The first anthology of its kind, The Radical Reader brings together more than two hundred primary documents in the most comprehensive collection ever assembled of the writings of America's native radical tradition."
- War Talk, by Arundhati Roy -- "As the United States pushes for war on Iraq, Arundhati Roy, the internationally acclaimed author of The God of Small Things, addresses issues of democracy and dissent, racism and empire, and war and peace in this collection of new essays. The eloquence, passion, and political insight of Roy's political essays have added legions of readers to those already familiar with her Booker Prize-winning novel. Invited to lecture as part of the prestigious Lannan Foundation series on the first anniversary of the unconscionable attacks of September 11, 2001, Roy challenged those who equate dissent with being 'anti-American.' Her previous essays on globalization and dissent have led many to see Roy as 'India's most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence' (New York Times). War Talk collects new essays by this prolific writer. Her work highlights the global rise of religious and racial violence. From the horrific programs against Muslims in Gujarat, India, to U.S. demands for war on Iraq, Roy confronts the call to militarism. Desperately working against the backdrop of the nuclear recklessness between her homeland and Pakistan, she calls into question the equation of nation and ethnicity. And throughout her essays, Roy interrogates her own roles as 'writer' and 'activist.'"
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Page last modified on January 26, 2010, at 06:35 PM