The Historic Unfulfilled Promise (City Lights Open Media)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
"Passionate, iconoclastic, and wrly humorous . . . [Zinn] sometimes proves astounding in his almost clairvoyant analysis."—Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
Howard Zinn's life and work are the stuff of legend. His People's History of the United States has sold over two million copies and has altered how we see and teach history. A hero in word and deed, Zinn's views on freedom, fairness, history, democracy, and our own human potential are educational and transformative. In few places is the genius of his voice more crystallized and accessible than in the dozens of articles he penned for The Progressive magazine from 1980 to 2009, offered together here in book form for the first time. Whether critiquing the Barack Obama White House, the sorry state of US government and politics, the tragic futility of US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, or the plight of working people in an economy rigged to benefit the rich and powerful, Zinn's historical clarity, unflappable optimism, and unshakable questions reverberate throughout The Historic Unfulfilled Promise: "Have our political leaders gone mad?" "What kind of country do we want to live in?" "What is national security?" "Do we have a right to occupy a country when the people of that country obviously do not want us there?" "Is not war itself terrorism?" "Should we not begin to consider all children, everywhere, as our own?" "Has the will of the people been followed?" The Historic Unfulfilled Promise is a genuine work of conscience, rich in ideas, charged with energy; an invaluable introduction for the uninitiated and a must-have for Zinn's fans.
recently on a radio show in Madison, Wisconsin, a caller asked: Why, grieving as we all should for the thousands of victims of the September 11 action, were we not grieving also for the thousands of people who die on the job, in industrial accidents? We could extend that question: Why are we not grieving also for the thousands of children who die every year in this country for lack of food and medical care? The answer seems clear: To do that would call attention not to obscure foreign
people have been on vacation and it’s time to wake up. We need to look at our economic, social, and foreign policies and not be duped into believing the spin that comes from the government and the media.” In the comic strip The Boondocks, which reaches twenty million readers every day, the cartoonist Aaron McGruder has his character, a black youngster named Huey Freeman, say the following: “In this time of war against Osama bin Laden and the oppressive Taliban regime, we are thankful that OUR
official State Department figures. The highly respected International Institute for Strategic Studies in London has reported that “over 18,000 potential terrorists are at large with recruitment accelerating on account of Iraq.” With the failure so obvious, and the president tripping over his words trying to pretend otherwise (August 30: “I don’t think you can win” and the next day: “Make no mistake about it, we are winning”), it astonishes us that the polls show a majority of Americans
acceptable. And when the opposition party, the opposition presidential candidate, can offer nothing to fill that policy vacuum, the public feels it has no choice but to go along with what is being done. It is emotionally satisfying, even if rational thought suggests it does not work and cannot work. If John Kerry cannot offer an alternative to war, then it is the responsibility of citizens, with every possible resource they can muster, to present such an alternative to the American public.
from England—was a just cause. Why should the colonists here be oppressed by England? But therefore, did we have to go to the Revolutionary War? How many people died in the Revolutionary War? Nobody ever knows exactly how many people die in wars, but it’s likely that 25,000 to 50,000 people died in this one. So let’s take the lower figure—25,000 people died out of a population of three million. That would be equivalent today to two and a half million people dying to get England off our backs.