Published by City Lights Books | Available now
296 pages | ISBN: 0-87286-475-7 | www.citylights.com
1) Can you tell ZNet, please, what your new book with, A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, is about? What is it trying to communicate?
The book assembles my most recent writings on a variety of subjects, from the war in
2) Can you tell ZNet something about writing the book? Where does the content come from? What went into making the book what it is?
The book is really the idea of my editor at City Lights, Greg Ruggiero, who thought (and who was I to contradict him?) that my fugitive essays for the Progressive magazine and other publications deserved to be brought together, updated, and published as a book. Matt Rothschild, editor of “The Progressive,” where I am a regular columnist, graciously gave permission, and because he allows me to write on whatever subject I choose, there is a wide range of topics in the book. The editors at Princeton University Press allowed us to reprint my Introduction to a collection of Thoreau’s political writings. Deepa Fernandes agreed to let us use my introduction to her fine book “Targeted” on the immigration debate. We reprinted, with his permission, my introduction to David Cortright’s timely book on GI resistance to the Vietnam War. The magazine “Cineaste,” which has the most thoughtful and probing writing on the movies, offered to let me reprint the essay I wrote for them on the relatinship of film to the telling of history. The book also contains several essays that have never been published before.
3) What are your hopes for A Power Governments Cannot Suppress? What do you hope it will contribute or achieve, politically? Given the effort and aspirations you have for the book, what will you deem to be a success? What would leave you happy about the whole undertaking? What would leave you wondering if it was worth all the time and effort?
It is rare that any one book will have a cataclysmic effect on society â€” yes there was Tom Paine’s “Common Sense” and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” and “The Communist Manifesto.” All any writer can hope for is that his or her book plays a small part in raising the consciousness of its readers, in pointing to new ways of seeing the world, in making them conscious of their own power when joined to others. So to talk about “success” is only reasonable if “success” is defined modestly. And if that is so, then a writer can never wonder if his or her book was “worth all the time and effort.”
4) A Power Governments Cannot Suppress has a beautiful cover photo taken during the march from
I was on the last leg of that march, the last twenty miles to
That is the point of much of what I say in the book. All those cries by the Establishment â€” “We will never give in…we will never cut and run…we will never end apartheid, etc. etc.” have turned out to be hollow claims, because when movements of people grow and become overwhelming, things change.
For more information about A Power Governments Cannot Suppress and Howard Zinn’s upcoming media & speaking schedule, see: www.citylights.com