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Artists in a Time of War

Artists in a Time of War

Howard Zinn (Author)

  • Publisher: AK Press/Alternative Tentacles
  • Format: CD
  • Binding: CD
  • Released: Sep 17, 2002
  • ISBN-13: 9781902593654

Published by AK Press


"As soon as you speak outside the boundaries, as soon as you say things that are different from what the establishment and the media and leading intellectuals are telling you to say, the question of your patriotism arises. When asked about patriotism and loyalty Twain said, 'My kind of loyalty is loyalty to one's country and not to one's institutions or officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing to watch over. Its institutions and clothing can wear out and become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease and death. To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags, to die for rags, that is a loyalty of unreason.' This is important because in the present discussion boundaries have been set, lines have been drawn. Those who go outside those boundaries and criticize official policy are called unpatriotic and disloyal. When they accuse dissenters of that they have forgotten the meaning of loyalty and patriotism. Patriotism does not mean support for your government. It means, as Mark Twain said, support for your country."—Howard Zinn, from the CD
In this brand new lecture, recorded a month after 9/11, America's finest social historian examines the role, and response, of artists in society and, particularly, during wartime and crisis. With his distinctive blend of low key wit, expansive knowledge of history, and Sherlockian ability to uncover the real stories of this country underneath the detritus of corporate disinformation and monoculture, Zinn—through the words and actions of the likes of Langston Hughes, Ford Maddox Ford, Joseph Heller, E. E. Cummings, Dalton Trumbo, Arthur Miller, Eartha Kitt, Kurt Vonnegut, and Daniel Berrigan—illuminates that pride in one's country comes not from the words and deeds of government, but from the actions of working people.
"Eugene O'Neill, the great playwright, six months after Pearl Harbor wrote to his son: It is like acid always burning in my brain that the stupid butchering of the last war taught men nothing at all, that they sank back listlessly on the warm manure pile of the dead and went to sleep, indifferently bestowing custody of their future, their fate, into the hands of state departments, whose members are trained to be conspirators, card sharps, double-crossers and secret betrayers of their own people; into the hands of the greedy capitalist ruling classes so stupid they could not even see when their own greed began devouring itself; in the hands of that most debased type of pimp, the politician, and that most craven of all lice and job worshippers, the bureaucrats. Well, I would never use such strong language myself, but I am willing to quote it when somebody else says it."—Howard Zinn, from the CD
"I am asking all of us to transcend what is coming at us from all sides. And to think carefully and clearly, for if we are all going to be herded into actions that are even more dangerous than we are facing now, then later we will regret that we went along silently and did not raise our voices as citizens to ask: How can we get at the roots of this problem? And what can we do about it? All of us can do something, can ask questions, can speak up. It is the American thing to do. It is the patriotic thing to do." —Howard Zinn, from the CD

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