History is a weapon
January 5, 2013 8:27 AM   Subscribe

History is a weapon, History isn't what happened, but a story of what happened. And there are always different versions, different stories, about the same events. One version might revolve mainly around a specific set of facts while another version might minimize them or not include them at all. Like stories, each of these different versions of history contain different lessons. Some histories tell us that our leaders, at least, have always tried to do right for everyone.
Inside and below the fold are an amazing collection of most of the best of progressive primary source literature over the last five hundred years. By Metafilter's own (Previously)

Others remark that the emperors don't have the slaves' best interests at heart. Some teach us that this is both what has always been and what always will be. Others counsel that we shouldn't mistake transient dominance for intrinsic superiority. Lastly, some histories paint a picture where only the elites have the power to change the world, while others point out that social change is rarely commanded from the top down. Regardless of the value of these many lessons, History isn't what happened, but the stories of what happened and the lessons these stories include. The very selection of which histories to teach in a society shapes our view of how what is came to be and, in turn, what we understand as possible. This choice of which history to teach can never be "neutral" or "objective." Those who choose, either following a set agenda or guided by hidden prejudices, serve their interests. Their interests could be to continue this world as it now stands or to make a new world. We cannot simply be passive. We must choose whose interests are best: those who want to keep things going as they are or those who want to work to make a better world. If we choose the latter, we must seek out the tools we will need. History is just one tool to shape our understanding of our world. And every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.

What is this America?

Three books by authors trying to redefine what America is, the horror and the potential. We're a little biased, but A People's History Of The United States [FULL TEXT] by Howard Zinn is a fine beginning.
The American Revolution: Pages From a Negro Worker's Notebook by James Boggs (1963)

Die Nigger Die: A Political Autobiography by H. Rap Brown (1969)

Learning To Surrender

The role of education: How does a system teach us about itself? Malcolm X describes his education and its effects on him in this excerpt from "The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)"
A Great Difference between Red and White by Sago-Yo-Watha (Red Jacket) (1805)
Sago-Yo-Watha (Red Jacket) was an Iroquois law-giver, whose name in English means "He who keeps us alert". A contemporary observed that he spoke "with a voice as low, as gentle and caressing, as e'er won a maiden's lips". In the following piece, delivered in 1805, he explains to a young Moravian Missionary why he was being refused permission to open a mission on Indian land.
From The Narrative Of The Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (1845)

From A People's History of The United States by Howard Zinn

The Axe at the Root by William Thurston Brown (1901) NEW

The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson (1933)

Malcolm X on Afro-American History

Black History by Gil Scott-Heron (Performed)

From Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky (2002)

The Long Chain

These essays tackle the relationships between the economy, police, prison, and slavery. A good starting point is Christian Parenti's talk based on his book "Lockdown America"
Gottlieb Mittelberger's Journey to Pennsylvania in the Year 1750 and Return to Germany in the Year 17-54 (1754)

David Walker's Appeal by David Walker (1830)

The Demand For Order And The Birth Of Modern Policing by Kristian Williams (2003)

Letter to Lydia Maria Child by James R. Bradley (1834)
James R. Bradley, a slave in the Arkansas Territory who worked until he was able to buy his way into freedom, wrote this damning account of his experience of slavery to Lydia Maria Child, the abolitionist author the editor of an antislavery journal, The Oasis.
Henry Bibb's Letter to William Gatewood (1844)
Freed slaves and fugitive slaves played a vital role in building the Underground Railroad and organizing for abolition. As slaves began to tell their stories, some wrote private, or in some cases public, letters to their former owners, defying their attempt to return them to slavery. Here is one of those letters, from Henry Bibb, who was born a slave to a Kentucky state senator and fought for years until he eventually won his freedom in 1841.
A Plea For The Oppressed by Lucy Stanton (1850)
Lucy Stanton was probably the first African American woman to complete a four-year collegiate course of study. Stanton, the daughter of John Brown, a Cleveland barber active in the Underground Railroad, enrolled in nearby Oberlin Collegiate Institute (now Oberlin College) in northern Ohio. The institution would soon be noted for its abolitionist politics and admission of both male and female African American students. In 1850, Stanton completed the "ladies' course," which, unlike the B.A. program, required no Greek, Latin, or higher mathematics. As president of the Oberlin Ladies Literary Society, Stanton was invited to offer a graduation address at the commencement exercises on August 27, 1850. Delivered just two weeks before the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Act, Stanton's speech offers a stirring portrayal of slavery as bloody warfare. She appeals to her fellow women students to embrace the cause of the slave and to work in the service of emancipation and uplift. She offer vivid, present-tense vignettes of women's life in slavery, appealing to the women in the audience to see themselves in the place of the enslaved and act on their behalf: "Mother, sister, by thy own deep sorrow of heart; by the sympathy of thy women's nature, plead for the downtrodden on thy own, of every land."
Jermain Wesley Loguen's Letter to Sarah Logue (1860)

Selections from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Harriet Jacobs (1861)
In this selection1 from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, first published in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent, Harriet Jacobs explores the relationship between the church and slavery, observing how the teaching "If you disobey your earthly master, you offend your heavenly Master" was used in an attempt to prevent slave rebellion. Religion may have, at times, provided a momentary relief, but in this passage, Jacobs questions whether it could bring a meaningful release from the ills of slavery
"I Denounce the So-Called Emancipation as a Stupendous Fraud" by Frederick Douglass (1888)

Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice by David M. Oshinsky
I think God intended the niggers to be slaves. Now since man has deranged God's plan, I think the best we can do is keep 'em as near to a state of bondage as possible. . . . My theory is, feed 'em well, clothe 'em well, and then, if they don't work . . . whip 'em well. -- A Yazoo Delta planter, 1866
The Convict Lease System by Frederick Douglass (1893)

Lynch Law By Ida B. Wells (1893)

Crime and Criminals: Address to the Prisoners in the Chicago Jail By Clarence Darrow (1902)

"You Cannot Kill the Working Class" by Angelo Herndon (1937)

Social Insecurity: The Transformation of American Criminal Justice, 1965-2000 by Anthony Platt

An Open Letter to My Sister, Angela Y. Davis by James Baldwin (1970)

Remembering the Real Dragon: An Interview with George Jackson by Karen Wald (1971)

Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson (1970)

The Social Functions of the Prisons in the United States by Bettina Aptheker (1971)

Political Prisoners, Prisons, and Black Liberation by Angela Y. Davis (1971)

Women in Prison: How It Is With Us by Assata Shakur (1978)

Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex by Angela Y. Davis (1998)

Prison Labor, Slavery & Capitalism in Historical Perspective by Stephen Hartnett (1998)

The War on the People: An Interview with Christian Parenti by Suzi Weissman (1999)

Looking back: Radical Criminology and Social Movements by Gregory Shank (1999)

Crime As Social Control by Christian Parenti (2000)

The Challenge of Prison Abolition: A Conversation Angela Y. Davis and Dylan Rodriguez (2000)

Opening Up Borderland Studies: A Review of U.S.-Mexico Border Militarization Discourse by Jose Palafox (2000)

Slavery and Prison — Understanding the Connections by Kim Gilmore (2000)

Lockdown America in 22 Minutes [Audio] by Christian Parenti

Prison Nation by Sasha Abramsky (2001)

Race, Prison, and Poverty by Paul Street (2001)

Empire Abroad, Prisons At Home: Dark Connections by Paul Street (2003)
Voices From The Empire

People all over the world have identified what the American system means for them and what they have to do. The next section identifies how this is a world system and how the world has responded. Walter Rodney addresses the relationship between a Black American Prisoner and the international struggle in his short essay George Jackson: Black Revolutionary (1971).
Tecumseh's Speech to the Osages (Winter 1811-12)
One of the great figures of early Native resistance to colonization was Tecumseh, a Shawnee leader, who earned a reputation for his skills in fighting white settlers and militias in the Midwest. He and his brother worked toward the unification of Indians to struggle collectively against the encroachment on their lands by colonists, as they expanded westward. Here he speaks to the Osages about the struggle against the colonists, arguing that "nothing will satisfy them but the whole of our hunting grounds, from the rising to the setting sun."
Two Documents on the Cherokee Removal (1829 and 1830)
In the first half of the nineteenth century, tens of thousands of Native Americans were violently removed from their lands, as the U.S. government led an expansion of its territory and power into the lands of the Cherokee and other Indian nations. In 1823, the Supreme Court ruled that Indian's "right of occupancy" was not as important as the U.S. government's "right of discovery." Four years later, the Cherokees responded by declaring themselves to be a sovereign nation. The state of Georgia, however, did not recognize their sovereign status, but saw them as tenants living on state land. The Cherokee took their case to the Supreme Court, which ruled against them. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson won approval of the Indian Removal Act, gaining the power to negotiate removal treaties with Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi. These two accounts document resistance of the Cherokees to their removal, whether by "direct or by indirect measures."
Black Hawk's Surrender Speech (1832)

Dispatch on Texas Colonists by Miguel Barragan (1835)
In an 1819 treaty with Spain, the United States had given up any claim to Texas. But this did not stop politicians in Washington from trying to bribe Mexican officials to sell Texas, and then seeking to colonize the state and annex it. Mexico tried to stop the flow of U.S. immigration into Texas, but colonists continued to come to the state, setting the stage for a conflict over the state's status and for the eventual war against Mexico. Here is a dispatch describing the treatment of Mexicans by the Texas colonists, sent by President Miguel Barragan of Mexico to all Mexican military commanders and governors via his secretary Jose Maria Tornel.
Two Statements by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (1877 and 1879)
The lands of the Nez Perce stretched from Oregon to Idaho, but after the Gold Rush, in the 1860s, the federal government seized millions of acres of their lands, crowding them into a small part of their former lands. Chief Joseph led the resistance to the ongoing encroachment of Nez Perce lands in the 1870s, but his people came under fierce attack in 1877. Chief Joseph was forced to lead a retreat toward the Canadian border. He and his followers were defeated, some forty miles from the border, in Montana, on October 5, 1877. He was sent to the Indian Territories in Oklahoma, where he continued to speak out against the crimes of the U.S. government, as he did in a visit to Washington in 1879.
"We Would Rather Have Died" Chief Standing Bear (1879)
"The Poncas were removed from their land in Dakota in the early 1870s and force-marched to 'Indian Territory' in Oklahoma. After a horrendous attrition, some of them, led by Chief Standing Bear, made their way to Nebraska, where the Omahas gave them a piece of their own reserve. Here they were arrested and brought before a local court where the US government contended that they were not 'entitled to protection of the writ of habeaus corpus not being a person or citizen under the law'. The judge ruled against the government, however: a Presidential commission galvanized by public disquiet later settled 600 of the Poncas in Oklahoma and 250 on the reservation in Nebraska. As John Upton Terrell commented on this criminal episode: 'The goverment was the victor. It had succeeded in breaking and dividing a small peaceful people whose loyalty to the United States had never wavered. It had killed some two hundred of them... men, women, and children.'"
"The End of the Dream" by Black Elk (1932)
One of the worst massacres of Native Americans occurred on December 29, 1890, and was, as with so many other massacres, reported with indifference and even praised. The massacre followed soon after the killing of the Indian leader Sitting Bull. After his death, the Saturday Pioneer in Aberdeen, South Dakota, proclaimed, "The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent... and the best safety of the frontier settlers will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians." The editor Of the paper was L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This account of the Wounded Knee Massacre is from the Oglala Sioux leader Black Elk, from his oral testimony published as Black Elk Speaks.
Calixto Garcia's Letter to General William R. Shatter (1898)

The First Vietnam: The U.S.-Philippine War of 1899 by Luzviminda Francisco (1973)

"The Roosevelt Corollary" and "To Roosevelt" by Theodore Roosevelt and Rubin Dario (1904/5)

The Negro is the Race Oppressed by All the Imperialists by Lamine Senghor (1927)
Lamine Senghor was an early Senegalese nationalist. Born in Kaolack, Senegal in 1889, he served in the French Army between 1915 and 1919 and returned to Paris in 1922. Senghor joined the French Communist Party and ran as a ran as Communist Party candidate in the Paris local elections in 1924. Nonetheless he remained committed to an independent Senegal. In 1927, shortly before his death in Paris he articulated that commitment in a speech before the conference of the League Against Imperialism that met in Brussels, Belgium. At the time he was president of the Comité de Defense de la Race Négre. That speech appears below.
Reciprocal Bases of National Culture and the Fight for Freedom by Frantz Fanon (1959)

Selections from Even the Women Must Fight: Memories of War from North Vietnam

"Why do the Yankees hate the Cuban Revolution?" by Fidel Castro (1962)

Nelson Mandela's statement at his trial and his speech given at his release (1964 and 1990)

The Weapon of Theory by Amilcar Cabral (1966)

"Create Two, Three, Many Vietnams: Message to the Tricontinental" by Che Guevara (1967)

African History in the Service of the Black Liberation by Walter Rodney (1968)

National Liberation and Culture by Amilcar Cabral (1970)

George Jackson: Black Revolutionary By Walter Rodney (1971)

A Fundamental Necessity of the Revolution by Samora Machel (1973)

Three chapters from Victor: An Unfinished Song by Joan Jara (1973)

A Bicentennial Without a Puerto Rican Colony by Piri Thomas (1975)

A Selection From Walter Rodney Speaks: The Making of an African Intellectual by Walter Rodney (1975)

Street Speech by Walter Rodney (1976)

The Struggle Goes On by Walter Rodney (1979)

Testimony of Ismael Guadalupe Ortiz on Vieques, Puerto Rico (1979)

The Cold War from the Standpoints of Its Victims by Eqbal Ahmad (1991)
Looking Inward

There comes a moment when those inside the core examine the relationship to the colonized. Here, we examine those questions, starting with Bartoleme de Las Casas in his Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies. (1542)
"The Cherokee Removal Through the Eyes of a Private Soldier" by John G. Burnett (1890)
In May 1838, federal militias started to round up Cherokees and move them into stockades in several southern states. They were then forced to march one thousand miles westward. Thousands of Cherokees died as a result of the removal. The journey became known as "The Trail of Tears" or "The Trail Where They Cried." Fifty years later, in 1890, Private John Burnett, who served in the mounted infantry; told his children his memories of the Trail of Tears, which he described as the "execution of the most brutal order in the History of American Warfare."
Douglas Fraser's Resignation letter from the Labor-Management Group (1978)

Imperialism 101 by Michael Parenti (1995)

New US Military Bases: Side Effects Or Causes Of War? by Zoltan Grossman (2002)

The New Pentagon Papers by Karen Kwiatkowski (2004)

Raising Our Voices

Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and abolitionist, was asked to give a Fourth of July speech while slavery still existed. His fiery talk is what this section is about: People within America recognizing that the American promises ring hollow.
A True Narrative of the Rise, Progresse, and Cessation of the Late Rebellion in Virginia, Most Humbly and Impartially Reported by His Majestyes Commissioners Appointed to Enquire into the Affaires of the Said Colony (1677)
A hundred years before the Declaration of Independence, in 1676, a rebellion took place in Virginia led by Nathaniel Bacon and joined by white frontiersmen, slaves, and servants. To quote from A People's History of the United States: "[It was] a rebellion so threatening that the governor had to flee the burning capital of Jamestown, and England decided to send a thousand soldiers across the Atlantic, hoping to maintain order among forty thousand colonists." The grievances of this motley group were various: frontiersmen believed they were not getting proper protection from Indian attacks; slaves and servants felt the weight of oppression from their masters and the political leaders of Virginia. The British Crown set up a Commission of Inquiry to report on Bacon's rebellion, which they did as follows
Proclamation of the New Hampshire Legislature on the Mast Tree Riot (1734)
The general condition of so many people in the colonies remained poor and desperate as they watched a small number own huge tracts of land or accumulate fortunes. For instance, in Boston the tax records show that, shortly before the American Revolution, the richest one percent of the property owners owned forty percent of the city's wealth. Poor people in New Hampshire, needing firewood, chopped down trees on the estates of the rich. The British surveyor-general, Daniel Dunbar, found that the local townspeople would not help him in discovering the culprits. He assembled a small force of his own, but when he arrived in the town of Exeter in April 1734, his men were attacked and beaten by a group of local residents. An official report by the New Hampshire legislature follows.
Letter Written by William Shirley to the Lords of Trade about the Knowles Riot (1747)
In the decades before the Revolution, riots against impressments—the drafting of young men in the colonies for the British navy—multiplied throughout the colonies. In Newport, Rhode Island, for instance, five hundred seamen, white and black, rioted after having been impressed for five weeks by the British navy. Here is an account of one of the earliest of these pre-Revolutionary incidents, an uprising against Commodore Knowles, reported in a letter from Governor Shirley of Massachusetts to the Lords of Trade in England.
Thomas Hutchinson Recounts the Reaction to the Stamp Act in Boston (1765)

Samuel Drowne's Testimony on the Boston Massacre (1770)
Strong feelings against the stationing of British soldiers in Boston formed a background for the Boston Massacre of 1770. The incident itself was instigated by the anger of rope makers against British soldiers taking their jobs. A crowd gathered, British soldiers fired into the crowd, killing five people, including Crispus Attucks, a mulatto worker. John Adams, the defense attorney for the soldiers, described the crowd as "a motley rabble of saucy boys, Negroes and molattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tarrs." When the acquittal of six of the soldiers and light punishment for two others caused more anger, England removed the troops from Boston in the hope of calming things down. Here is a contemporary account of the massacre by a Bostonian.
George Hewes Recalls the Boston Tea Party (1834)

Joseph Clarke's Letter about the Rebellion in Springfield (1774)

New York Mechanics Declaration of Independence (1776)
At least ninety state and local declarations of independence, taking various forms, preceded Thomas Jefferson's. Here is one striking example, signed by manual laborers in the Mechanick-Hall, New York, in May 1776. In the resolution, the laborers instruct their representatives in the Provincial Congress to instruct the New York representatives in the Continental Congress to declare independence.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776)

A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier by Joseph Plumb Martin (1830)

Letter to George Washington by Henry Knox (1786)

Letter to Jefferson by Benjamin Banneker (1791)

Address Delivered at the African Masonic Hall, Boston by Maria Stewart (1833)

An Eyewitness Account of the Flour Riot in New York (1837)

Angelina Grimké Weld's speech at Pennsylvania Hall (1838)

Woman in the Nineteenth Century by S. Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1845)

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau (1849)

Ain't I A Woman? by Sojourner Truth (1851)

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Frederick Douglass (1852)

"America" by James Monroe Whitfield (1853)

"Speech of Reverend Theodore Parker at the Faneuil Hall Meeting" (1854)
There was widespread disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which enlisted the powers of the national government to return escaped slaves to their masters. Blacks and whites joined in armed resistance. When they were arrested, it often happened that juries, defying the Fugitive Slave Act themselves, would acquit them. In Boston, for instance, in 1851, a man named Shadrack was rescued from a courtroom by 50 blacks, eight of whom were tried and acquitted. That same year, the escaped slave Jerry was rescued from a police station in Syracuse. Eighteen men were indicted, all were acquitted. In 1854, President Franklin Pierce dispatched federal troops, joined by state militia and local police, to capture Anthony Burns, a slave who had escaped to Massachusetts from Virginia. Citing the Fugitive Slave Act, on May 27, 1854, Commissioner Edward G. Loring ordered Burns be returned to slavery in Virginia. The night before, black and white abolitionists used a battering ram against the courthouse doors but were repulsed. On June 2, Burns was marched to the waterfront, through streets draped with black cloth and lined with thousands of his supporters, to the sound of church bells toiling, and was forcibly sent back to slavery. On the eve of Bums's sentencing, the Unitarian abolitionist minister Theodore Parker, a supporter of the rebel John Brown, gave this rousing address to a packed meeting house in Boston. That night thirteen people were arrested and one marshal killed.
Marriage Protest of Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell (1855)
Lucy Stone was not only the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a college degree, but the first woman in the United States to keep her own name after marriage. When Stone married Henry Blackwell in 1855, she and Blackwell registered the following protest, which was read at the ceremony and then published in abolitionist newspapers.
The Impending Crisis of the South by Hinton Rowan Helper (1857)
Disaffection in the South took many forms during the Civil War, including desertions from the Confederate Army and resentment of poor whites against the Southern plantation owners and the Southern political establishment. Some of that class consciousness, present in the South long before the Civil War, was articulated in 1857 by the writer Hilton Rowman Helper, whose book The Impending Crisis of the South was banned by Southern states opposed to its message
John Brown's Last Speech (1859)
On October, 16, 1859, John Brown and nearly two dozen comrades seized the armory at Harper's Ferry in West Virginia, hoping to use its massive arsenal in the struggle to forcibly end slavery. Captured and brought to trial at nearby Charles Town, Brown was found guilty of treason. One month before his execution, John Brown addressed a courtroom in Charlestown, West Virginia, defending his role in the action at Harper's Ferry. Henry David Thoreau, although himself did not favor violence, praised John Brown, and when the fiery Preacher was sentenced to death, Ralph Waldo emerson said: "He will make the gallows holy as the cross."
Declaration of Sentiments by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1848)
In 1848, a historic assembly of women gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton organized the Seneca Falls Convention with Lucretia Mott, who, like her, had been excluded from the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London eight years earlier. Modeling her declaration closely on the Declaration of Independence, Stanton extended it to list the grievances of women. The Declaration also called for the right for women to vote, a radical demand that helped launch the women's suffrage movement, leading, ultimately, to the recognition of voting rights for women in the nineteenth Amendment, in 1920.
The Great Riots of New York by Joel Tyler Headley (1873)
The institution of a draft during the Civil War caused widespread resentment throughout the North, leading to a number of violent protests in 1863, particularly in New York. Many working-class Irish immigrants in New York pointed to the fact that the rich could buy their way out the draft, but also turned their anger against black people, seeing the war as a war against slavery in which poor whites were dying. They blamed blacks for their own misery, especially when blacks, desperate for work themselves, were used as strikebreakers. On July 13, 1863, a number of draft resisters burned down a New York City draft office, setting off four days of violence, most of it targeted against blacks. In this account of the riots, historian Joel Tyler Headley describes some of the genuine grievances of the Northern draft resisters, but also reveals his fears of sweeping change.
"Voting by Classes" by "Mechanic" (1863)
In this letter, sent to the editor of the Columbus, Georgia, Daily Sun, an unknown laborer challenges an editorial from a competing newspaper, the Enquirer. The letter provides a window on the class consciousness of workers in the Confederacy and also the resentment at the broken promises about the gains that ordinary people would receive from the war.
Martin Delany's Advice to Former Slaves (1865)
In this fiery speech Martin Robinson Delany, the son of free blacks and a leading African-American officer in the Union army, speaks to a congregation of several hundred at St. Helena Island, South Carolina, about the struggle against slavery and the struggle for freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation. Delany was employed by the Freedmen's Bureau at the end of the Civil War, but the bureau, worried about his politics, sent Lieutenant Edward M. Stoeber to listen to his address at the Brick Church at St. Helena Island. His account is the only existing text of this speech. Stoeber noted, "The excitement with the congregation was immense" and "cheers were given to some particular sentence of the speech." Afterward congregants told Stoeber, "they would get rid of the Yankee employer" and that Delany "is the only man who ever told them the truth."
Annals of the Great Strikes in the United States by J. A. Dacus (1877)
Class conflict continued to find expression after the end of the Civil War. The year 1877 saw the nation deep in an economic crisis. That summer, in the hot cities where poor families lived in cellars and drank dirty water, children became sick in large numbers. That same year, railroad workers went on strike throughout the East, reacting against wage cuts, long working hours, profiteering by the railroad companies, and deaths and injuries resulting from the absence of safety precautions. The strike spread quickly, and violence escalated as the National Guard and then federal troops (withdrawn from the South) were brought in against the strikers. When the strikes were over, a hundred people were dead, one thousand had been jailed, and one hundred thousand workers had gone on strike. Here, St. Louis journalist J. A. Dacus describes the dynamic of the railway strike.
Wall Street Owns The Country by Mary Elizabeth Lease (c. 1890)

Speech to the Women's Christian Temperance Union by Mary Elizabeth Lease (1890)

Reverend J. L. Moore on the Colored Farmers' Alliance (1891)
Here is an early argument for the idea of an alliance between white and black fanners. In this letter to a Florida newspaper, Reverend J. L. Moore, a leader of the Florida Colored Farmers' Alliance, argues that "the laboring colored man's interests and the laboring white man's interests are one and the same," urging the formation of political parties that serve the needs of farmers and working people.
Statement from the Pullman Strikers (1894)
In the 1880s, George Pullman built the company town of Pullman, outside of Chicago. He slashed his workers' wages, forced them to pay high rents for the dwellings he owned, and controlled every aspect of their lives, treating them like serfs on a feudal estate. Workers struck Pullman on May 11, 1894. To support them, the American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, organized a nationwide boycott of the railroads. Soon all traffic on the twenty-four railroad lines leading out of Chicago could not move. The strike was broken by court injunctions and federal troops sent by President Grover Cleveland. Debs went to prison for six months, and came out a socialist. Here is a statement the Pullman workers delivered at the union's convention at Uhlich Hall in Chicago.
"Characteristics of the Early Factory Girls" (1898) by Harriet Hanson Robinson
When Boston capitalists, making use of the new canal system, began building textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the early nineteenth century, they recruited young women from rural New England as their labor force. They assumed these "girls" would be docile and easily managed. Instead, the young women in the Lowell mills formed reading circles, organized to demand their rights as laborers and as women, and agitated for better workplace conditions. They printed leaflets and published their own newspaper, the 'Lowell Offering.' Here Harriet Hanson Robinson, who started work in the mills when she was only ten, recounts a "turn out," or strike, of the Lowell women, and describes the conditions of women factory workers in the 1830s.
"The Negro Should Not Enter the Army" Statement of the Missionary Department of the Atlanta, Georgia, A.M.E. Church (1899)

Speech to Striking Coal Miners by Mother Jones (1912)
Mother Jones's "Speech to Striking Coal Miners," in Charleston, West Virginia, was delivered while she was at the height of her fame and influence. Mary Harris "Mother" Jones (1836-1930) was born in Ireland and moved to the United States at age five. She became active in the labor movement in 1867, following the deaths of her husband and children in the Memphis yellow fever epidemic. A flamboyant speaker, Jones is chiefly known for helping organize coal miners, although she also organized garment and streetcar workers, and crusaded against child labor. She continued to work as a union organizer and agitator into her nineties, and she published her Autobiography in 1925. The following speech was transcribed by a court reporter for use in a court injunction against her. Later, Jones was accused of inciting violence in the West Virginia coal fields, and she was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to twenty years in prison. The sentence was later commuted.
Arturo Giovannitti's Address to the Jury (1912)
Among the many Wobblies who came to Massachusetts to show solidarity with the Lawrence textile strikers was Arturo Giovannitti, an Italian born poet and labor organizer. Soon after their arrival, Giovannitti and his friend Joseph Ettor were accused by the mill owners of inciting violence. After a soldier in the Massachusetts state militia killed an Italian woman, Ana LoPizzo, during the strike, local authorities charged an Italian striker and arrested Giovannitti and Ettor as "accessories to the murder." An international campaign was organized to support the three defendants, who were finally acquitted in November 1912, eight months after the textile strike had ended in victory. Here is Giovannitti's address to the jury before the verdict.
Emma Goldman's Address to the Jury in U.S. v. Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman (1917)

Plain Words (1919)
'Plain Words' was found at the site of a series of bombings against capitalist targets in 1919, including billionaire John D. Rockefeller and Attorney General Alexander Palmer. The primes suspects were Galleanists, followers of insurrectionary anarchist Luigi Galleani (1861-1831), founder and editor of the newspaper 'Cronaca Sovversiva.' Published for over 15-years almost entirely in Italian, the magazine made a strong case for "propaganda by the deed," that is: revolutionary violence as opposed to simply propaganda by the word. The Galleanists tried to put the ideas into practice; for example, a Chicago chef added arsenic to the soup for 200 at a banquet to honor Archbishop Mundelein (no one died - he added too much poison and it was all vomited back up). The June 1919 bombings did kill three - one of the bombers, a woman walking by, and a night watchman; in contrast, from 1914 to 1918, tens of millions were maimed or killed in the capitalists' first World War.
A selection from Black Bolshevik by Harry Haywood (1978)

"You Have to Fight for Freedom" Sylvia Woods (1973)

"I Am A Union Woman" by Aunt Molly Jackson (1931)

Organizing the Unemployed in the Bronx in the 1930s Rose Chernin

"Back of the Yards" by Vicky Starr ("Stella Nowicki")

Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol (1939)

A Selection of the Poetry of Langston Hughes (1921 to 1967)

The Montgomery Bus Boycott from the Women's Political Council (1955)

Paul Robeson's Unread Statement before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (1956)

An Appeal for Human Rights (1960)

Appeal to Adlai Stevenson by Robert Williams (1961)

My Dungeon Shook by James Baldwin (1963)

Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr. (1963)

The Revolution is At Hand A speech by John Lewis (1963)

Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone (1963)

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

A Message to the Grassroots A speech by Malcolm X (1963)

The Ballot or the Bullet A speech by Malcolm X (1964)

An End To History by Mario Savio (1964)

A Question of Class by Dorothy Allison (1994)

Sex and Caste: A Kind of Memo by Casey Hayden and Mary King (1965)

The Basis of Black Power: a SNCC position paper (1966)

"Who Will Revere the Black Woman?" by Abbey Lincoln (1966)

The Thoughts of Muhammad Ali in Exile, c. 1967

The S.C.U.M. Manifesto by Valerie Solanas (1967)

'Be Down with the Brown!' by Elizabeth ("Betita") Martinez (1998)

Ellen Willis Replies by Ellen Willis (1968)

Catonsville 9 Statement by Daniel Berrigan (1968)

The Redstockings Manifesto (1969)

Power Anywhere Where There's People A speech by Fred Hampton (1969)

Abortion Is a Woman's Right by Susan Brownmiller (1999)

Women, Power, and Revolution by Kathleen Neal Cleaver (1998)

Stonewall by Martin Duberman (1993)

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron (1970)

"The Problem Is Civil Disobedience" by Howard Zinn (1970)

The Women's Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements by Huey Newton (1970)

The Woman-Identified Woman by the Radicalesbians (1970)

The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977)

Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich (1977)

The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House by Audre Lorde (1979)

The Bridge Poem Donna Kate Rushin (1981)

Address to the Commonwealth Club of California by Cesar Chavez (1984)

Local P-9 Strikers and Supporters on the 1985-1986 Meatpacking Strike against the Hormel Company in Austin, Minnesota (1991)

Why We Fight by Vito Russo (1988)

The Seven Deadly Sins Fact Sheet by David Wojnarowicz (1989)

The Queer Nation Manifesto (1990)

Riot Grrrl Manifesto (1991)

Surviving the Storm: Lessons from Nature by Julia Butterfly Hill (2001)

Organizing in Our Communities Post-September 11th by Monami Maulik (2001)

Tarek Mehanna's Sentencing Statement (2012)
Tarek Mehanna, an American Muslim, was convicted in a federal court in Boston of supporting Al Qaeda (by virtue of translating Terrorists' documents into English and expressing "sympathetic views" to the group) as well as conspiring to "murder" U.S. soldiers in Iraq (i.e., to wage war against an invading army perpetrating an aggressive attack on a Muslim nation). Below is his statement at his sentencing hearing, before being given a 17-year prison term.
Against The War Machine

Americans speaking and acting out against war is the next subject. Don Mitchell got a chance to speak to the bureaucrats of the military and talked about Americans as people of the world living under the same empire.
Samuel Dewees Recounts the Suppression of Insubordination in the Continental Army after the Mutinies of 1781 (1844)
Class conflict inside the American Revolution came dramatically alive with mutinies in George Washington's army. In 1781, after enduring five years of war—casualties in the Revolution exceeded, in proportion to population, American casualties in World War II—more than a thousand soldiers in the Pennsylvania line at Morristown, New Jersey, mutinied. They had seen their officers paid handsomely, fed and clothed well, while the privates and sergeants were fed slop, marched in rags without shoes, paid in virtually worthless Continental currency, or not paid at all for months. They were abused, beaten, and whipped by their officers for the smallest breach of discipline. For many, their deepest grievance was that they wanted out of the war, claiming their terms of enlistment had expired and that they were being kept in the army by force. They knew that in the spring of 1780, eleven deserters of the Connecticut line in Morristown were sentenced to death but at the last minute all but one had received a reprieve. (The one who did not was hanged for forging discharge papers for a hundred men.) General Washington, facing nearly two thousand mutineers, a substantial part of his army, assembled at Princeton, New Jersey, decided to make concessions. Many of the rebels were allowed to leave the army, and Washington asked state governors for money to deal with the grievances of the soldiers. The Pennsylvania line quieted down. But when another mutiny broke out in the New Jersey line, involving only a few hundred, Washington ordered harsh measures. He saw the possibility of "this dangerous spirit" spreading. Two of "the most atrocious offenders" were court-martialed on the spot, sentenced to be shot, and their fellow mutineers, some of them weeping as they did so, carried out the executions. In his novel The Proud and the Free, Howard Fast tells the story of the mutinies, drawing from the classic historical account by Carl Van Doren, Mutiny in January. Fast dramatizes the class conflict inside the Revolutionary Army, as one of his characters, the mutinous soldier Jack Maloney, recalls the words of Thomas Paine and the promise of freedom and says that he is willing to die for that freedom, but "not for that craven Congress in Philadelphia, not for the fine Pennsylvania ladies in their silks and satins, not for the property of every dirty lord and fat patroon in New Jersey." Here is the narrative of this bloody event by Samuel Dewees, a soldier on the Pennsylvania line.
The Diary of Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcock (1845/46)
The annexation of Texas, which in 1836 declared its independence from Mexico (with support from the U.S. government), paved the way for the war against Mexico. President James Polk, a Democrat and expansionist elected in 1844, confided to his secretary of the navy on the night of his inauguration in early 1845 that one of his main objectives as president was the acquisition of California, which was part of Mexico.The Washington Union, a newspaper that represented the position of the Democratic Party, wrote: "Let the great measure of annexation be accomplished.... For who can arrest the torrents that will pour onward to the West? The road to California will be open to us." In the summer of 1845, John O'Sullivan, editor of the Democratic Review, used a phrase that would become famous, saying it was "Our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions." Yes, "manifest destiny." All that was missing in the plan was an incident. A patrol of American troops was sent into territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande River that the Mexicans claimed was their land. The patrol was wiped out by Mexican forces. In response, Polk declared, falsely, that "Mexico... has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil." Even before the incident, he had written in his diary that the United States had "ample cause for war." But Polk immediately asked Congress for a declaration of war. Congress rushed to approve, spending barely thirty minutes discussing the issue. In his diary, Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcock, in the 3rd Infantry Regiment, challenges, as an on-the-scene witness, the rhetoric of politicians who supported the war.
Desertion Handbill by Juan Soto (1847)
During the Mexican War, a group of Irish soldiers serving in the U.S. military switched sides to join the Mexican army and take up arms against U.S. Expansion into Mexican soil. They were called San Patricio's (St. Patrick's) Battalion. Here is a leaflet they printed explaining their cause, and appealing particularly to Catholics not to fight against others who shared their religion. The unusual capitalization is faithful to the original handbill.
"The War with Mexico" North Star Editorial (1848)

Address to the New England Convention by Frederick Douglass (1849)
In 1829, Mexico abolished slavery, threatening the power of slaveholders who wanted to expand the territory in which slaves could be legally held. For the next two decades a battle would be fought over the status of Texas. In a speech in Belfast, Ireland, in 1846, the fiery abolitionist Frederick Douglass described the U.S. annexation of Texas as a "conspiracy from beginning to end—a most deep and skillfully devised conspiracy—for the purpose of upholding and sustaining one of the darkest and foulest crimes ever committed by man." In this speech, delivered in Boston in 1849, Douglass, speaking to other abolitionists, calls for forcible resistance against the invasion of Mexico—and against slave owners in the South.
Four Documents on Disaffection in the South During the Civil War (1864/5)
Most histories of the Civil War have concentrated on the military struggle between the North and South, in a war that took six hundred thousand lives (the equivalent of more than three million dead in today's population), however something important has been overlooked: the conflict between rich and poor on both sides of the conflict.
Open Letter to President McKinley by Colored People Of Massachusetts I. D. Barnett et al. (1899)
The expansion of the U.S. empire fueled significant opposition among African Americans, who opposed the racism and the violence of these ventures. In 1903, in The Souls of Black Folk, the writer and agitator W. E. B. Du Bois wrote of Black revulsion to "the recent course of the United States toward weaker and darker peoples in the West Indies, Hawaii, and the Philippines." Here is one account of antiwar sentiment among blacks at the time.
Lewis H. Douglass on Black Opposition to McKinley (1899)

The War Prayer by Mark Twain (1904)

"Comments on the Moro Massacre" by Samuel Clemens Also known as Mark Twain (1906)
At the end of the nineteenth century, the United States moved to expand its formal empire, annexing lands in Hawaii, Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Samoa, and the Philippines following the end of the Spanish-American War. But this expansionism produced political opposition at home. The anti-imperialist movement counted among its members leading writers and intellectuals, including the satirist Samuel Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain. Twain is remembered for his novels Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Far less well known are his scathing writings against the expansion of the U.S. empire. Moved to public opposition against the bloody invasion and occupation of the Philippines in 1899—which President George W. Bush cited in 2003 as a "model" for the occupation of Iraq— Twain returned after ten years of living abroad to become the vice president of the recently formed Anti-Imperialist League in 1900. Upon his return, he declared "1 am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land." Here is part of his bitter essay about a massacre of some six hundred Moros in the Philippines.
Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty by Emma Goldman (1908)

Strike Against War by Helen Keller (1916)

"The Subject Class Always Fights the Battles" by Eugene Debs (1918)

Eugene Debs' Statement to the Court Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act (1918)

War Is A Racket by Major General Smedley Butler (1935)

Admiral Gene Larocque Speaks to Studs Terkel About "The Good War" (1985)
Years after the war, Admiral Gene Larocque, who had served for years in the navy and been bombed at Pearl Harbor, shared these thoughts1 on the war with the great people's historian and radio pioneer, Studs Terkel.
Attention All Military Personnel A pamphlet of the Vietnam Day Committee (1965)

"There Was No Rules At All" — Stories from Vietnam by Haywood T. "The Kid" Kirkland (1984)

"To Draft Board 1"by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1967)

"They Were Butchering People" by Larry Colburn (2003)

"A War I Opposed And Despised" by Bill Clinton (1969)

Excerpts from Scanlan's Guerrilla War in the U.S.A. January 1971 Issue

To the Soldiers of El Salvador by Lillian Jiménez (translated 1988)

Commencement Address at Milton Academy by Marian Wright Edelman (1983)

June Jordan Speaks Out Against The 1991 Gulf War (1991)

Letter from Palestine by Rachel Corrie (2003)

"You Who are the Bureaucrats of Empire, Remember Who We Are" by Don Mitchell (2004)

James Madison outlined what was needed to keep Americans from enjoying the fruits of democracy too much. Written over two hundred years ago, his essay, Federalist 10, identifies ways to control people that were impossible then. (1787)
Accountof the New York Tenant Riots (1766)
In New York, enormous tracts of land were given by the British Crown to the Van Rensselaer family. Tenants on his land were treated like serfs on a feudal estate. Parts of the land claimed by Van Rensselaer were occupied by poor farmers who said that they had bought the land from the Indians. The result was a series of clashes between Van Rensselaer's small army and the local farmers, as described here in newspaper accounts of July 1766.
"On the Eligibility of Colored Members to Seats in the Georgia Legislature" by Henry McNeal Turner (1868)
After helping to organize the First U.S. Colored Troops, which he later joined as chaplain, Henry McNeal Turner became a delegate to the state constitutional convention in Atlanta and was elected as a representative to the Georgia state legislature in 1868. But soon after, he was among two dozen legislators expelled for the "crime" of being black. Here is an excerpt of his address to his fellow legislators denouncing the expulsions.
"Address of August Spies" (1886)
On the evening of May 4, 1886, a meeting was called for Haymarket Square in Chicago to protest the killing of four strikers at the McCormick Harvester Works the day before. It was a peaceful meeting, and had dwindled from several thousand to a few hundred when a detachment of 180 policemen asked the crowd to disperse. The speaker said that the meeting was almost over and then a bomb exploded in the midst of the police, wounding sixty-six policemen, of whom seven later died. The police fired into the crowd, killing several people, wounding two hundred. Although there was no evidence of who threw the bomb, eight Chicago anarchists were arrested, tried, and sentenced to death. This became known worldwide as the Haymarket Affair. Four of the eight were executed, among them August Spies, who here addresses the court in his own defense. Just before his execution Spies said: "There will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today."
"Red-Handed Murder: Negroes Wantonly Killed at Thibodaux, La." Anonymous (1887)
Black and white sugar workers in Louisiana began organizing with the Knights of Labor in 1886. Several strikes were broken by violence and the use of imported strike breakers. In 1887, ten thousand workers, most of them black, walked off the sugar plantations when the planters refused to meet their demands for wages of $1.25 a day. The governor called out the militia, angry at the sight of black and white workers on strike together. He said: "God Almighty has himself drawn the color line." Militia men killed four blacks. The black settlement at Thibodaux was then attacked by militia, and at least twenty people were killed. Two strike leaders were arrested, then lynched. What follows is a report on the strike from an African-American newspaper in Louisiana.
Open Letter from the New Orleans Mass Meeting by Reverend Ernest Lyon (1888)
A year after the massacre at Thibodaux, blacks in Louisiana gathered to protest the "reign of terror" of the Ku Klux Klan, police, and employers against African Americans. Here is their declaration
Remember Ludlow! by Julia May Courtney (1914)

"My Last Will" by Joe Hill (1915)

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (1928)
[The] American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on. So what do you do? It's going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think. There had been public relation specialists but there was never a public relations industry. There was a guy hired to make Rockefeller's image look prettier and that sort of thing. But this huge public relations industry, which is a U.S. invention and a monstrous industry, came out of the first World War. The leading figures were people in the Creel Commission. In fact, the main one, Edward Bernays, comes right out of the Creel Commission. He has a book that came out right afterwards called Propaganda. The term "propaganda," incidentally, did not have negative connotations in those days. It was during the second World War that the term became taboo because it was connected with Germany, and all those bad things. But in this period, the term propaganda just meant information or something like that. So he wrote a book called Propaganda around 1925, and it starts off by saying he is applying the lessons of the first World War. The propaganda system of the first World War and this commission that he was part of showed, he says, it is possible to "regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies." These new techniques of regimentation of minds, he said, had to be used by the intelligent minorities in order to make sure that the slobs stay on the right course. We can do it now because we have these new techniques. This is the main manual of the public relations industry. Bernays is kind of the guru. He was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal. He also engineered the public relations effort behind the U.S.-backed coup which overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala. His major coup, the one that really propelled him into fame in the late 1920s, was getting women to smoke. Women didn't smoke in those days and he ran huge campaigns for Chesterfield. You know all the techniques—models and movie stars with cigarettes coming out of their mouths and that kind of thing. He got enormous praise for that. So he became a leading figure of the industry, and his book was the real manual. —Noam Chomsky
Testimony of Rita L. Schwerner (1964)
During the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 over a thousand white college students from the North traveled South to challenge racial segregation and the dis-enfranchisement of black voters. On June 21, 1964, at the start of the Freedom Summer, a young black Mississippian, James Chaney, and two whites from the North, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, drove to Philadelphia, Mississippi, to look into the bombing of a black church. They never returned, and pleas to the Justice Department to take immediate action were met with coldness. Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner had been arrested by local police, then released. In a plan participated in by the sheriff and deputy sheriff of the county, they were then followed by a group of white men who blockaded their car, took them to a deserted farm, beat them with chains, shot them to death, and buried their bodies. Not until forty-four days after their arrest were the bodies of the three young men found. Schwerner's wife, Rita, made this statement before the discovery of the three bodies.
"The Powell Memo" by Lewis Powell (1971)

The Campaign Against The Underground Press by Geoffrey Rips (1981; Appendix)

Behind the Death Squads: An exclusive report on the US role in El Salvador's official terror by Allan Nairn (1984)

"The Feminization of Earth First!" by Judi Bari (1992)

Federal Bureau of Intimidation by Howard Zinn (1993)
From Resistance to Revolution
If you've read through all of this, you'll probably be itching about what is to be done. There are numerous examples and one excellent one is Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women's Movement by Hyde Park Chapter, Chicago Women's Liberation Union (1972). It is long, but readable and in-depth.
A Voice from Harper's Ferry by Osborne P. Anderson (1861)
Seventeen whites and five blacks participated in John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Osborne Anderson was the only black person who survived to write about the experience. Here is his narrative of the raid.
The Omaha Platform of the People's Party of America (1892)

"Agitation—The Greatest Factor for Progress" by Mother Jones (1903)

Manifesto and Preamble of the Industrial Workers of the World (1905 and 1908)

The General Strike by "Big Bill" Haywood (1911)

"Proclamation of the Striking Textile Workers of Lawrence" (1912)
One of the most dramatic labor struggles in American history took place in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912 when textile workers, mostly women, European immigrants speaking a dozen different languages, carried on a strike during the bitterly cold months of January to March 1912. Despite police violence and hunger, they persisted, and were victorious against the powerful textile mill owners. Borrowing from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the following strike declaration, issued by the workers of Lawrence, was translated into the many languages of the immigrant textile workers in Massachusetts and circulated around the world.
A Historical Survey of Organizations of the Left Among the Chinese in America by H. M. Lai (1972)

The Six Pamphlets of the White Rose Society (1942/3)

The Port Huron Statement by the Students for a Democratic Society (1962)

The League of Revolutionary Black Workers: A Historical Study by A. Muhammad Ahmad

The Freedom Schools: Concept And Organization by Staughton Lynd (1965)

Black Panther Party Platform, Program, and Rules (1966)

The Radical Education Project: An Introduction And An Invitation (1966)

Refugees from Amerika: A Gay Manifesto Carl Wittman (1970)

Suppressed Speech on the 350th Anniversary of the Pilgrim's Landing at Plymouth Rock by Wamsutta (Frank B.) James (1970)

What is Radical History by Howard Zinn (1970)

The Tyranny Of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman (1972)

Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women's Movement by Hyde Park Chapter, Chicago Women's Liberation Union (1972)

The Low Road by Marge Piercy (1980)

The Movement Action Plan: A Strategic Framework Describing the Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements by Bill Moyer (1987)

People Have The Power by Patti Smith (1988)

What Should White People Do? by Linda Martín Alcoff (1998)

"Action Will Be Taken": Left Anti-intellectualism and Its Discontents by Liza Featherstone, Doug Henwood, and Christian Parenti (2002)

What Legacy from the Radical Internationalism of 1968? by Max Elbaum (2002)

Strategizing For A Living Revolution by George Lakey (2002)
Appendix A:
Maps Everybody loves maps!
Guerilla War in the United States, 1965-1970

A Sampling of U.S. Foreign Policy

Military Dictatorships in the Americas (1830 to 2010)
Appendix B:
The Future Is All We Have Because knowing is only half the battle.
How to Master Secret Work by the Communist Party of South Africa (1985)

Locking Down with Lockboxes

Affinity Groups & Support by Nancy Alach and ACT-UP
ACT-UP (the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) was an amazing activist group exploding in the late eighties and nineties. Challenging government hatred and cowardice and corporate greed, they fought for new treatments and demanded respect for people with AIDS and HIV.
Sitemap with everything indexed chronologically
posted by Blasdelb (11 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: The linked site is terrific, but reproducing the entire table of contents plus abstracts at unreadable length here is not a good way to make a Metafilter post. It would be great to post this again, just linking to the main site (which has all this ToC info and the abstracts) or picking a few select highlights. -- LobsterMitten

posted by Miko at 8:28 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

The best post competition is traditionally in December.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 8:32 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

What she said.
posted by rtha at 8:33 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Flagged as I Envy Your Time Management, Blasdelb
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:34 AM on January 5, 2013

At about ~78403 characters I think it still only comes in third in largest Metafilter posts to these two when html is included. Though at ~59306 with html removed it just edges into second largest.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:39 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Y'know, whenever anyone argues that the internet or Google or whatever is making us dumber or shallower or whatever, I'm going to point them to this post.
posted by chavenet at 8:40 AM on January 5, 2013 [4 favorites]

That is a really great website. Thanks for all the annotation!
posted by gingerbeer at 8:46 AM on January 5, 2013

I prefer when Metafilter is a filter, and just links to a webpage or a few select links. With this many links, it's just reproducing the website with plainer formatting -- and there is so much unsorted content that I don't know where to begin.

Also, History is a literary genre and/or academic discipline, not a weapon. Some history books are - I'd recommend Braudel's The Meditteranean for blunt force trauma.
posted by jb at 8:50 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Actually, it's a nightmare.

Great post by the way.
posted by Fizz at 8:50 AM on January 5, 2013

From which we are perpetually trying to awake.
posted by chavenet at 8:54 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:08 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

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