A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:39 pm


The title of this chapter is not a prediction, but a hope, which I will soon explain.

As for the subtitle of this book, it is not quite accurate; a "people's history" promises more than any one person can fulfill, and it is the most difficult kind of history to recapture. I call it that anyway because, with all its limitations, it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance.

That makes it a biased account, one that leans in a certain direction. I am not troubled by that, because the mountain of history books under which we all stand leans so heavily in the other direction -- so tremblingly respectful of states and statesmen and so disrespectful, by inattention, to people's movements -- that we need some counterforce to avoid being crushed into submission.

All those histories of this country centered on the Founding Fathers and the Presidents weigh oppressively on the capacity of the ordinary citizen to act. They suggest that in times of crisis we must look to someone to save us: in the Revolutionary crisis, the Founding Fathers; in the slavery crisis, Lincoln; in the Depression, Roosevelt; in the Vietnam-Watergate crisis, Carter. And that between occasional crises everything is all right, and it is sufficient for us to be restored to that normal state. They teach us that the supreme act of citizenship is to choose among saviors, by going into a voting booth every four years to choose between two white and well-off Anglo-Saxon males of inoffensive personality and orthodox opinions.

The idea of saviors has been built into the entire culture, beyond politics. We have learned to look to stars, leaders, experts in every field, thus surrendering our own strength, demeaning our own ability, obliterating our own selves. But from time to time, Americans reject that idea and rebel.

These rebellions, so far, have been contained. The American system is the most ingenious system of control in world history. With a country so rich in natural resources, talent, and labor power the system can afford to distribute just enough wealth to just enough people to limit discontent to a troublesome minority. It is a country so powerful, so big, so pleasing to so many of its citizens that it can afford to give freedom of dissent to the small number who are not pleased.

There is no system of control with more openings, apertures, leeways, flexibilities, rewards for the chosen, winning tickets in lotteries. There is none that disperses its controls more complexly through the voting system, the work situation, the church, the family, the school, the mass media -- none more successful in mollifying opposition with reforms, isolating people from one another, creating patriotic loyalty.

One percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth. The rest of the wealth is distributed in such a way as to turn those in the 99 percent against one another: small property owners against the propertyless, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and unskilled. These groups have resented one another and warred against one another with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country.

Against the reality of that desperate, bitter battle for resources made scarce by elite control, I am taking the liberty of uniting those 99 percent as "the people." I have been writing a history that attempts to represent their submerged, deflected, common interest. To emphasize the commonality of the 99 percent, to declare deep enmity of interest with the 1 percent, is to do exactly what the governments of the United States, and the wealthy elite allied to them -- from the Founding Fathers to now -- have tried their best to prevent. Madison feared a "majority faction" and hoped the new Constitution would control it. He and his colleagues began the Preamble to the Constitution with the words "We the people ... ," pretending that the new government stood for everyone, and hoping that this myth, accepted as fact, would ensure "domestic tranquillity."

The pretense continued over the generations, helped by all-embracing symbols, physical or verbal: the flag, patriotism, democracy, national interest, national defense, national security. The slogans were dug into the earth of American culture like a circle of covered wagons on the western plain, from inside of which the white, slightly privileged American could shoot to kill the enemy outside -- Indians or blacks or foreigners or other whites too wretched to be allowed inside the circle. The managers of the caravan watched at a safe distance, and when the battle was over and the field strewn with dead on both sides, they would take over the land, and prepare another expedition, for another territory.

The scheme never worked perfectly. The Revolution and the Constitution, trying to bring stability by containing the class angers of the colonial period -- while enslaving blacks, annihilating or displacing Indians -- did not quite succeed, judging by the tenant uprisings, the slave revolts, the abolitionist agitation, the feminist upsurge, the Indian guerrilla warfare of the pre-Civil War years. After the Civil War, a new coalition of southern and northern elites developed, with southern whites and blacks of the lower classes occupied in racial conflict, native workers and immigrant workers clashing in the North, and the farmers dispersed over a big country, while the system of capitalism consolidated itself in industry and government. But there came rebellion among industrial workers and a great opposition movement among farmers.

At the turn of the century, the violent pacification of blacks and Indians and the use of elections and war to absorb and divert white rebels were not enough, in the conditions of modern industry, to prevent the great upsurge of socialism, the massive labor struggles, before the First World War. Neither that war nor the partial prosperity of the twenties, nor the apparent destruction of the socialist movement, could prevent, in the situation of economic crisis, another radical awakening, another labor upsurge in the thirties.

World War II created a new unity, followed by an apparently successful attempt, in the atmosphere of the cold war, to extinguish the strong radical temper of the war years. But then, surprisingly, came the surge of the sixties, from people thought long subdued or put out of sight -- blacks, women, Native Americans, prisoners, soldiers -- and a new radicalism, which threatened to spread widely in a population disillusioned by the Vietnam war and the politics of Watergate.

The exile of Nixon, the celebration of the Bicentennial, the presidency of Carter, all aimed at restoration. But restoration to the old order was no solution to the uncertainty, the alienation, which was intensified in the Reagan-Bush years. The election of Clinton in 1992, carrying with it a vague promise of change, did not fulfill the expectations of the hopeful.

With such continuing malaise, it is very important for the Establishment -- that uneasy club of business executives, generals, and politicos -- to maintain the historic pretension of national unity, in which the government represents all the people, and the common enemy is overseas, not at home, where disasters of economics or war are unfortunate errors or tragic accidents, to be corrected by the members of the same club that brought the disasters. It is important for them also to make sure this artificial unity of highly privileged and slightly privileged is the only unity -- that the 99 percent remain split in countless ways, and turn against one another to vent their angers.

How skillful to tax the middle class to pay for the relief of the poor, building resentment on top of humiliation! How adroit to bus poor black youngsters into poor white neighborhoods, in a violent exchange of impoverished schools, while the schools of the rich remain untouched and the wealth of the nation, doled out carefully where children need free milk, is drained for billion-dollar aircraft carriers. How ingenious to meet the demands of blacks and women for equality by giving them small special benefits, and setting them in competition with everyone else for jobs made scarce by an irrational, wasteful system. How wise to turn the fear and anger of the majority toward a class of criminals bred -- by economic inequity -- faster than they can be put away, deflecting attention from the huge thefts of national resources carried out within the law by men in executive offices.

But with all the controls of power and punishment, enticements and concessions, diversions and decoys, operating throughout the history of the country, the Establishment has been unable to keep itself secure from revolt. Every time it looked as if it had succeeded, the very people it thought seduced or subdued, stirred and rose. Blacks, cajoled by Supreme Court decisions and congressional statutes, rebelled. Women, wooed and ignored, romanticized and mistreated, rebelled. Indians, thought dead, reappeared, defiant. Young people, despite lures of career and comfort, defected. Working people, thought soothed by reforms, regulated by law, kept within bounds by their own unions, went on strike. Government intellectuals, pledged to secrecy, began giving away secrets. Priests turned from piety to protest.

To recall this is to remind people of what the Establishment would like them to forget -- the enormous capacity of apparently helpless people to resist, of apparently contented people to demand change. To uncover such history is to find a powerful human impulse to assert one's humanity. It is to hold out, even in times of deep pessimism, the possibility of surprise.

True, to overestimate class consciousness, to exaggerate rebellion and its successes, would be misleading. It would not account for the fact that the world -- not just the United States, but everywhere else -- is still in the hands of the elites, that people's movements, although they show an infinite capacity for recurrence, have so far been either defeated or absorbed or perverted, that "socialist" revolutionists have betrayed socialism, that nationalist revolutions have led to new dictatorships.

But most histories understate revolt, overemphasize statesmanship, and thus encourage impotency among citizens. When we look closely at resistance movements, or even at isolated forms of rebellion, we discover that class consciousness, or any other awareness of injustice, has multiple levels. It has many ways of expression, many ways of revealing itself -- open, subtle, direct, distorted. In a system of intimidation and control, people do not show how much they know, how deeply they feel, until their practical sense informs them they can do so without being destroyed.

History which keeps alive the memory of people's resistance suggests new definitions of power. By traditional definitions, whoever possesses military strength, wealth, command of official ideology, cultural control, has power. Measured by these standards, popular rebellion never looks strong enough to survive.

However, the unexpected victories -- even temporary ones -- of insurgents show the vulnerability of the supposedly powerful. In a highly developed society, the Establishment cannot survive without the obedience and loyalty of millions of people who are given small rewards to keep the system going: the soldiers and police, teachers and ministers, administrators and social workers, technicians and production workers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, transport and communications workers, garbagemen and firemen. These people -- the employed, the somewhat privileged -- are drawn into alliance with the elite. They become the guards of the system, buffers between the upper and lower classes. If they stop obeying, the system falls.

That will happen, I think, only when all of us who are slightly privileged and slightly uneasy begin to see that we are like the guards in the prison uprising at Attica -- expendable; that the Establishment, whatever rewards it gives us, will also, if necessary to maintain its control, kill us.

Certain new facts may, in our time, emerge so clearly as to lead to general withdrawal of loyalty from the system. The new conditions of technology, economics, and war, in the atomic age, make it less and less possible for the guards of the system -- the intellectuals, the home owners, the taxpayers, the skilled workers, the professionals, the servants of government -- to remain immune from the violence (physical and psychic) inflicted on the black, the poor, the criminal, the enemy overseas. The internationalization of the economy, the movement of refugees and illegal immigrants across borders, both make it more difficult for the people of the industrial countries to be oblivious to hunger and disease in the poor countries of the world.

All of us have become hostages in the new conditions of doomsday technology, runaway economics, global poisoning, uncontainable war. The atomic weapons, the invisible radiations, the economic anarchy, do not distinguish prisoners from guards, and those in charge will not be scrupulous in making distinctions. There is the unforgettable response of the U.S. high command to the news that American prisoners of war might be near Nagasaki: "Targets previously assigned for Centerboard remain unchanged."

There is evidence of growing dissatisfaction among the guards. We have known for some time that the poor and ignored were the nonvoters, alienated from a political system they felt didn't care about them, and about which they could do little. Now alienation has spread upward into families above the poverty line. These are white workers, neither rich nor poor, but angry over economic insecurity, unhappy with their work, worried about their neighborhoods, hostile to government -- combining elements of racism with elements of class consciousness, contempt for the lower classes along with distrust for the elite, and thus open to solutions from any direction, right or left.

In the twenties there was a similar estrangement in the middle classes, which could have gone in various directions -- the Ku Klux Klan had millions of members at that time -- but in the thirties the work of an organized left wing mobilized much of this feeling into trade unions, farmers' unions, socialist movements. We may, in the coming years, be in a race for the mobilization of middle-class discontent.

The fact of that discontent is clear. The surveys since the early seventies show 70 to 80 percent of Americans distrustful of government, business, the military. This means the distrust goes beyond blacks, the poor, the radicals. It has spread among skilled workers, white-collar workers, professionals; for the first time in the nation's history, perhaps, both the lower classes and the middle classes, the prisoners and the guards, were disillusioned with the system.

There are other signs: the high rate of alcoholism, the high rate of divorce (from one of three marriages ending in divorce, the figure was climbing to one of two), of drug use and abuse, of nervous breakdowns and mental illness. Millions of people have been looking desperately for solutions to their sense of impotency, their loneliness, their frustration, their estrangement from other people, from the world, from their work, from themselves. They have been adopting new religions, joining self-help groups of all kinds. It is as if a whole nation were going through a critical point in its middle age, a life crisis of self-doubt, self-examination.

All this, at a time when the middle class is increasingly insecure economically. The system, in its irrationality, has been driven by profit to build steel skyscrapers for insurance companies while the cities decay, to spend billions for weapons of destruction and virtually nothing for children's playgrounds, to give huge incomes to men who make dangerous or useless things, and very little to artists, musicians, writers, actors. Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes.

The threat of unemployment, always inside the homes of the poor, has spread to white-collar workers, professionals. A college education is no longer a guarantee against joblessness, and a system that cannot offer a future to the young coming out of school is in deep trouble. If it happens only to the children of the poor, the problem is manageable; there are the jails. If it happens to the children of the middle class, things may get out of hand. The poor are accustomed to being squeezed and always short of money, but in recent years the middle classes, too, have begun to feel the press of high prices, high taxes.

In the seventies, eighties, and early nineties there was a dramatic, frightening increase in the number of crimes. It was not hard to understand, when one walked through any big city. There were the contrasts of wealth and poverty, the culture of possession, the frantic advertising. There was the fierce economic competition, in which the legal violence of the state and the legal robbery by the corporations were accompanied by the illegal crimes of the poor. Most crimes by far involved theft. A disproportionate number of prisoners in American jails were poor and non-white, with little education. Half were unemployed in the month prior to their arrest.

The most common and most publicized crimes have been the violent crimes of the young, the poor -- a virtual terrorization in the big cities -- in which the desperate or drug-addicted attack and rob the middle class, or even their fellow poor. A society so stratified by wealth and education lends itself naturally to envy and class anger.

The critical question in our time is whether the middle classes, so long led to believe that the solution for such crimes is more jails and more jail terms, may begin to see, by the sheer uncontrollability of crime, that the only prospect is an endless cycle of crime and punishment. They might then conclude that physical security for a working person in the city can come only when everyone in the city is working. And that would require a transformation of national priorities, a change in the system.

In recent decades, the fear of criminal assault has been joined by an even greater fear. Deaths from cancer began to multiply, and medical researchers seemed helpless to find the cause. It began to be evident that more and more of these deaths were coming from an environment poisoned by military experimentation and industrial greed. The water people drank, the air they breathed, the particles of dust from the buildings in which they worked, had been quietly contaminated over the years by a system so frantic for growth and profit that the safety and health of human beings had been ignored. A new and deadly scourge appeared, the AIDS virus, which spread with special rapidity among homosexuals and drug addicts.

In the early nineties, the false socialism of the Soviet system had failed. And the American system seemed out of control -- a runaway capitalism, a runaway technology, a runaway militarism, a running away of government from the people it claimed to represent. Crime was out of control, cancer and AIDS were out of control. Prices and taxes and unemployment were out of control. The decay of cities and the breakdown of families were out of control. And people seemed to sense all this.

Perhaps much of the general distrust of government reported in recent years comes from a growing recognition of the truth of what the U.S. Air Force bombardier Yossarian said in the novel Catch-22 to a friend who had just accused him of giving aid and comfort to the enemy: "The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on. And don't you forget that, because the longer you remember it the longer you might live." The next line in the novel is: "But Clevinger did forget, and now he was dead."

Let us imagine the prospect -- for the first time in the nation's history -- of a population united for fundamental change. Would the elite turn as so often before, to its ultimate weapon -- foreign intervention -- to unite the people with the Establishment, in war? It tried to do that in 1991, with the war against Iraq. But, as June Jordan said, it was "a hit the same way that crack is, and it doesn't last long."

With the Establishment's inability either to solve severe economic problems at home or to manufacture abroad a safety valve for domestic discontent, Americans might be ready to demand not just more tinkering, more reform laws, another reshuffling of the same deck, another New Deal, but radical change. Let us be utopian for a moment so that when we get realistic again it is not that "realism" so useful to the Establishment in its discouragement of action, that "realism" anchored to a certain kind of history empty of surprise. Let us imagine what radical change would require of us all.

The society's levers of powers would have to be taken away from those whose drives have led to the present state -- the giant corporations, the military, and their politician collaborators. We would need -- by a coordinated effort of local groups all over the country -- to reconstruct the economy for both efficiency and justice, producing in a cooperative way what people need most. We would start on our neighborhoods, our cities, our workplaces. Work of some kind would be needed by everyone, including people now kept out of the work force -- children, old people, "handicapped" people. Society could use the enormous energy now idle, the skills and talents now unused. Everyone could share the routine but necessary jobs for a few hours a day, and leave most of the time free for enjoyment, creativity, labors of love, and yet produce enough for an equal and ample distribution of goods. Certain basic things would be abundant enough to be taken out of the money system and be available -- free -- to everyone: food, housing, health care, education, transportation.

The great problem would be to work out a way of accomplishing this without a centralized bureaucracy, using not the incentives of prison and punishment, but those incentives of cooperation which spring from natural human desires, which in the past have been used by the state in times of war, but also by social movements that gave hints of how people might behave in different conditions. Decisions would be made by small groups of people in their workplaces, their neighborhoods -- a network of cooperatives, in communication with one another, a neighborly socialism avoiding the class hierarchies of capitalism and the harsh dictatorships that have taken the name "socialist."

People in time, in friendly communities, might create a new, diversified, nonviolent culture, in which all forms of personal and group expression would be possible. Men and women, black and white, old and young, could then cherish their differences as positive attributes, not as reasons for domination. New values of cooperation and freedom might then show up in the relations of people, the upbringing of children.

To do all that, in the complex conditions of control in the United States, would require combining the energy of all previous movements in American history -- of labor insurgents, black rebels, Native Americans, women, young people -- along with the new energy of an angry middle class. People would need to begin to transform their immediate environments -- the workplace, the family, the school, the community -- by a series of struggles against absentee authority, to give control of these places to the people who live and work there.

These struggles would involve all the tactics used at various times in the past by people's movements: demonstrations, marches, civil disobedience; strikes and boycotts and general strikes; direct action to redistribute wealth, to reconstruct institutions, to revamp relationships; creating -- in music, literature, drama, all the arts, and all the areas of work and play in everyday life -- a new culture of sharing, of respect, a new joy in the collaboration of people to help themselves and one another.

There would be many defeats. But when such a movement took hold in hundreds of thousands of places all over the country it would be impossible to suppress, because the very guards the system depends on to crush such a movement would be among the rebels. It would be a new kind of revolution, the only kind that could happen, I believe, in a country like the United States. It would take enormous energy, sacrifice, commitment, patience. But because it would be a process over time, starting without delay, there would be the immediate satisfactions that people have always found in the affectionate ties of groups striving together for a common goal.

All this takes us far from American history, into the realm of imagination. But not totally removed from history. There are at least glimpses in the past of such a possibility. In the sixties and seventies, for the first time, the Establishment failed to produce national unity and patriotic fervor in a war. There was a flood of cultural changes such as the country had never seen -- in sex, family, personal relations -- exactly those situations most difficult to control from the ordinary centers of power. And never before was there such a general withdrawal of confidence from so many elements of the political and economic system. In every period of history, people have found ways to help one another -- even in the midst of a culture of competition and violence -- if only for brief periods, to find joy in work, struggle, companionship, nature.

The prospect is for times of turmoil, struggle, but also inspiration. There is a chance that such a movement could succeed in doing what the system itself has never done -- bring about great change with little violence. This is possible because the more of the 99 percent that begin to see themselves as sharing needs, the more the guards and the prisoners see their common interest, the more the Establishment becomes isolated, ineffectual. The elite's weapons, money, control of information would be useless in the face of a determined population. The servants of the system would refuse to work to continue the old, deadly order, and would begin using their time, their space -- the very things given them by the system to keep them quiet -- to dismantle that system while creating a new one.

The prisoners of the system will continue to rebel, as before, in ways that cannot be foreseen, at times that cannot be predicted. The new fact of our era is the chance that they may be joined by the guards. We readers and writers of books have been, for the most part, among the guards. If we understand that, and act on it, not only will life be more satisfying, right off, but our grandchildren, or our great grandchildren, might possibly see a different and marvelous world.
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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:46 pm



The eight-year presidential term of Bill Clinton, a personable, articulate graduate of Yale Law School, a Rhodes Scholar, and former governor of Arkansas, began with a hope that a bright, young person would bring to the country what he promised: "change." But Clinton's presidency ended with no chance that it would, as he had wished, make his mark in history as one of the nation's great presidents.

The secret society of Cecil Rhodes is mentioned in the first five of his seven wills. In the fifth it was supplemented by the idea of an educational institution with scholarships, whose alumni would be bound together by common ideals — Rhodes's ideals. In the sixth and seventh wills the secret society was not mentioned, and the scholarships monopolized the estate. But Rhodes still had the same ideals and still believed that they could be carried out best by a secret society of men devoted to a common cause. The scholarships were merely a facade to conceal the secret society, or, more accurately, they were to be one of the instruments by which the members of the secret society could carry out his purpose. This purpose, as expressed in the first will (1877), was:

"The extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom and of colonization by British subjects of all lands wherein the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour, and enterprise, . . . the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of a British Empire, the consolidation of the whole Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial Representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire, and finally the foundation of so great a power as to hereafter render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity."

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

His last year in office was marked by sensational scandals surrounding his personal life. More important, he left no legacy of bold innovation in domestic policy or departure from traditional nationalist foreign policy. At home, he surrendered again and again to caution and conservatism, signing legislation that was more pleasing to the Republican Party and big business than to those Democrats who still recalled the bold programs of Franklin Roosevelt. Abroad, there were futile shows of military braggadocio, and a subservience to what President Dwight Eisenhower had once warned against: "the military-industrial complex."

Clinton had barely won election both times. In 1992, with 45 percent of the voting population staying away from the polls, he only received 43 percent of the votes, the senior Bush getting 38 percent, while 19 percent of the voters showed their distaste for both parties by voting for a third-party candidate, Ross Perot. In 1996, with half the population not voting, Clinton won 49 percent of the votes against a lackluster Republican candidate, Robert Dole.

There was a distinct absence of voter enthusiasm. One bumper sticker read: "If God had intended us to vote, he would have given us candidates."

At his second inauguration ceremony, Clinton spoke of the nation at the edge of "a new century, in a new millennium." He said: "We need a new government for a new century." But Clinton's rhetoric was not matched by his performance.

It happened that the inauguration coincided with the nationwide celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Clinton invoked King's name several times in his address. The two men, however, represented very different social philosophies.

By the time King was assassinated in 1968, he had come to believe that our economic system was fundamentally unjust and needed radical "'transformation. He spoke of "the evils of capitalism" and asked for "a radical redistribution of economic and political power."

On the other hand, as major corporations gave money to the Democratic Party on an unprecedented scale, Clinton demonstrated clearly his total confidence in "the market system" and "private enterprise." During his 1992 campaign, the chief executive officer of Martin Marietta Corporation (which held huge and lucrative government contracts for military production) noted: "I think the Democrats are moving more toward business and business is moving more toward the Democrats."

Martin Luther King's reaction to the buildup of military power had been the same as his reaction to the Vietnam war: "This madness must cease." And: "... the evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are all tied together.... "

Clinton was willing to recall King's "dream" of racial equality, but not his dream of a society rejecting violence. Even though the Soviet Union was no longer a military threat, he insisted that the United States must keep its armed forces dispersed around the globe, prepare for "two regional wars," and maintain the military budget at cold war levels.

Despite his lofty rhetoric, Clinton showed, in his eight years in office, that he, like other politicians, was more interested in electoral victory than in social change. To get more votes, he decided he must move the party closer to the center. This meant doing just enough for blacks, women, and working people to keep their support, while trying to win over white conservative voters with a program of toughness on crime, stern measures on welfare, and a strong military.

Clinton in office followed this plan quite scrupulously. He made a few Cabinet appointments that suggested support for labor and for social welfare programs, and appointed a black pro-labor man as head of the National Labor Relations Board. But his key appointments to the Treasury and Commerce Departments were wealthy corporate lawyers, and his foreign policy staff -- the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the CIA, the National Security Adviser -- were traditional players on the bipartisan cold war team.

Clinton appointed more people of color to government posts than his Republican predecessors. But if any prospective or actual appointees became too bold, Clinton abandoned them quickly.

His Secretary of Commerce, Ronald Brown (who was killed in a plane crash), was black and a corporate lawyer, and Clinton was clearly pleased with him. On the other hand, Lani Guinier, a black legal scholar who was being considered for a job with the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, was abandoned when conservatives objected to her strong ideas on matters of racial equality and voter representation. And when Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, a black, made the controversial suggestion that masturbation was a proper subject in sex education, Clinton asked her to resign. (This was especially ironic, considering Clinton's later sexual adventures in the White House.)

He showed the same timidity in the two appointments he made to the Supreme Court, making sure that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer would be moderate enough to be acceptable to Republicans as well as to Democrats. He was not willing to fight for a strong liberal to follow in the footsteps of Thurgood Marshall or William Brennan, who had recently left the Court. Breyer and Ginsburg both defended the constitutionality of capital punishment, and upheld drastic restrictions on the use of habeas corpus. Both voted with the most conservative judges on the Court to uphold the "constitutional right" of Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade organizers to exclude gay marchers.

In choosing judges for the lower federal courts, Clinton showed himself no more likely to appoint liberals than the Republican Gerald Ford had in the seventies. According to a three-year study published in the Fordham Law Review in early 1996, Clinton's appointments made "liberal" decisions in less than half their cases. The New York Times noted that while Reagan and Bush had been willing to fight for judges who would reflect their philosophies, "Mr. Clinton, in contrast, has been quick to drop judicial candidates if there is even a hint of controversy."

Clinton was eager to show he was "tough" on matters of "law and order." Running for President in 1992 while still Governor of Arkansas, he flew back to Arkansas to oversee the execution of a mentally retarded man on death row. And early in his administration, in April 1993, he and Attorney General Janet Reno approved an FBI attack on a group of religious zealots who were armed and ensconced in a building complex in Waco, Texas. Instead of waiting for negotiations to bring about a solution, the FBI attacked with rifle fire, tanks, and gas, resulting in a fire that swept through the compound, killing at least 86 men, women, and children.

One of the few survivors of the Waco tragedy was David Thibodeau, who in his book A Place Called Waco gives us a rare inside description of the human consequences of the government attack:

Despite the fact that more than thirty women and children were crowded into the narrow concrete chamber at the base of the residential tower, the tank crashed into the ceiling, shoving chunks of broken concrete onto the people huddled below. Six women and kids were immediately crushed by falling blocks, the rest were suffocated by the dust and gas vapors as the tank injected massive doses of CS directly into their windowless, unventilated shelter.

The charred corpse of six-year-old Star, David's oldest daughter [David Koresh was the leader of the religious sect] was found with her spine bent into a backward bow until her head almost touched her feet. Her muscles were contracted by the combined effect of the fire's heat and the cyanide in her body, a byproduct of CS gas suffocation.

Clinton and Reno gave feeble excuses for what clearly was a reckless decision to launch a military attack on a group of men, women, and children. Reno at one time talked of children being molested, which was totally unsubstantiated, and even if true could hardly justify the massacre that took place.

As so often happens in cases where the government commits murder, the surviving victims were put on trial, with the judge overruling the request of the jury not to levy harsh sentences, and ruling for imprisonment up to forty years. Professor James Fyfe of Temple University, who taught criminal justice, said: "There is no FBI to investigate the FBI. There is no Justice Department to investigate the Justice Department."

One of the people sentenced by the judge was Renos Avraam, who commented: "This nation is supposed to run under laws, not personal feelings. When you ignore the law you sow the seeds of terrorism."

This turned out to be a prophetic statement. Timothy McVeigh, who some years after the Waco tragedy was convicted of bombing the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which cost 168 lives, had visited the Waco site twice. Later, according to an FBI affidavit, McVeigh was "extremely agitated" about the government's assault on Waco.

Clinton's "law and order" approach led him early in his first term to sign legislation cutting funds for state resource centers that supplied lawyers to indigent prisoners. The result, according to Bob Herbert writing in the New York Times, was that a man facing the death penalty in Georgia had to appear at a habeas corpus proceeding without a lawyer.

In 1996, the President signed legislation that made it more difficult for judges to put prison systems under special masters to ensure the improvement of terrible prison conditions. He also approved a new statute withholding federal funds for legal services where lawyers used those funds to handle class action suits (such suits were important for challenging assaults on civil liberties).

The "Crime Bill" of 1996, which both Republicans and Democrats in Congress voted for overwhelmingly, and which Clinton endorsed with enthusiasm, dealt with the problem of crime by emphasizing punishment, not prevention. It extended the death penalty to a whole range of criminal offenses, and provided $8 billion for the building of new prisons.

All this was to persuade voters that politicians were "tough on crime." But, as criminologist Todd Clear wrote in the New York Times ("Tougher Is Dumber") about the new crime bill, harsher sentencing had added 1 million people to the prison population, giving the United States the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and yet violent crime continued to increase. "Why," Clear asked, "do harsh penalties seem to have so little to do with crime?" A crucial reason is that "police and prisons have virtually no effect on the sources of criminal behavior." He pointed to those sources: "About 70 percent of prisoners in New York State come from eight neighborhoods in New York City. These neighborhoods suffer profound poverty, exclusion, marginalization, and despair. All these things nourish crime."

Those holding political power -- whether Clinton or his Republican predecessors -- had something in common. They sought to keep their power by diverting the anger of citizens to groups without the resources to defend themselves. As H. L. Mencken, the acerbic social critic of the 1920s, put it: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins; all of them imaginary."

Criminals were among these hobgoblins. Also immigrants, people on "welfare," and certain governments -- Iraq, North Korea, Cuba. By turning attention to them, by inventing or exaggerating their dangers, the failures of the American system could be concealed.

Immigrants were a convenient object of attack, because as nonvoters their interests could be safely ignored. It was easy for politicians to play upon the xenophobia that has erupted from time to time in American history: the anti-Irish prejudices of the mid-nineteenth century; the continual violence against Chinese who had been brought in to work on the railroads; the hostility toward immigrants from eastern and southern Europe that led to the restrictive immigration laws of the 1920s.

The reform spirit of the sixties had led to an easing of restrictions on immigration, but in the nineties, Democrats and Republicans alike played on the economic fears of working Americans, jobs were being lost because corporations were firing employees to save money ("downsizing") or moving plants out of the country to more profitable situations. Immigrants, especially the large numbers coming over the southern border from Mexico, were blamed for taking jobs from citizens of the United States, for receiving government benefits, for causing higher taxes on American citizens.

Both major political parties joined to pass legislation, which Clinton then signed, to remove welfare benefits (food stamps, payments to elderly and disabled people) from not only illegal but legal immigrants, By early 1997, letters were going out to close to a million legal immigrants who were poor, old, or disabled, warning them that their food stamps and cash payments would be cut off in a few months unless they became citizens.

For perhaps half a million legal immigrants, passing the tests required for becoming a citizen was quite impossible -- they could not read English, were sick or disabled, or were just too old to learn, An immigrant from Portugal living in Massachusetts told a reporter, through an interpreter: "Every day we are afraid the letter will come. What will we do if we lose our checks? We will starve, Oh, my God. It will not be worth living."

Illegal immigrants fleeing poverty in Mexico began to face harsher treatment in the early nineties. Thousands of border guards were added. A Reuters dispatch from Mexico City (April 3, 1997) said about the tougher policy: "Any crackdown against illegal immigration automatically angers Mexicans, millions of whom migrate, legally and illegally, across the 2,000-mile border to the United States in search of jobs each year."

Hundreds of thousands of Central Americans who had fled death squads in Guatemala and El Salvador while the United States was giving military aid to those governments now faced deportation because they had never been deemed "political" refugees. To admit that these cases were political would have given the lie to U.S. claims at the time that those repressive regimes were improving their human rights record and therefore deserved to continue receiving military aid.

In early 1996, Congress and the President joined to pass an "Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act," allowing deportation of any immigrant ever convicted of a crime, no matter how long ago or how serious. Lawful permanent residents who had married Americans and now had children were not exempt, The New York Times reported that July that "hundreds of long-term legal residents have been arrested since the law passed." There was a certain irrationality to this new law, for it was passed in response to the blowing up of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh, who was native born.

The new government policy toward immigrants, far from fulfilling Clinton's promise of "a new government for a new century," was a throwback to the notorious Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798 and the McCarthy-era McCarran-Walter Act of the 1950s. It was hardly in keeping with the grand claim inscribed on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

In the summer of 1996 (apparently seeking the support of "centrist" voters for the coming election), Clinton signed a law to end the federal government's guarantee, created under the New Deal, of financial help to poor families with dependent children. This was called "welfare reform," and the law itself had the deceptive title of "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996."

By this decision, Clinton alienated many of his former liberal supporters. Peter Edelman resigned from his post in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, bitterly criticizing what he considered Clinton's surrender to the right and the Republicans. Later, Edelman wrote: "His goal was reelection at all costs.... His political approach was not to calculate the risks but to take no risks at all.... His penchant for elevating shadow Over substance has hurt poor children."

The aim of "welfare reform" was to force poor families receiving federal cash benefits (many of them single mothers with children) to go to work by cutting off their benefits after two years, limiting lifetime benefits to five years, and allowing people without children to get food stamps for only three months in any three-year period.

The Los Angeles Times reported: "As legal immigrants lose access to Medicaid, and families battle a new five-year limit on cash benefits ... health experts anticipate resurgence of tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases.... " The aim of the welfare cuts was to save $50 billion over a five-year period (less than the cost of a planned new generation of fighter planes). Even the New York Times, a supporter of Clinton during the election, said that the provisions of the new law "have nothing to do with creating work but everything to do with balancing the budget by cutting programs for the poor."

There was a simple but overwhelming problem with cutting off benefits to the poor to force them to find jobs. There were not jobs available for all those who would lose their benefits. In New York City in 1990, when 2,000 jobs were advertised in the Sanitation Department at $23,000 a year, 100,000 people applied. Two years later in Chicago, 7,000 people showed up for 550 jobs at Stouffer's, a restaurant chain. In Joliet, Illinois, 200 showed up at Commonwealth Edison at 4:30 A.M. to apply for jobs that did not yet exist. In early 1997, 4,000 people lined up for 700 jobs at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan. It was estimated that at the existing rate of job growth in New York, with 470,000 adults on welfare, it would take twenty-four years to absorb those thrown off the rolls.

What the Clinton administration steadfastly refused to do was to establish government programs to create jobs, as had been done in the New Deal era, when billions were spent to give employment to several million people, from construction workers and engineers to artists and writers. "The era of big government is over," Clinton proclaimed as he ran for President in 1996, seeking votes on the supposition that Americans supported the Republican position that government was spending too much.

Both parties were misreading public opinion, and the press was often complicit in this. When, in the midyear election of 1994, only 37 percent of the electorate went to the polls, and slightly more than half voted Republican, the media reported this as a "revolution." A headline in the New York Times read "Public Shows Trust in GOP Congress," suggesting that the American people were supporting the Republican agenda of less government.

But in the story below that headline, a New York Times/CBS News public opinion survey found that 65 percent of those polled said that "it is the responsibility of government to take care of people who can't take care of themselves."

Clinton and the Republicans, in joining against "big government," were aiming only at social services. The other manifestations of big government -- huge contracts to military contractors and generous subsidies to corporations -- continued at exorbitant levels.

"Big government" had, in fact, begun with the Founding Fathers, who deliberately set up a strong central government to protect the interests of the bondholders, the slave owners, the land speculators, the manufacturers. For the next two hundred years, the American government continued to serve the interests of the wealthy and powerful, offering millions of acres of free land to the railroads, setting high tariffs to protect manufacturers, giving tax breaks to oil corporations, and using its armed forces to suppress strikes and rebellions.

It was only in the twentieth century, especially in the thirties and sixties, when the government, besieged by protests and fearful of the stability of the system, passed social legislation for the poor, that political leaders and business executives complained about "big government."

President Clinton reappointed Alan Greenspan as head of the Federal Reserve system, which regulated interest rates. Greenspan's chief concern was to avoid "inflation," which bondholders did not want because it would reduce their profits. His financial constituency saw higher wages for workers as producing inflation and worried that if there was not enough unemployment, wages might rise.

Reduction of the annual deficit in order to achieve a "balanced budget" became an obsession of the Clinton administration. But since Clinton did not want to raise taxes on the wealthy, or to cut funds for the military, the only alternative was to sacrifice the poor, the children, the aged -- to spend less for health care, for food stamps, for education, for single mothers.

Two examples of this appeared early in Clinton's second administration, in the spring of 1997:

• From the New York Times, May 8, 1997: "A major element of President Clinton's education plan -- a proposal to spend $5 billion to repair the nation's crumbling schools -- was among the items quietly killed in last week's agreement to balance the federal budget.... "
• From the Boston Globe, May 22, 1997: "After White House intervention, the Senate yesterday ... rejected a proposal ... to extend health insurance to the nation's 10.5 million uninsured children.... Seven lawmakers switched their votes ... after senior White House officials ... called and said the amendment would imperil the delicate budget agreement."

The concern about balancing the budget did not extend to military spending. Immediately after he was elected for the first time, Clinton had said: "I want to reaffirm the essential continuity in American foreign policy."

In Clinton's presidency, the government continued to spend at least $250 billion a year to maintain the military machine. He was accepting the Republican claim that the nation must be ready to fight "two regional wars" simultaneously, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. At that time, Bush's Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, had said, "The threats have become so remote, so remote that they are difficult to discern." General Colin Powell spoke similarly (reported in Defense News, April 8, 1991): "I'm running out of demons. I'm running out of villains. I'm down to Castro and Kim Il Sung."

Clinton had been accused during the election campaign of having evaded military service during the Vietnam war, apparently in opposition to the war, like so many other young Americans. Once in the White House he seemed determined to erase the image of a "draftdodger," and took every opportunity to portray himself as a supporter of the military establishment.

In the fall of 1993, Clinton's Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin, announced the results of a "bottom-up review" of the military budget, envisioning the spending of over $1 trillion for the next five years. It called for virtually no reduction in major weapons systems. A conservative analyst with the Woodrow Wilson International Center (Anthony Cordesman) commented: "There are no radical departures from the Bush Base Force, or even from earlier U.S. strategy."

After being in office two years, and facing a Republican upsurge in the congressional elections of 1994, Clinton proposed even more money for the military than had been envisioned in the bottom-up review. A New York Times dispatch from Washington (December 1, 1994) reported:

Trying to quiet Republican criticism that the military is underfinanced, President Clinton held a Rose Garden ceremony today to announce that he would seek a $25 billion increase in military spending over the next six years.

The examples most often given by the Pentagon of "two simultaneous major regional wars" were Iraq and North Korea. Yet the 1991 war against Iraq had followed repeated U.S. arming of Iraq in the eighties. And it was reasonable to suppose that heavy military aid to South Korea, and a permanent U.S. military force in that country, had provoked increases in the North Korean arms budget, which was still much smaller than that of South Korea.

Despite these facts, the United States under Clinton was continuing to supply arms to nations all over the world. Clinton, coming into office, approved the sale of F-15 combat planes to Saudi Arabia, and F-16s to Taiwan. The Baltimore Sun reported (May 30, 1994):

Next year, for the first time, the United States will produce more combat planes for foreign air forces than for the Pentagon, highlighting America's replacement of the Soviet Union as the world's main arms supplier. Encouraged by the Clinton administration, the defense industry last year had its best export year ever, having sold $32 billion worth of weapons overseas, more than twice the 1992 total of $15 billion.

That pattern continued through the Clinton presidency. In the summer of 2000, the New York Times reported that in the previous year the United States had sold over $11 billion of arms, one-third of all weapons sold worldwide. Two-thirds of all arms were sold to poor countries. In 1999 the Clinton administration lifted a ban on advanced weapons to Latin America. The Times called it "a victory for the big military contractors, like the Lockheed-Martin Corporation and the McDonnell Douglas Corporation."

Clinton seemed anxious to show strength. He had been in office barely six months when he sent the Air Force to drop bombs on Baghdad, presumably in retaliation for an assassination plot against George Bush on the occasion of his visit to Kuwait. The evidence for such a plot was very weak, coming as it did from the notoriously corrupt Kuwaiti police, and Clinton did not wait for the results of the trial supposed to take place in Kuwait of those accused of the plot.

And so, U.S. planes, claiming to have targeted "Intelligence Headquarters" in the Iraqi capital, bombed a suburban neighborhood, killing at least six people, including a prominent Iraqi artist and her husband.

The Boston Globe reported: "Since the raid, President Clinton and other officials have boasted of crippling Iraq's intelligence capacity and of sending a powerful message that Iraq leader Saddam Hussein had better behave." It turned out later that there was no significant damage, if any, to Iraqi intelligence facilities and the New York Times commented: "Mr. Clinton's sweeping statement was reminiscent of the assertions by President Bush and General Norman Schwartzkopf during the Persian Gulf War that later proved to be untrue."

Democrats rallied behind the bombing, and the Boston Globe, referring to the use of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter as legal justification for the bombing, said this was "diplomatically the proper rationale to invoke ... Clinton's reference to the UN Charter conveyed the American desire to respect international law."

In fact, Article 51 of the UN Charter permits unilateral military action only in defense against an armed attack, and only when there is no opportunity to convene the Security Council. None of these factors were present in the Baghdad bombing.

Columnist Molly Ivins suggested that the bombing of Baghdad for the purpose of "sending a powerful message" fit the definition of terrorism. "The maddening thing about terrorists is that they are indiscriminate in their acts of vengeance, or cries for attention, or whatever.... What is true for individuals ... must also be true of nations."

The bombing of Baghdad was a sign that Clinton, facing several foreign policy crises during his two terms in office, would react to them in traditional ways, usually involving military action, claiming humanitarian motives, and often with disastrous results for people abroad as well as for the United States.

In Somalia, East Africa, in June 1993, with the country in a civil war and people desperate for food, the United States intervened late and badly. As journalist Scott Peterson wrote in Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda: "American and other foreign forces in Somalia committed startling acts of savagery, hiding behind the banner of the United Nations."

The Clinton administration made the mistake of intervening in an internal conflict between warlords. It decided to hunt down the most prominent of these, General Mohamed Aidid, in a military operation that ended with the killing of 19 Americans and perhaps 2,000 Somalis in October 1993.

The attention of the American public was concentrated, as usual, on the deaths of Americans (glamorized in the film Black Hawk Down). The lives of Somalis seemed much less important. As Peterson wrote: "American and UN officers made clear that numbers of Somali dead did not interest them, and they kept no count."

In fact, the killing of the American Rangers by an angry Somali mob was preceded months before by a critical decision made by the United States to launch a military attack on a house in which tribal elders were meeting. It was a brutal operation. First Cobra attack helicopters launched antitank missiles. "Minutes later," Peterson reports, American ground troops stormed in and began finishing off the survivors -- a charge U.S. commanders deny." But a survivor of the raid told Peterson: "If they saw people shouting, they killed them."

U.S. general Thomas Montgomery called the attack "legitimate" because they were "all bad guys." Admiral Jonathan Howe, representing the UN operation (the United States had insisted an American must be in charge), defended the attack by saying the house was a "very key terrorist planning cell" and denied that civilians had died, though it was clear that the dead were tribal elders. The claim was that "tactical radios" were found in the compound later, but Peterson wrote: "I have never heard nor seen any evidence that this attack even remotely met a single criteria of 'direct' military advantage."

Peterson commented: "Though we all had eyes and had witnessed the crime, mission commanders defended the indefensible and stubbornly clung to the illusion that more war could somehow bring peace. They thought that Somalis would forget the carnage, forget the spilled blood of their fathers and brothers.... "

The Somalis did not forget, and the killing of the American Rangers in October was one consequence.

The catastrophic policy in Somalia led to another one the following year, in Rwanda, where famine and murderous tribal warfare were ignored. There was a UN force in Rwanda that might have saved tens of thousands of lives, but the United States insisted that it be cut back to a skeleton force. The result was genocide -- at least a million Rwandans died. As Richard Heaps, a consultant to the Ford Foundation on Africa wrote to the New York Times: "The Clinton administration took the lead in opposing international action."

When, shortly after, the Clinton administration did intervene with military force in Bosnia, journalist Scott Peterson, who had by this time moved to the Balkans, commented on the difference in reactions to genocide in Africa and in Europe. He said that it was "as if a decision had been made, somewhere, that Africa and Africans were not worth justice."

Clinton's foreign policy had very much the traditional bipartisan emphasis on maintaining friendly relations with whatever governments were in power, and promoting profitable trade arrangements with them, whatever their record in protecting human rights. Thus, aid to Indonesia continued, despite that country's record of mass murder (perhaps 200,000 killed out of a population of 700,000) in the invasion and occupation of East Timor.

Democrats and Republicans joined forces as the Senate defeated a proposal to prohibit the sale of lethal weapons to the Suharto regime of Indonesia. The Boston Globe wrote July 11, 1994:

The arguments presented by senators solicitous of Suharto's regime -- and of defense contractors, oil companies and mining concerns doing business with Jakarta -- made Americans seem a people willing to overlook genocide for the sake of commerce. Secretary of State Warren Christopher ... made the all-too-familiar claim that Indonesia's respect for human rights is improving.

This was the Clinton administration's rationale for pursuing business as usual with Suharto and his generals.

In 1996 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor. Speaking at a church in Brooklyn shortly before he won the prize, Ramos-Horta said:

In the summer of 1977, I was here in New York when I received a message telling me that one of my sisters, Maria, 21 years old, had been killed in an aircraft bombing. The aircraft, named Bronco, was supplied by the United States.... Within months, a report about a brother, Guy, 17 years old, killed along with many other people in his village by Bell helicopters, supplied by the United States. Same year, another brother, Nunu, captured and executed with an [American-made] M-16.

Similarly, American-made Sikorski helicopters were used by Turkey to destroy the villages of rebellious Kurds, in what writer John Tirman (Spoils of War: The Human Cost of the Arms Trade) called "a campaign of terror against the Kurdish people."

By early 1997, the United States was selling more arms abroad than all other nations combined. Lawrence Korb, a Department of Defense official under Reagan but later a critic of arms sales, wrote: "It has become a money game: an absurd spiral in which we export arms only to have to develop more sophisticated ones to counter those spread out all over the world."

Finally, in the last year of the Clinton I administration, when mass resistance in East Timor brought about a referendum for independence, military aid stopped, and the Suharto regime collapsed. At last, East Timor appeared to be winning its freedom.

But military power continued to dominate policy, and the United States often stood alone in refusing to cut back on its weaponry. Though a hundred nations signed an agreement to abolish land mines, which were killing tens of thousands of people each year, the United States refused to go along. Though the Red Cross urged governments to suspend the use of cluster bombs (which spewed out thousands of tiny pellets, killing indiscriminately), the United States, which had used them in Vietnam and in the Gulf War, refused to desist.

At a UN conference in Rome in 1999, the United States opposed the establishment of a permanent international war crimes court. There was fear that American officials and military leaders who, like Henry Kissinger, had been responsible for policies leading to the deaths of large numbers of people might be brought before such a court.

Human rights clearly came second to business profit in U.S. foreign policy. When the international group Human Rights Watch issued its 1996 annual report, the New York Times (December 5, 1996) summarized its findings:

The organization strongly criticized many powerful nations, particularly the United States, accusing them of failing to press governments in China, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia to improve human rights for fear of losing access to lucrative markets.

This criticism was borne out by the Clinton administration's bizarre approach to two nations, China and Cuba, both of which considered themselves "communist." China had massacred protesting students in Beijing in 1991 and put dissenters in prison. Yet the United States continued to give China economic aid and certain trade privileges ("most favored nation" status) for the sake of U.S. business interests.

Cuba had imprisoned critics of the regime, but had no bloody record of suppression as did communist China or other governments in the world that received U.S. aid. But the Clinton administration continued, and even extended, a blockade of Cuba that was depriving its population of food and medicine.

In its relations with Russia, a concern for "stability" over morality seemed to motivate the Clinton administration. It insisted on firm support for the regime of Boris Yeltsin, even after Russia initiated a brutal invasion and bombardment of the outlying region of Chechnya, which wanted independence.

Both Clinton and Yeltsin, on the occasion of the death of Richard Nixon, expressed admiration for the man who had continued the war in Vietnam, who had violated his oath of office, and who had escaped criminal charges only because he was pardoned by his own Vice President. Yeltsin called Nixon "one of the greatest politicians in the world," and Clinton said that Nixon, throughout his career, "remained a fierce advocate for freedom and democracy around the world."

Clinton's foreign economic policy was in keeping with the nation's history, in which both major parties were more concerned for corporate interests than for the rights of working people, here or abroad, and saw foreign aid as a political and economic tool more than as a humanitarian act.

In November 1993, an Associated Press dispatch reported the phasing out of economic aid to thirty-five countries. The administrator for the Agency for International Development, J. Brian Atwood, explained: "We no longer need an AID program to purchase influence."

A humanitarian organization, Bread for the World, said that most of the cuts would harm very poor countries and added, with some bitterness, that hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation were not priorities for the Clinton administration.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, both dominated by the United States, adopted a hard-nosed banker's approach to debt-ridden Third World countries. They insisted that these poor nations allocate a good part of their meager resources to repaying their loans to the rich countries, at the cost of cutting social services to their already-desperate populations.

The emphasis in foreign economic policy was on "the market economy" and "privatization." This forced the people of former Soviet-bloc countries to fend for themselves in a supposedly "free" economy, without the social benefits that they had received under the admittedly inefficient and oppressive former regimes. Unregulated market capitalism turned out to be disastrous for people in the Soviet Union, who saw huge fortunes accumulated by a few and deprivation for the masses.

The slogan of "free trade" became an important objective for the Clinton administration, and, with the support of Republicans as well as Democrats, Congress enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico. This removed obstacles for corporate capital and goods to move freely back and forth across the Mexican-United States border.
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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:46 pm

PART 2 OF 2 (CH. 24 CONT'D.)

There was vigorous disagreement over the effects of NAFTA. Some economists claimed it would benefit the United States economy by opening up a larger Mexican market for United States goods. Opponents, including the major trade unions, said there would be a loss of jobs for American workers as corporations moved their operations across the border to hire Mexicans at low pay.

Two economists for the Institute for Policy Studies, examining NAFTA in early 1995, after a year of its operation, found that it had caused a net loss of 10,000 U.S. jobs. While more workers in Mexico were now hired by U.S. corporations that moved there, they were working at low wages, with "lax enforcement of workers' rights and environmental standards."

The claim of the United States to support "free trade" was hardly to be believed, since the government interfered with trade when this did not serve the "national interest," which was a euphemism for corporate interest. Thus, it went to lengths to prevent tomato growers in Mexico from entering the U.S. market.

In an even more flagrant violation of the principle of free trade, the United States would not allow shipments of food or medicine to Iraq or to Cuba. In 1996, on the television program 60 Minutes, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked about the report that "a half million children have died as a result of sanctions against Iraq.... That is more children than died in Hiroshima.... Is the price worth it?" Albright replied: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it."

The U.S. government did not seem to recognize that its punitive foreign policies, its military installations in countries all over the globe, might arouse anger in foreign countries, and that anger might turn to violence. When it did, the only response that the United States could think of was to react with more violence.

Thus, when U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed in 1998, the Clinton administration responded by bombing targets in Afghanistan and the Sudan. The claim was that the Afghanistan target was a base for terrorist activity, though there was no proof of this. As for the Sudan, the United States insisted it had bombed a plant manufacturing chemical weapons, but it turned out to be a factory that produced medicines for half the population of the country. The human consequences of that loss of medicine could not be calculated.

In that same year, Clinton faced the greatest crisis of his presidency. The nation learned that a young government worker, Monica Lewinsky, had been making secret visits to the White House for sexual liaisons with the President. This became a sensational story, occupying the front pages of newspapers for months. An Independent Counsel was appointed to investigate, who took lurid, detailed testimony from Monica Lewinsky (who had been exposed by a friend who had taped their conversations) about sexual contact with Clinton.

Clinton lied about his relationship with Lewinsky, and the House of Representatives voted to impeach him on the ground that he had lied in denying "sexual relations" with the young woman, and that he had obstructed justice by trying to conceal information about their relationship. This was only the second time in American history that a president had been impeached, and here too, as in the case of Andrew Johnson after the Civil War, the impeachment did not lead to the end of Clinton's presidency because the Senate did not vote for removal.

What the incident showed was that a matter of personal behavior could crowd out of the public's attention far more serious matters, indeed, matters of life and death. The House of Representatives would impeach the president on matters of sexual behavior, but it would not impeach him for endangering the lives of children by welfare reform, or for violating international law in bombing other countries (Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan), or for allowing hundreds of thousands of children to die as a result of economic sanctions (Iraq).

In 1999, Clinton's last year in office, a crisis erupted in the Balkans that once again showed the U.S. government as disposed to use force rather than diplomacy in solving matters of international concern. The problem that arose came out of the breakup ten years earlier of the Republic of Yugoslavia, and the ensuing conflicts among the separated elements of a once united country.

One of the parts of the former Yugoslavia was Bosnia-Herzegovina, with Croats massacring Serbs, and Serbs massacring Croats and Moslems. After a vicious Serb attack on the city of Srebrenica, the United States bombed Serb positions, and then negotiations in Dayton, Ohio, in 1995 stopped the fighting, dividing Bosnia-Herzegovina into Croat and Serbian entities.

But the Dayton accord had failed to deal with the problem of another part of the old Yugoslavia, the province of Kosovo, which, with a majority of its population Albanian and a minority being Serbian, was demanding independence from Serbia. The Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic had shown his ruthlessness earlier in Bosnia, and now, facing armed attack from Kosovo nationalists, attacked Kosovo, killing perhaps 2,000 people and causing several hundred thousand to become refugees.

An international gathering in Rambouillet, France, was supposed to try to solve the problem diplomatically. But it presented terms to Yugoslavia that seemed certain to be rejected: NATO control of all of Kosovo, and NATO military occupation of the rest of Yugoslavia. On March 23, 1999, the Serbian National Assembly responded with a counterproposal, rejecting NATO occupation and calling for negotiations leading "toward the reaching of a political agreement on a wide-ranging autonomy for Kosovo.... "

The Serbian proposal was ignored, and was not reported in the major newspapers of the United States. The following day, NATO forces (meaning mostly U.S. forces) began the bombing of Yugoslavia. Presumably, the bombing was to stop the "ethnic cleansing" of Kosovo, that is, the forcing of Albanians out of the province by death or intimidation. But after two weeks of bombing, the New York Times reported (April 5, 1999) that "more than 350,000 have left Kosovo since March 24." Two months later, with the bombing still going on, the figure had risen to over 800,000.

The bombing of Yugoslavia, including the capital city of Belgrade, apparently intended to unseat Milosevic, led to an untold number of civilian casualties. An e-mail message came to the United States from a professor at the University of Nis:

The little town of Aleksinac, 20 miles away from my home town, was hit last night with full force. The local hospital was hit, and a whole street was simply wiped out. What I know for certain is 6 dead civilians and more than 50 badly hurt. There was no military target around whatsoever.

A New York Times reporter, Steven Erlanger, described "the mounded rubble across narrow Zmaj Jovina Street, where Aleksandar Milic, 37, died on Tuesday. Mr. Milic's wife, Vesna, 35, also died. So did his mother and his two children, Miljana, 15, and Vladimir, 11 -- all of them killed about noon when an errant NATO bomb obliterated their new house and the cellar in which they were sheltering."

When a peace agreement was finally signed on June 3, 1999, it was a compromise between the Rambouillet accord, which Yugoslavia had rejected, and the Serbian National Assembly proposal, which had never been seriously considered. Noam Chomsky, in his book The New Military Humanism, examined in detail the events of that spring, and concluded: "The outcome as of June 3 suggests that diplomatic initiatives could have been pursued on March 23, averting a terrible human tragedy.... "

Bur it seemed that the Clinton administration, like so many before it (Truman in Korea, Johnson in Vietnam, Bush in the Gulf War) chose military solutions when diplomatic ones were possible.

The militarization of the nation -- the huge military budgets, the maintenance of armed forces all over the world, the repeated use of weapons against other countries -- meant that the resources available for human needs were not available. In one of his finer moments, President Dwight Eisenhower had said: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in a final sense a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."

Clinton's economic program, at first announced as a job-creation program, was soon to change direction and concentrate on reduction of the deficit, which under Reagan and Bush had left a national debt of $4 trillion. But this emphasis meant that there would be no bold program of expenditures for universal health care, education, child care, housing, the environment, the arts, or job creation.

Clinton's small gestures would not come close to what was needed in a nation where one-fourth of the children lived in poverty; where homeless people lived on the streets in every major city; where women could not look for work for lack of child care; where the air, the water, were deteriorating dangerously.

The United States was the richest country in the world, with 5 percent of the earth's population yet consuming 30 percent of what was produced worldwide. But only a tiny portion of the American population benefited; this richest 1 percent of the population saw its wealth increase enormously starting in the late 1970s. As a result of changes in the tax structure, by 1995 that richest 1 percent had gained over $1 trillion and now owned over 40 percent of the nation's wealth.

According to the business magazine Forbes, the 400 richest families owned $92 billion in 1982, but thirteen years later this had jumped to $480 billion. In the nineties, the wealth of the 500 corporations of the Standard and Poor's Index had increased by 335 percent. The Dow Jones average of stock prices had gone up 400 percent between 1980 and 1995, while the average wage of workers had declined in purchasing power by 15 percent.

It was therefore possible to say that the U.S. economy was "healthy" -- but only if you considered the richest part of the population. Meanwhile, 40 million people were without health insurance (the number having risen by 33 percent in the nineties), and infants died of sickness and malnutrition at a rate higher than that of any other industrialized country. There seemed to be unlimited funds for the military, but people who performed vital human services, in health and education, had to struggle to barely survive.

A 27-year-old woman named Kim Lee Jacobson, interviewed in the Boston Globe, epitomized the distorted national priorities. She had been named "U.S. Toddler Teacher of 1999" but, as she said: "I'm hitting $20,000 this year, after five years in the field. It all works out. I didn't come for a lot of money, so I don't expect to have a lot."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1998, one of every three working people in the United States had jobs paying at or below the federal poverty level. The writer Barbara Ehrenreich spent a year working at various jobs -- house cleaner, waitress, factory worker -- and reported (in her book Nickeled and Dimed) that jobs such as those left workers unable to afford housing or medical care, or even adequate food.

For people of color, the statistics were especially troubling. Black infants died at twice the rate of white children, and the life expectancy of a black man in Harlem, according to a United Nations report, was 46 years, less than that in Cambodia or the Sudan.

This racial discrepancy was explained by some people as racial inferiority, as "genetic" deficiency. But what was clear was that growing up in a terrible environment, whatever one's natural abilities, became an insurmountable handicap for millions of Americans, whether white or black.

A Carnegie Endowment study showed that two young people of equal standing on intelligence tests (even accepting the dubious worth of intelligence tests for children brought up under different circumstances) had very different futures depending on whom their parents were. The child of a lawyer, though rating no higher on mental tests than the child of a janitor, was four times as likely to go to college, 12 times as likely to finish college, and 27 times as likely to end up in the top 10 percent of American incomes.

To change that situation, to bring about even a rough equality of opportunity, would require a drastic redistribution of wealth, a huge expenditure of money for job creation, health, education, and the environment.

The United States, instead, was consigning its people to the mercy of the "free market," forgetting, or choosing to forget, the disastrous consequence of such a policy in the twenties. The "market" did not care about the environment or the arts. And it left many Americans without the basic means of subsistence, including adequate housing. Under Reagan, the government had reduced the number of housing units getting subsidies from 400,000 to 40,000; in the Clinton administration, the program ended altogether.

Despite Clinton's 1997 Inauguration Day promise of a "new government," his presidency offered no bold program to take care of these needs. For instance, although public-opinion polls through the eighties and nineties indicated that the American people would support a program of free universal medical care supported by the general treasury, Clinton was reluctant to advocate this. Instead, he put his wife, Hillary, in charge of a commission whose final report was over a thousand pages long, impossibly dense and complicated, and yet offering no answer to the problem: how to assure every American medical care, free of the intervention of profiteering insurance companies.

Aside from creating an even larger deficit (and there were economists who did not believe that reducing the deficit was necessary, when crucial needs were not being met), there were two possible sources to pay for a bold program of social reconstruction, and the Clinton administration was not inclined to tap either one.

One source was the military budget. Randall Forsberg, an expert on military expenditures, had suggested during the presidential campaign of 1992 that "a military budget of $60 billion, to be achieved over a number of years, would support a demilitarized U.S. foreign policy, appropriate to the needs and opportunities of the post-Cold War world." However, the military budget kept increasing, even after the fall of the supposed target of the military buildup, and by the end of Clinton's term was about $300 billion a year.

A radical reduction of the military budget would require a renunciation of war, a withdrawal of military bases from around the world, an acceptance, finally, of the principle enunciated in the UN Charter that the world should renounce "the scourge of war." It would speak to the fundamental human desire (overwhelmed too often by barrages of superpatriotic slogans) to live at peace with others.

The public appeal for such a dramatic policy change would be based on a simple but powerful moral argument: that given the nature of modern warfare, the victims would be mostly civilians. To put it another way, war in our time is always a war against children. And if the children of other countries are to be granted an equal right to life with our own children, then we must use our extraordinary human ingenuity to find nonmilitary solutions for world problems.

The other possible source to pay for social reform was the wealth of the superrich. The richest 1 percent of the country had gained over $1 trillion in the eighties and nineties as a result of tax breaks. A "wealth tax" -- something not yet done as national policy, but perfectly feasible -- could retrieve that trillion dollars, for instance, at $100 billion dollars a year for ten years, and still leave that 1 percent very, very rich.

In addition, a truly progressive income tax -- going back to the post-World War II levels of 70-90 percent on very high incomes -- could yield another $100 billion a year. Clinton did raise taxes on the super-rich, by a few percentage points, changing the top rate from 31 percent to 37 percent, and corporate taxes from 34 percent to 35 percent. But this was a pitifully small step in view of the need.

With the four or five hundred billion dollars gained each year by progressive taxation and demilitarization, there would be funds available to pay for a universal health-care system funded by the government as Medicare is administered, as the health-care system in Canada is handled, without the profit-taking by insurance companies. Those funds could pay for a full-employment program, for the first time implementing the 1946 Full Employment Act, which committed the national government to creating "useful employment opportunities" for all people able and willing to work. (One of Marge Piercy's poems ends with "The pitcher cries for water to carry/And a person for work that is real.")

Instead of giving out contracts for jet bombers and nuclear submarines, contracts could be offered to nonprofit corporations to hire people to build homes, construct public transport systems, clean up the rivers and lakes, turn our cities into decent places to live.

The alternative to such a bold program was to continue as before, allowing the cities to fester, forcing rural people to face debt and foreclosures, offering no useful work for the young, creating a marginal population of idle, desperate people, many of them young, many of them people of color, who turn to drugs and crime, constituting a threat to the physical security of the rest of the population.

The response of the government to such signs of desperation, anger, and alienation has been, historically, quite predictable: Build more jails, lock up more people, execute more prisoners. And continue with the same policies that produced the desperation. And so, by the end of the Clinton administration, the United States had more of its population in prison per capita -- a total of two million people -- than any other country in the world, with the possible exception of China.

Clinton claimed to be moderating his policies to match public opinion. But opinion surveys in the eighties and early nineties indicated that Americans favored bold policies that neither Democrats nor Republicans were willing to put forward: universal free health care, guaranteed employment, government help for the poor and homeless, with taxes on the rich and cuts in the military budget to pay for social programs.

The gap between national policy and the feelings of the American public suggested that another scenario was possible, one that envisioned, in the new millennium, citizens organizing to demand what the Declaration of Independence promised: a government that protected the equal right of everyone to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This meant economic arrangements that distributed the national wealth rationally and humanely. This meant a culture where the young no longer were taught to strive for "success" as a mask for greed.

Throughout the nineties, while conservative Republicans and moderate Democrats were running the government, there were large numbers of American citizens, unrepresented in Washington, unreported in the press, who were protesting government policy in various ways, and demanding a more just and peaceful society.

The signs of citizen energy outside the circles of power in Washington were not given much attention in the national media, except when a phenomenon was too big to ignore. Even a gathering of a half million adults and children, of all colors, arriving in the nation's capital to "Stand for Children" was paid little or no attention by television and newspapers. The signs of defiance and resistance were many and varied.

In Minneapolis, there was a continuing campaign against a corporation that manufactured land mines. An ex-GI who had been mutilated by an American land mine came to Minneapolis to join the campaign, joined by a young woman who was traveling all over the world to tell people of the children dying on all continents as a result of millions of land mines planted by the United States and other nations. Four nuns, the "McDonald sisters," who were indeed sisters, participated in the protest, and were arrested.

In 1994 in Los Angeles, in opposition to a new California law that took away basic health and educational rights from the children of illegal immigrants, a quarter of a million people took to the streets in protest.

When the United States made clear its intention to drop bombs on Iraq, presumably because Iraq was not allowing inspection of what American officials called "weapons of mass destruction," Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other officials spoke to a town meeting in Columbus, Ohio, to build up public support for the bombing. But the planned scenario was interrupted by a young man who, despite plans to control all questions, managed to get the floor and ask Madeleine Albright about all the other nations, allies of the United States, that possessed "weapons of mass destruction."

The Secretary of State was obviously taken by surprise and stumbled through an answer, which a national TV audience could plainly see. Plans for the bombing were quickly postponed, though some time later the regular bombing of Iraq, of which the press took no notice, resumed.

When Madeleine Albright was given an honorary degree by the University of California at Berkeley in the year 2000, there were protests in the audience and a huge banner: "Madeleine Albright Is a War Criminal." Protesters and the banner were removed from the theater.

It happened that the student selected to receive the university's prestigious University Medal and to give the student address at commencement was a young Palestinian woman named Fadia Rafeedie. She was moved to the end of the program so that Albright could speak and leave, but she was determined to speak to Albright's defense of the U.S. sanctions against Iraq. She spoke of the medical supplies not allowed into Iraq, about the hundreds of thousands of deaths of children as a result of the sanctions. She agreed that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator. But, she said:

When he was gassing the Kurds, he was gassing them using chemical weapons that were manufactured in Rochester, New York. And when he was fighting a long and protracted war with Iran, where one million people died, it was the CIA that was funding him. It was U.S. policy that built this dictator. When they didn't need him, they started imposing sanctions on his people. Sanctions should be directed at people's governments, not at the people.

In 1998, 7,000 people from all over the country traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia, to protest the existence of the School of the Americas, whose graduates, trained by the United States, had participated in atrocities in various Latin American countries. They carried eight caskets representing the six priests, a cook, and a young girl who had been assassinated by military men invading their home. Ironically, the Georgia federal judge who sentenced them to prison terms, Robert J. Elliot, was the same judge who had pardoned Lieutenant William Calley, found guilty of the My Lai massacre of villagers in Vietnam.

On the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki in August 1999, eight pacifists decided to block four lanes of traffic leading to a nuclear submarine base in Bangor, Maine. At that base, eight Trident submarines were housed, carrying over a thousand nuclear warheads. The protesters were arrested. They managed to explain to the jury, however, the reason for their opposition to nuclear weapons, and they were acquitted. The woman who headed the jury said later: "I am proud to sit with these people."

The culture had been affected by the movements of the sixties in a way that could not be obliterated. There was an unmistakable, stubborn new consciousness -- manifested from time to time in the cinema, on television, in the world of music -- an awareness that women deserved equal rights, that the sexual preferences of men and women were their own affair, that the growing gap between rich and poor gave the lie to the word "democracy."

Racism was still deeply embedded in American society -- the evidence was in continued police brutality against people of color, in the higher rates of infant mortality in the black population, the lack of jobs for young blacks, and the corresponding growth of crime and imprisonment. But the country was becoming more diverse -- more Latino people, more Asians, more interracial marriages. It was projected that by the year 2050 people of color would be equal in number to whites in the United States. There were sporadic attempts to organize the discontent among the nations' African Americans. In the late eighties, there had been a hint of a future possibility as the black leader Jesse Jackson, speaking for the poor and dispossessed of all colors, a "Rainbow Coalition," won millions of votes in the presidential primary and gave the nation a brief, rare surge of political excitement.

In 1995 a million men traveled from all over the country to Washington, D.C. -- the "Million Man March" -- to declare to the nation's leaders that they intended to become a force for change. The march did not have a clear agenda, but it was an expression of solidarity. In the summer of 1998, 2,000 African American men met in Chicago to found the Black Radical Congress.

The following year, the West Coast Longshoremen's Union carried out an eight-hour work stoppage in protest against the incarceration and death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Jamal was a respected black journalist who had been tried and sentenced under circumstances that suggested his race and his radicalism, as well as his persistent criticism of the Philadelphia police, were the reasons he now sat on death row.

The labor movement, in the nineties, was showing signs of a new energy. This despite the gradual decline in union membership as manufacturing plants moved out of the country, and industrial workers were being outnumbered by service and white collar workers, who were more difficult to organize.

There was an impetus for a new militancy as it became clear that the wealth of the nation was going mostly to the very rich, and the gap between rich and poor was growing. In the nineties, the income of the richest 5 percent of the population grew by 20 percent while the income of the poor and middle class, taking into consideration the rise in cost of living, either fell or remained the same. In 1990 the average pay of the chief executive officers of the 500 largest corporations was 84 times that of the average worker. By 1999, it was 475 times the average worker's pay.

A new president of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, coming out of the Service Employees International Union -- a sign of the change in the labor force -- appeared to depart sharply from the conservatism of his predecessors. He encouraged the idea of a "Union Summer" (inspired by the Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964), tapping the idealism of young people by inviting them to help in the organizing of the new service workers, white-collar workers, farm workers, immigrant workers.

The unions were losing some strikes, as in the long, bitter struggles in the nineties in Decatur, Illinois, against three corporate giants: Caterpillar, Firestone, and Staley. But there were also victories: United Parcel Service workers went on strike for 15 days, a strike that brought great national attention and won their demand that part-time jobs, without health and other benefits, be converted to 10,000 full-time jobs with benefits. The machinists' union won strikes at the Boeing Company and McDonnell Douglas.

Hotel workers won strikes in Minneapolis and San Francisco. Cleaning women, mostly immigrants, were victorious in Los Angeles, striking against owners of skyscrapers, where the poorly paid workers cleaned the offices of the city's most prosperous businesspeople. In the year 2000, the biggest white-collar strike in the nation's history was won for 19,000 engineers and professional workers of Boeing, who succeeded in having their salaries match those of workers in other Boeing plants.

One of the greatest union victories in decades took place in Los Angeles County in 1999, where, after an 11-year campaign, the Service Employees International Union won the right to represent 74,000 home health-care workers. That same year, the newly merged unions of garment workers and textile workers called UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) workers, which had been trying for 25 years to organize Cannon Mills in North Carolina, won their union election at two mills in Kannapolis.

Women were taking a leading role in the new leadership of the AFL-CIO. Karen Nussbaum, who had been president of the 9 to 5 National Association of Working Women, became director of the Working Women's Department of the AFL-CIO, and by 1998, 10 of the 21 departments of the union were headed by women.

An alliance between students and the labor movement was being forged by the campaign for a "living wage" for campus workers, which soon spread to 150 college campuses. For instance, at Harvard University, students organized to demand that the Harvard administration, sitting on a treasury of $20 billion, pay their janitors and other service employees a wage sufficient to support their families. Many of these workers had to work two jobs -- as much as 80 hours a week -- to pay for rent and food and medical care.

The Harvard students staged colorful rallies in which janitors and other campus workers spoke about their needs. Members of the Cambridge City Council, and trade union leaders including John Sweeney and other high officers of the AFL-CIO, took the microphone to declare their support. The arrival of two young movie stars, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, to support the campaign attracted a huge crowd. Both had lived and gone to school in Cambridge. Matt Damon had spent a few years at Harvard before dropping out to go to Hollywood. Ben Affleck spoke movingly about his father working, poorly paid, at a menial job at Harvard.

When the Harvard administration continued to refuse to negotiate, forty students took over one of the Harvard administrative buildings and remained there day and night for several weeks, supported by hundreds of people outside, with tents spread out on the campus grass. Support for the sit-in came from all over the country, and finally Harvard agreed to negotiate. The upshot was a victory for the campus workers, with Harvard agreeing to raise the pay of janitors to $14 an hour and to give health benefits, and to insist that outside contractors match those conditions.

In the spring of 2000, students at Wesleyan University in Connecticut occupied the admissions office, insisting that the university president guarantee a living wage, health and retirement benefits, and job security to janitors and other service workers. After several days of the sit-in, the university agreed to comply with the demands.

Students around the country organized a Workers Rights Consortium. At Yale University, the University of Arizona, Syracuse University, the University of Kentucky, and on many other campuses, students carried on campaigns to support the demands of working people.

The living-wage campaign took a powerful hold on popular sympathies at a time when the rich were becoming richer. In Duluth, Minnesota, 56 organizations joined forces to demand that the city give contracts only to businesses that gave a living wage -- this meant several dollars above the official minimum wage -- to employees.

The five-year limit on federal aid to families with dependent children, set in the 1996 "welfare reform" legislation, meant that millions of people would face deprivation when their benefits expired.

Activists began organizing seriously in the year 2000 for that eventuality, bringing people from all over the country into a campaign to end poverty. A veteran of the welfare rights movement in Boston, Diane Dujon, declared: "In the richest country in the year 2000, no one should be living hungry, homeless, and under stress of not knowing how to feed their children and still pay their rent."

The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign in 1998 organized a bus tour of 35 cities to pull together the stories of people who could not feed their families, whose electricity had been cut off, who had been evicted from their homes because they could not afford to pay their bills. The following year, some of the PPEHRC traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to testify before the UN Commission on Human Rights. They pointed to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Eleanor Roosevelt had helped to draw up, and which declared that decent wages, food, housing, health care, and education was a right of all people.

Religious leaders, who had been quiet since their involvement in the movements for civil rights and against the Vietnam war, began to speak out on economic inequality. In the summer of 1996, the New York Times reported:

More than at any other time in decades, religious leaders are making common cause with trade unions, lending their moral authority to denounce sweatshops, back a higher minimum wage and help organize janitors and poultry workers. The clergy has not lined up with labor to such an extent since the heyday of Cesar Chavez, the charismatic farm workers' leader, in the 1970s, and perhaps the Depression....

All of these groups, and the people they represented -- the homeless, the struggling mothers, the families unable to pay their bills, the 40 million without health insurance and the many more with inadequate insurance -- were facing an enormous barrier of silence in the national culture. Their lives, their plight was not being reported in the major media, and so the myth of a prosperous America, proclaimed by powerful people in Washington and Wall Street, persisted.

There were valiant attempts to break through the control of information, especially after the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which enabled the handful of corporations dominating the airwaves to expand their power further. Mergers enabled tighter control of information. Two gigantic media corporations, CBS and Viacom, joined in a $37 billion deal. The Latin American writer Eduardo Galeano commented: "Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few."

Alternative media made desperate attempts to break through this control. There were several hundred community radio stations around the country -- the Pacifica network was the most successful of these -- bringing alternative information and ideas to their listeners. A one-man operation by David Barsamian, "Alternative Radio," distributed dissident views -- interviews and lectures -- via satellite to radio stations around the country.

Community newspapers in towns and cities around the country, though their circulation was small, tried to tell the stories of ordinary people. In Boston, homeless people joined to publish the newspaper Spare Change, to tell their stories, print their poems, and then to sell the newspaper on the streets of Boston and Cambridge as a way of making some money. They declared their aims, to be "a voice for the voiceless" and to be "an organizing tool for the homeless community." By the turn of the century they had been turning out the newspaper for eight years.

This idea spread to other parts of the country, and soon there were street newspapers in 40 different cities, which formed the North American Street Newspaper Association. The National Coalition for the Homeless, set up in the nation's capital, distributed a monthly newsletter.

Probably the most dramatic attempt to bring to the American people and to the world the facts of corporate domination over the lives of ordinary people was the great gathering of demonstrators in Seattle, Washington, in the last months of 1999. Seattle had been chosen as the meeting place of the World Trade Organization, and representatives of the most wealthy and powerful institutions on the globe were there to make plans to maintain their wealth and power, to bring the principles of capitalism to work across national boundaries, over all the earth.

Tens of thousands of people converged on Seattle to protest the plans of the World Trade Organization to expand "free trade" agreements. This, the protesters argued, meant the freedom of corporations to roam the globe in search of cheap labor and no restrictions on industrial policies that poisoned the environment.

The issues around "free trade" were complex, but a simple idea seemed to unite those who showed up in Seattle to oppose the WTO: that the health and freedom of ordinary people all over the world should not be sacrificed on behalf of corporate profit.

More than a thousand organizations from 90 countries -- representing labor unions, environmental groups, consumers, religious groups, farmers, indigenous people, women's groups, and more -- had signed a statement asking governments to stop the expansion of the World Trade Organization. In Seattle, there was a remarkable set of alliances -- steelworkers rallied with environmentalists, and machinists joined animal rights activists. Farmers joined a huge labor march of 40,000 on November 30, and then union people attended a family farm rally a few days later.

The press gave disproportionate attention to a small number of demonstrators who broke windows and created a ruckus, but the overwhelming majority in Seattle were nonviolent, and it was these that the police chose to attack with tear gas and then arrest. Hundreds were jailed, but the demonstrations continued. News of the events in Seattle went to the nation and all over the world.

The official WTO meeting was clearly disturbed by the crowds of protesters, and there were signs of division between the industrial countries and Third World countries. As John Nichols reported in the Progressive:

While the official WTO sessions were characterized by deep divides between delegations from the Northern and Southern hemispheres, there was an unprecedented level of North-South unity on the streets. Farmers from around the world came together.... The huge AFL-CIO rally cheered speakers from close to a dozen countries. And after events organized to highlight the devastating impact that globalization was having on women in the Third World, throngs of women from Africa, Latin America, India, Europe, and the United States marched together in human chains through the streets of downtown Seattle.

The summit meeting of the World Trade Organization was shaken by all this, and at a certain point the talks collapsed. It was a remarkable illustration of the ability of organized citizens to challenge the most powerful corporations in the world. Mike Brannan, writing in the newspaper of the insurgent Teamsters, caught the mood of exultation:

The kind of solidarity that all of us dream of was in the air as people sang, chanted, played music, and stood up to the cops and the WTO. The people owned the streets that day and it was as much a lesson for us as it was for corporate America.

The Seattle demonstrations coincided with a growing movement throughout the nation, on college campuses and in communities against sweatshop conditions endured by Third World men, women, even children working for American corporations.

The New York Times reported, a month after Seattle:

Pressure from college students and other opponents of sweatshops has led some factories that make goods for industry giants like Nike and the Gap to cut back on child labor, to use less dangerous chemicals, and to require fewer employees to work 80-hour weeks, according to groups that monitor such factories.

At last month's protests in Seattle conditions in such factories were a major focus, with many demonstrators demanding that trade treaties punish countries that permit violations of minimum labor standards. Many corporate executives acknowledge that the anti-sweatshop movement's efforts are paying off.

Seattle was the first of a series of international gatherings of trade union people, students, environmentalists, in opposition to the increasing control of the world economy by giant corporations. In the year following the Seattle demonstrations, protesters showed up wherever a summit of wealthy entrepreneurs was taking place: Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Davos, Switzerland; Los Angeles; and Prague.

Officials of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund could not ignore such a protest movement. They began to declare their concern for the environment and the conditions of their workers. Whether this would result in real changes was unclear, but undoubtedly the corporate leaders of the world could no longer ignore their critics.

Would the various strands of protest and resistance, in politics, in the workplace, in the culture, come together in the next century, the next millennium, to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence, of equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? No one could predict. All one could do was to act on the possibility, knowing that inaction would make any prediction a gloomy one.

If democracy were to be given any meaning, if it were to go beyond the limits of capitalism and nationalism, this would not come -- if history were any guide -- from the top. It would come through citizens' movements, educating, organizing, agitating, striking, boycotting, demonstrating, threatening those in power with disruption of the stability they needed.
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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:51 pm


It was clear as Clinton ended his two-term presidency (the Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution set two terms as a limit) that the Democratic candidate for president would now be the man who served him faithfully as Vice President, Albert Gore. The Republican Party chose as its candidate for President the Governor of Texas, George W. Bush, Jr. known for his connection to oil interests and the record number of executions of prisoners during his term in office.

Although Bush, during the campaign, accused Gore of appealing to "class warfare," the candidacy of Gore and his Vice President, Senator Joseph Lieberman, posed no threat to the superrich. A front-page story in the New York Times was headlined "As a Senator, Lieberman Is Proudly Pro-Business" and went on to give the details: he was loved by the Silicon Valley high-tech industry, and the military-industrial complex of Connecticut was grateful to him for their $7.5 billion in contracts for the Seawolf submarine.

The degree of difference in the corporate support of the two presidential candidates can be measured by the $220 million raised by the Bush campaign and the $170 million raised by the Gore campaign. Neither Gore nor Bush had a plan for free national health care, for extensive low-cost housing, for dramatic changes in environmental controls. Both supported the death penalty and the growth of prisons. Both favored a large military establishment, the continued use of land mines, and the use of sanctions against the people of Cuba and Iraq.

There was a third-party candidate, Ralph Nader, whose national reputation came from decades of persistent criticism of corporate control of the economy. His program was sharply different from the two major candidates, emphasizing health care, education, and the environment. But he was shut out of the nationally televised debates during the campaign, and, without the support of big business, he had to raise money from the small contributions of people who believed in his program.

It was predictable, given the unity of both major parties around class issues, and the barriers put up against any third-party candidate, that half the country, mostly at lower-income levels, and unenthusiastic about either major party, would not even vote.

A journalist spoke to a cashier at a filling station, wife of a construction worker, who told him: "I don't think they think about people like us.... Maybe if they lived in a two-bedroom trailer, it would be different." An African American woman, a manager at McDonald's, who made slightly more than the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour, said about Bush and Gore: "I don't even pay attention to those two, and all my friends say the same. My life won't change."

It turned out to be the most bizarre election in the nation's history. Al Gore received hundreds of thousands of votes more than Bush, but the Constitution required that the victor be determined by the electors of each state. The electoral vote was so close that the outcome was going to be determined by the electors of the state of Florida. This difference between popular vote and electoral vote had happened twice before, in 1876 and 1888.

The candidate with the most votes in Florida would get all that state's electors, and win the presidency. But there was a raging dispute over whether Bush or Gore had received more votes in Florida. It seemed that many votes had not been counted, especially in districts where many black people lived; that ballots had been disqualified on technical grounds; that the marks made on the ballots by the voting machines were not clear.

Bush had this advantage: his brother Jeb Bush was governor of Florida, and the secretary of state in Florida, Katherine Harris, a Republican, had the power to certify who had more votes and had won the election. Facing claims of tainted ballots, Harris rushed through a partial recounting that left Bush ahead.

An appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, dominated by Democrats, resulted in the Court ordering Harris not to certify a winner and for recounting to continue. Harris set a deadline for recounting, and while there were still thousands of disputed ballots, she went ahead and certified that Bush was the winner by 537 votes. This was certainly the closest call in the history of presidential elections. With Gore ready to challenge the certification, and ask that recounting continue, as the Florida Supreme Court had ruled, the Republican Party took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court split along ideological lines. The five conservative judges (Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, O'Connor), despite the usual conservative position of noninterference with state powers, overruled the Florida Supreme Court and prohibited any more counting of ballots. They said the recounting violated the constitutional requirement for "equal protection of the laws" because there were different standards in different counties of Florida for counting ballots.

The four liberal judges (Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter) argued that the Court did not have the right to interfere with the Florida Supreme Court's interpretation of state law. Breyer and Souter argued even if there was a failure to have a uniform standard in counting, the remedy was to let there be a new election in Florida with a uniform standard.

The fact that the Supreme Court refused to allow any reconsideration of the election meant that it was determined to see that its favorite candidate, Bush, would be President. Justice Stevens pointed this out, with some bitterness, in his minority report: "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."

Bush, taking office, proceeded to pursue his pro-big-business agenda with total confidence, as if he had the overwhelming approval of the nation. And the Democratic Party, its fundamental philosophy not too different, became a timid opposition, going along completely with Bush on his foreign policy, and differing from him only mildly on his domestic policy.

Bush's program became immediately clear. He pushed tax cuts for the wealthy, opposed strict environmental regulations that would cost money for the business interests, and planned to "privatize" Social Security by having the retirement funds of citizens depend on the stock market. He moved to increase the military budget, and to pursue the "Star Wars" program though the consensus of scientific opinion was that antiballistic missiles in space could not work, and that even if the plan worked, it would only trigger a more furious arms race throughout the world.

Nine months into his presidency, on September 11, 2001, a cataclysmic event pushed all other issues into the background. Hijackers on three different planes flew the huge jets, loaded with fuel, into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in downtown New York, and into one side of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. As Americans all over the country watched, horrified, they saw on their television screens the towers collapse in an inferno of concrete and metal, burying thousands of workers and hundreds of firemen and policemen who had gone to their rescue.

It was an unprecedented assault against enormous symbols of American wealth and power, undertaken by 19 men from the Middle East, most of them from Saudi Arabia. They were willing to die in order to deliver a deadly blow against what they clearly saw as their enemy, a superpower that had thought itself invulnerable.

President Bush immediately declared a "war on terrorism" and proclaimed: "We shall make no distinction between terrorists and countries that harbor terrorists." Congress rushed to pass resolutions giving Bush the power to proceed with military action, without the declaration of war that the Constitution required. The resolution passed unanimously in the Senate, and in the House of Representatives only one member dissented -- Barbara Lee, an African American from California.

On the supposition that the Islamic militant Osama bin Laden was responsible for the September 11 attacks, and that he was somewhere in Afghanistan, Bush ordered the bombing of Afghanistan.

Bush had declared as his objective the apprehension ("dead or alive") of Osama bin Laden, and the destruction of the Islamic militant organization Al Qaeda. But after five months of bombing Afghanistan, when Bush delivered his State of the Union address to both houses of Congress, he had to admit, while saying "we are winning the war on terror," that "tens of thousands of trained terrorists are still at large" and that "dozens of countries" were harboring terrorists.

It should have been obvious to Bush and his advisers that terrorism could not be defeated by force. The historical evidence was easily available. The British had reacted to terrorist acts by the Irish Republican Army with military action again and again, only to face even more terrorism. The Israelis, for decades, had responded to Palestinian terrorism with military strikes, which only resulted in more Palestinian bombings. Bill Clinton, after the attack on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, had bombed Afghanistan and the Sudan. Clearly, looking at September 11, this had not stopped terrorism.

Furthermore, the months of bombings had been devastating to a country that had gone through decades of civil war and destruction. The Pentagon claimed that it was only bombing "military targets," that the killing of civilians was "unfortunate ... an accident ... regrettable." However, according to human rights groups and accumulated stories in the American and West European press, at least 1,000 and perhaps 4,000 Afghan civilians were killed by American bombs.

It seemed that the United States was reacting to the horrors perpetrated by terrorists against innocent people in New York by killing other innocent people in Afghanistan. Every day the New York Times ran heartrending vignettes of the victims of the World Trade Center tragedy, with accompanying portraits and descriptions of their work, their interests, their families.

There was no way of getting similar information on the Afghan victims, but there were moving accounts by reporters writing from hospitals and villages about the effects of American bombing. A journalist with the Boston Globe, writing from a hospital in Jalalabad, wrote: "In one bed lay Noor Mohammad, 10, who was a bundle of bandages. He lost his eyes and hands to the bomb that hit his house after Sunday dinner. Hospital director Guloja Shimwari shook his head at the boy's wounds. 'The United States must be thinking he is Osama,' Shimwari said. 'If he is not Osama, then why would they do this?'"

The report continued: "The hospital's morgue received 17 bodies last weekend, and officials here estimate at least 89 civilians were killed in several villages. In the hospital yesterday, a bomb's damage could be chronicled in the life of one family. A bomb had killed the father, Faisal Karim. In one bed his wife, Mustafa Jama, who had severe head injuries. ... Around her, six of her children were in bandages.... One of them, Zahidullah, 8, lay in a coma."

The American public, ever since the calamity of September 11, was overwhelmingly supportive of Bush's policy of a "war on terrorism." The Democratic Party went along, vying with the Republicans on who could speak tougher language against terrorism. The New York Times, which had opposed Bush in the election, editorialized in December 2001: "Mr. Bush ... has proved himself a strong wartime leader who gives the nation a sense of security during a period of crisis."

But the full extent of the human catastrophe caused by the bombing of Afghanistan was not being conveyed to Americans by the mainstream press and the major television networks, which seemed determined to show their "patriotism."

The head of the television network CNN, Walter Isaacson, sent a memo to his staff saying that images of civilian casualties should be accompanied with an explanation that this was retaliation for the harboring of terrorists. "It seems perverse to focus too much on the casualties or hardships in Afghanistan," he said. The television anchorman Dan Rather declared: "George Bush is the President.... Wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where."

The United States government went to great lengths to control the flow of information from Afghanistan. It bombed the building housing the largest television station in the Middle East, Al-Jazeera, and bought up a satellite organization that was taking photos showing the results, on the ground, of the bombing.

Mass circulation magazines fostered an atmosphere of revenge. In Time magazine, one of its writers, under the headline "The Case for Rage and Retribution," called for a policy of "focused brutality." A popular television commentator, Bill O'Reilly, called on the United States to "bomb the Afghan infrastructure to rubble -- the airport, the power plants, their water facilities, and the roads."

The display of the American flag in the windows of homes, on automobiles, on shop windows, became widespread, and in the atmosphere of wartime jingoism, it became difficult for citizens to criticize government policy. A retired telephone worker in California who, working out in his health club, made a remark critical of President Bush, was visited by the FBI and questioned. A young woman found at her door two FBI men who said they had reports of posters on her wall criticizing the President.

Congress passed the "USA Patriot Act," which gave the Department of Justice the power to detain noncitizens simply on suspicion, without charges, without the procedural rights provided in the Constitution. It said the Secretary of State could designate any group as "terrorist," and any person who was a member of or raised funds for such an organization could be arrested and held until deported.

President Bush cautioned the nation not to react with hostility to Arab Americans, but in fact the government began to round up people for questioning, almost all Moslems, holding a thousand or more in detention, without charges. New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis told of one man arrested on secret evidence, and when a federal judge found there was no reason to conclude that the man was a threat to national security, the man was released. However, after September 11 the Department of Justice, ignoring the judge's finding, imprisoned him again, holding him in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, not allowing his family to see him.

There were minority voices criticizing the war. Teach-ins, peace rallies took place all over the country. Typical signs at these gatherings read "Justice, Not War" and "Our Grief Is Not a Cry for Revenge." In Arizona, not a place known for antiestablishment activism, 600 citizens signed a newspaper ad that pointed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They called on the United States and the international community "to shift resources away from the destruction of Afghanistan and toward removing the obstacles that prevent sufficient food from reaching those who need it."

Some family members of those who had died in the World Trade Center or the Pentagon wrote to President Bush, urging that he not match violence with violence, that he not proceed to bomb the people of Afghanistan. Amber Amundson, whose husband, an army pilot, was killed in the attack on the Pentagon, said:

I have heard angry rhetoric by some Americans, including many of our nation's leaders, who advise a heavy dose of revenge and punishment. To those leaders, I would like to make clear that my family and I take no comfort in your words of rage. If you choose to respond to this incomprehensible brutality by perpetuating violence against other innocent human beings, you may not do so in the name of justice for my husband.

Some of the families of victims traveled to Afghanistan in January 2002, to meet with Afghan families who had lost loved ones in the American bombing. They met with Abdul and Shakila Amin, whose five-year-old daughter, Nazila, was killed by an American bomb. One of the Americans was Rita Lasar, whose brother had been cited as a hero by President Bush (he had stayed with a paraplegic friend on a top floor of the collapsing building rather than escaping himself) and who said she would devote the rest of her life to the cause of peace.

Critics of the bombing campaign argued that terrorism was rooted in deep grievances against the United States, and that to stop terrorism, these must be addressed. The grievances were not hard to identify: the stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, site of the most holy of Moslem shrines; the ten years of sanctions against Iraq which, according to the United Nations, had resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children; the continued U.S. support of Israel's occupation of Palestinian land, including billions in military aid.

However, these issues could not be addressed without fundamental changes in American foreign policy. Such changes could not be accepted by the military-industrial complex that dominated both major parties, because they would require withdrawing military forces from around the world, giving up political and economic domination of other countries -- in short, relinquishing the cherished role of the United States as a superpower.

Such fundamental changes would require a radical change in priorities, from spending $300 to $400 billion a year for the military, to using this wealth to improve the living conditions of Americans and people in other parts of the world. For instance, it was estimated by the World Health Organization that a small portion of the American military budget, if given to the treatment of tuberculosis in the world, could save millions of lives.

The United States, by such a drastic change in its policies, would no longer be a military superpower, but it could be a humanitarian superpower, using its wealth to help people in need.

Three years before the terrible events of September 11, 2001, a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Robert Bowman, who had flown 101 combat missions in Vietnam, and then had become a Catholic bishop, commented on the terrorist bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In an article in the National Catholic Reporter he wrote about the roots of terrorism:

We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism.... Instead of sending our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs so we can have the oil under their sand, we should send them to rebuild their infrastructure, supply clean water, and feed starving children....

In short, we should do good instead of evil. Who would try to stop us? Who would hate us? Who would want to bomb us? That is the truth the American people need to hear.

Voices like that were mostly shut out of the major American media after the September 11 attacks. But it was a prophetic voice, and there was at least a possibility that its powerful moral message might spread among the American people, once the futility of meeting violence with violence became clear. Certainly, if historical experience had any meaning, the future of peace and justice in America could not depend on the good will of government.

The democratic principle, enunciated in the words of the Declaration of Independence, declared that government was secondary, that the people who established it were primary. Thus, the future of democracy depended on the people, and their growing consciousness of what was the decent way to relate to their fellow human beings all over the world.
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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:54 pm


I am often asked how I came to write this book. One answer is that my wife Roslyn urged me to write it, and continued to urge me at those times when, daunted by the magnitude of the project, I wanted to abandon it. Another is that the circumstances of my own life (which, as I now write, has spanned a fourth of the nation's history -- a startling thought) demanded of me that I try to fashion a new kind of history. By that I mean a history different from what I had learned in college and in graduate school and from what I saw in the history texts given to students all over the country.

When I set out to write the book, I had been teaching history and what is grandiosely called "political science" for twenty years. Half of that time I was involved in the civil rights movement in the South (mostly while teaching at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia). And then there were ten years of activity against the war in Vietnam. These experiences were hardly a recipe for neutrality in the teaching and writing of history.

But my partisanship was undoubtedly shaped even earlier, by my upbringing in a family of working-class immigrants in New York, by my three years as a shipyard worker, and by my Air Force duty as a bombardier in the European theater (a strange word for that -- "theater") in the second World War. That was all before I went to college under the GI Bill of Rights and began to study history.

By the time I began teaching and writing, I had no illusions about "objectivity," if that meant avoiding a point of view. I knew that a historian (or a journalist, or anyone telling a story) was forced to choose, out of an infinite number of facts, what to present, what to omit. And that decision inevitably would reflect, whether consciously or not, the interests of the historian.

There is a certain drumbeat of scolding one hears these days, about the need for students to learn facts. "Our young people are not being taught facts," said presidential candidate Robert Dole (and candidates are always so scrupulous about facts) to a gathering of American Legionnaires. I was reminded of the character in Dickens' Hard Times, the pedant Gradgrind, who admonished a younger teacher: "Teach nothing but facts, facts, facts."

But there is no such thing as a pure fact, innocent of interpretation. Behind every fact presented to the world -- by a teacher, a writer, anyone -- is a judgment. The judgment that has been made is that this fact is important, and that other facts, omitted, are not important.

There were themes of profound importance to me which I found missing in the orthodox histories that dominated American culture. The consequence of those omissions has been not simply to give a distorted view of the past but, more important, to mislead us all about the present.

For instance, there is the issue of class. It is pretended that, as in the Preamble to the Constitution, it is "we the people" who wrote that document, rather than fifty-five privileged white males whose class interest required a strong central government. That use of government for class purposes, to serve the needs of the wealthy and powerful, has continued throughout American history, down to the present day. It is disguised by language that suggests all of us -- rich and poor and middle class -- have a common interest.

Thus, the state of the nation is described in universal terms. The novelist Kurt Vonnegut invented the term "granfalloon" to describe a great bubble that must be punctured to see the complexity inside. When the president declares happily that "our economy is sound," he will not acknowledge that it is not at all sound for 40 or 50 million people who are struggling to survive, although it may be moderately sound for many in the middle class, and extremely sound for the richest 1 percent of the nation who own 40 percent of the nation's wealth.

Labels are given to periods in our history which reflect the well-being of one class and ignore the rest. When I was going through the files of Fiorello LaGuardia, who as a Congressman in the twenties represented East Harlem, I read the letters of desperate housewives, their husbands out of work, their children hungry, unable to pay their rent -- all this in that period known as "the Jazz Age," the "Roaring Twenties."

What we learn about the past does not give us absolute truth about the present, but it may cause us to look deeper than the glib statements made by political leaders and the "experts" quoted in the press.

Class interest has always been obscured behind an all-encompassing veil called "the national interest." My own war experience, and the history of all those military interventions in which the United States was engaged, made me skeptical when I heard people in high political office invoke "the national interest" or "national security" to justify their policies. It was with such justifications that Truman initiated a "police action" in Korea that killed several million people, that Johnson and Nixon carried out a war in Indochina in which perhaps 3 million people died, that Reagan invaded Grenada, Bush attacked Panama and then Iraq, and Clinton bombed Iraq again and again.

Is there a "national interest" when a few people decide on war, and huge numbers of others -- here and abroad -- are killed or crippled as a result of such a decision? Should citizens not ask in whose interest are we doing what we are doing? Then why not, I came to think, tell the story of wars not through the eyes of the generals and diplomats but from the viewpoints of the GIs, of the parents who received the black-bordered telegrams, even of "the enemy."

What struck me as I began to study history was how nationalist fervor -- inculcated from childhood on by pledges of allegiance, national anthems, flags waving and rhetoric blowing -- permeated the educational systems of all countries, including our own. I wonder now how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own. Then we could never drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or napalm on Vietnam, or wage war anywhere, because wars, especially in our time, are always wars against children, indeed our children.

And then there is, much as we would want to erase it, the ineradicable issue of race. It did not occur to me, when I first began to immerse myself in history, how badly twisted was the teaching and writing of history by its submersion of nonwhite people. Yes, Indians were there, and then gone. Black people were visible when slaves, then free and invisible. It was a white man's history.

From first grade to graduate school, I was given no inkling that the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World initiated a genocide, in which the indigenous population of Hispaniola was annihilated. Or that this was just the first stage of what was presented as a benign expansion of the new nation (Louisiana "Purchase," Florida "Purchase," Mexican "Cession"), but which involved the violent expulsion of Indians, accompanied by unspeakable atrocities, from every square mile of the continent, until there was nothing to do with them but herd them into reservations.

I was invited, sometime in 1998, to speak at a symposium in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, on the Boston Massacre. I said I would be glad to do that, so long as I did not have to deal with the Boston Massacre. And so my talk was not about the killing of five colonists by British troops in 1770. I thought that had been given an inordinate amount of attention for over two hundred years, because it served a certain patriotic function. Instead, I wanted to talk about the many massacres of nonwhite people in our history, which would not reinforce patriotic pride but remind us of the long legacy of racism in our country, still smoldering and needing attention.

Every American schoolchild learns about the Boston Massacre. But who learns about the massacre of 600 men, women, and children of the Pequot tribe in New England in 1637? Or the massacre -- in the midst of the Civil War -- of hundreds of Indian families at Sand Creek, Colorado, by U.S. soldiers? Or the military attack by 200 U.S. cavalrymen in 1870 which wiped out a sleeping camp of Piegan Indians in Montana?

It was not until I joined the faculty of Spelman College, a college for black women in Atlanta, Georgia, that I began to read the African-American historians who never appeared on my reading lists in graduate school (W.E.B. DuBois, Rayford Logan, Lawrence Reddick, Horace Mann Bond, John Hope Franklin). Nowhere in my history education had I learned about the massacres of black people that took place again and again, amid the silence of a national government pledged, by the Constitution, to protect equal rights for all.

For instance, in East St. Louis in 1917 there occurred one of the many "race riots" that took place in what our white-oriented history books called the "Progressive Era." There, white workers, angered by the influx of black workers, killed perhaps 200 people, provoking an angry article by W.E.B. DuBois called "The Massacre of East St. Louis," and causing the performing artist Josephine Baker to say: "The very idea of America makes me shake and tremble and gives me nightmares."

I wanted, in writing this book, to awaken a greater consciousness of class conflict, racial injustice, sexual inequality, and national arrogance. But even as I tried to make up for what I saw as serious omissions, I nevertheless neglected groups in American society that had always been missing from orthodox histories. I became aware of this, and embarrassed by it, when people wrote to me after reading A People's History, praising the book but pointing gently (sometimes not so gently) to its shortcomings.

It was perhaps my stronger connection to the East Coast of the United States that caused me to ignore the large numbers of Latino and Latina people who lived in California and the Southwest, and their struggles for justice. Readers who want to learn more about that might look into these extraordinary books: De Colores Means All of Us by Elizabeth Martinez; Zapata's Disciple: Essays by Martin Espada; Aztlan and Viet Nam: Chicano and Chicana Experiences of the War, edited by George Mariscal.

And I suppose, it was my own sexual orientation that accounted for my minimal treatment of the issue of gay and lesbian rights. I tried, when a new edition appeared in 1995, to make up for this. But readers will have to look further to get a more substantial account of the remarkable change in the national culture that took place when men and women who were "queer" (a pejorative term for some people; an honorable one for others) asserted their humanity boldly, courageously, to the larger society.

As we pass from one century to another, one millennium to another, we would like to think that history itself is transformed as dramatically as the calendar. However, it rushes on, as it always did, with two forces racing toward the future, one splendidly uniformed, the other ragged but inspired.

There is the past and its continuing horrors: violence, war, prejudices against those who are different, outrageous monopolization of the good earth's wealth by a few, political power in the hands of liars and murderers, the building of prisons instead of schools, the poisoning of the press and the entire culture by money. It is easy to become discouraged observing this, especially since this is what the press and television insist that we look at, and nothing more.

But there is also (though much of this is kept from us, to keep us intimidated and without hope) the bubbling of change under the surface of obedience: the growing revulsion against the endless wars (I think of the Russian women in the nineties, demanding their country end its military intervention in Chechnya, as did Americans during the Vietnam war); the insistence of women all over the world that they will no longer tolerate abuse and subordination -- we see, for instance, the new international movement against female genital mutilation, and the militancy of welfare mothers against punitive laws. There is civil disobedience against the military machine, protest against police brutality directed especially at people of color.

In the United States, we see the educational system, a burgeoning new literature, alternative radio stations, a wealth of documentary films outside the mainstream, even Hollywood itself and sometimes television -- compelled to recognize the growing multiracial character of the nation. Yes, we have in this country, dominated by corporate wealth and military power and two antiquated political parties, what a fearful conservative characterized as "a permanent adversarial culture" challenging the present, demanding a new future.

It is a race in which we can all choose to participate, or just to watch. But we should know that our choice will help determine the outcome.

I think of the words of the poet Shelley, recited by women garment workers in New York to one another at the start of the twentieth century.

Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth, like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you --
Ye are many; they are few!
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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:03 pm



This book, written in a few years, is based on twenty years of teaching and research in American history, and as many years of involvement in social movements. But it could not have been written without the work of several generations of scholars, and especially the current generation of historians who have done immense work in the history of blacks, Indians, women, and working people of all kinds. It also could not have been written without the work of many people, not professional historians, who were stimulated by the social struggles around them to put together material about the lives and activities of ordinary people trying to make a better world, or just trying to survive.

To indicate every source of information in the text would have meant a book impossibly cluttered with footnotes, and yet I know the curiosity of the reader about where a startling fact or pungent quote comes from. Therefore, as often as I can, I mention in the text authors and titles of books for which the full information is in this bibliography. Where you cannot tell the source of a quotation right from the text, you can probably figure it out by looking at the asterisked books for that chapter. The asterisked books are those I found especially useful and often indispensable.

I have gone through the following standard scholarly periodicals: American Historical Review, Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Journal of American History, Journal of Southern History, Journal of Negro History, Labor History, William and Mary Quarterly, Phylon, The Crisis, American Political Science Review, Journal of Social History.

Also, some less orthodox but important periodicals for a work like this: Monthly Review, Science and Society, Radical America, Akwesasne Notes, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, The Black Scholar, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, The Review of Radical Political Economics, Socialist Revolution, Radical History Review.


Brandon, William. The Last Americans: The Indian in American Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974.

*Collier, John. Indians of the Americas. New York: W.W. Norton, 1947.

*de las Casas, Bartolome. History of the Indies. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.

*Jennings, Francis. The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975.

*Koning, Hans. Columbus: His Enterprise. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976.

*Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: W.W. Norton, 1975.

Morison, Samuel Eliot. Admiral of the Ocean Sea. Boston: Little, Brown, 1942.

---. Christopher Columbus, Mariner. Boston: Little, Brown, 1955.

*Nash, Gary B. Red, White, and Black: The Peoples of Early America. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

Vogel, Virgil, ed. This Country Was Ours. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.


*Aptheker, Herbert, ed. A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel, 1974.

Baskin, Joseph. Into Slavery: Radical Decisions in the Virginia Colony. Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1966.

Catterall, Helen. Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro. 5 vols. Washington, Negro University Press, 1937.

Davidson, Basil. The African Slave Trade. Boston: Little, Brown, 1961.

Donnan, Elizabeth, ed. Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America. 4 vols. New York: Octagon, 1965.

Elkins, Stanley. Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.

Federal Writers Project. The Negro in Virginia. New York: Arno, 1969.

Franklin, John Hope. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes. New York Knopf, 1974.

*Jordan, Winthrop. White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968.

*Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: W.W. Norton, 1975.

Mullin, Gerald. Flight and Rebellion: Slave Resistance in Eighteenth-Century Virginia. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.

Mullin, Michael, ed. American Negro Slavery: A Documentary History. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

Phillips, Ulrich B. American Negro Slavery: A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1966.

Redding, J. Saunders. They Came in Chains. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1973.

Stampp, Kenneth M. The Peculiar Institution. New York: Knopf, 1956.

Tannenbaum, Frank. Slave and Citizen: The Negro in the Americas. New York: Random House, 1963.


Andrews, Charles, ed. Narratives of the Insurrections 1675-1690. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1915.

*Bridenbaugh, Carl. Cities in the Wilderness: The First Century of Urban Life in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Henretta, James. "Economic Development and Social Structure in Colonial Boston." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Series, Vol. 22, January 1965.

Herrick, Cheesman. "White Servitude in Pennsylvania: Indentured and Redemption Labor in Colony and Commonwealth. Washington: Negro University Press, 1926.

Hofstadter, Richard. America at 1750: A Social History. New York: Knopf, 1971.

Hofstadter, Richard, and Wallace, Michael, eds. American Violence: A Documentary History. New York: Knopf, 1970.

Mohl, Raymond. Poverty in New York, 1783-1825. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

*Morgan, Edward S. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: W.W. Norton, 1975.

*Morris, Richard B. Government and Labor in Early America. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.

*Nash, Gary B., ed. Class and Society in Early America. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

*---. Red, White, and Black: The Peoples of Early America. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall,1974.

*---. "Social Change and the Growth of Prerevolutionary Urban Radicalism," The American Revolution, ed. Alfred Young. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1976.

*Smith, Abbot E. Colonists in Bondage: White Servitude and Convict Labor in America. New York: W.W. Norton, 1971.

*Washburn, Wilcomb E. The Governor and the Rebel: A History of Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia. New York: W.W. Norton, 1972.


Bailyn, Bernard, and Garrett, N., eds. Pamphlets of the American Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965.

Becker, Carl. The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas. New York: Random House, 1958.

Brown, Richard Maxwell. "Violence and the American Revolution," Essays on the American Revolution, ed. Stephen G. Kurtz and James H. Hutson. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1973.

Countryman, Edward, " 'Out of the Bounds of the Law': Northern Land Rioters in the Eighteenth Century," The American Revolution: Explorations in the History of American Radicalism, ed. Alfred F. Young. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1976.

Ernst, Joseph. " 'Ideology' and an Economic Interpretation of the Revolution," The American Revolution: Explorations in the History of American Radicalism, ed. Alfred F. Young. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1976.

Foner, Eric. "Tom Paine's Republic: Radical Ideology and Social Change," The American Revolution: Explorations in the History of American Radicalism, ed. Alfred F. Young. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1976.

Fox-Bourne, H. R. The Life of John Locke, 2 vols. New York: King, 1876.

Greene, Jack P. "An Uneasy Connection: An Analysis of the Preconditions of the American Revolution," Essays on the American Revolution, ed. Stephen G. Kurtz and James H. Hutson. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1973.

Hill, Christopher. Puritanism and Revolution. New York: Schocken, 1964.

*Hoerder, Dirk. "Boston Leaders and Boston Crowds, 1765-1776," The American Revolution: Explorations in the History of American Radicalism, ed. Alfred F. Young. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1976.

Lemisch, Jesse. "Jack Tar in the Streets: Merchant Seamen in the Politics of Revolutionary America," William and Mary Quarterly, July 1968.

Maier, Pauline. From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765-1776. New York: Knopf, 1972.


Aptheker, Herbert, ed. A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1974.

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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

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*Terkel, Studs. Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression in America. New York: Pantheon, 1970.

Wright, Richard. Black Boy. New York: Harper & Row, 1937.

Zinn, Howard. La Guardia in Congress. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1959.


Alperovitz, Ga. Atomic Diplomacy. New York: Vintage, 1967.

Aronson, James. The Press and the Cold War. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970.

Barnet, Richard J. Intervention and Revolution: The U.S. and the Third World. New York: New American Library, 1969.

Blackett, P. M. S. Fear, War and the Bomb: Military and Political Consequences of Atomic Energy. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1948.

Bottome, Edgar. The Balance of Terror: A Guide to the Arms Race. Boston: Beacon Press, 1972.

Butow, Robert. Japan's Decision to Surrender. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1954. Catton, Bruce. The War Lords of Washington. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1948.

Chomsky, Noam. American Power and the New Mandarins, New York: Pantheon, 1969.

Cook, Blanche Wiesen. The Declassified Eisenhauer. New York: Doubleday, 1981.

Davidson, Basil. Let Freedom Come: Africa in Modern History. Boston, Little, Brown, 1978.

Feingold, Henry L. The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1970.

Freeland, Richard M. The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism. New York, Knopf, 1971.

Gardner, Lloyd. Economic Aspects of New Deal Diplomacy. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1964.

Griffith, Robert W. The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate. Rochelle Park, N.J., Hayden, 1971.

Hamby, Alonzo L. Beyond the New Deal: Harry S. Truman and American Liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1953.

Irving, David. The Destruction of Dresden. New York Ballantine, 1965.

Kahn, Herman. On Thermonuclear War. New York: Free Press, 1969.

*Kolko, Gabriel. The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945. New York: Random House, 1968.

Lemisch, Jesse. On Active Service in War and Peace: Politics and Ideology in the American Historical Profession. Toronto: New Hogtown Press, 1975.

Mailer, Norman. The Naked and the Dead. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1948.

Miller, Douglas, and Nowak, Marion. The Fifties: The Way We Really Were. New York, Doubleday, 1977.

Miller, Marc. "The Irony of Victory: Lowell During World War II." Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Boston University, 1977.

Mills, C. Wright. The Power Elite. New York, Oxford University Press, 1970.

Minear, Richard H. Victors Justice: The Tokyo War Crimes Trial. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1973.

Offner, Arnold. American Appeasement: U.S. Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938. New York, W. W. Norton, 1976.

Rostow, Eugene V. "Our Worst Wartime Mistake," Harper's, September 1945.

Russett, Bruce. No Clear and Present Danger. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.

Sampson, Anthony. The Seven Sisters: The Great Oil Companies and the World They Shaped. New York: Viking, 1975.

Schneir, Walter and Miriam. Invitation to an Inquest. New York: Doubleday, 1965.

*Sherwin, Martin. A World Destroyed: The Atom Bomb and the Grand Alliance. New York Knopf, 1975.

Stone, I.F. The Hidden History of the Korean War. New York Monthly Review Press, 1969.

United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Japan's Struggle to End the war. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1946.

Weglyn, Michi. Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America's Concentration Camps. New York: William Morrow, 1976.

Wittner, Lawrence S. Rebels Against War: The American Peace Movement, 1941-1960. New York: Columbia University Press, 1969.

*Zinn, Howard. Postwar America: 1945-1971. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973.


Allen, Robert. Black Awakening in Capitalist America. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969.

Bontemps, Arna, ed. American Negro Poetry. New York: Hill & Wang, 1974.

Broderick, Francis, and Meier, August. Black Protest Thought in the Twentieth Century. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1971.

Cloward, Richard A, and Piven, Frances F. Poor People's Movements. New York: Pantheon, 1977.

Conot, Robert. Rivers of Blood, Years of Darkness. New York: Morrow, 1968.

Cullen, Countee. On These I Stand. New York: Harper & Row, 1947.

Herndon, Angelo. "You Cannot Kill the Working Class," Black Protest, ed. Joanne Grant. New York: Fawcett, 1975.

Huggins, Nathan I. Harlem Renaissance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Hughes, Langston. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes. New York: Knopf, 1959.

Lerner, Gerda, ed. Black Women in White America: A Documentary History. New York: Random House, 1977.

Malcolm X. Malcolm X Speaks. New York: Meret, 1965.

Navasky, Victor. Kennedy Justice. New York: Atheneum, 1977.

Perkus, Cathy, ed. Cointelpro: The FBI's Secret War on Political Freedom. New York: Monad Press, 1976.

Wright, Richard. Black Boy. New York: Harper & Row, 1937.

Zinn, Howard. Postwar America: 1945-1971. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973.

---. SNCC: The New Abolitionists. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964.


*Branfman, Fred. Voices from the Plain of Jars. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.

Green, Philip, and Levinson, Sanford. Power and Community: Dissenting Essays in Political Science. New York: Pantheon, 1970.

Hersch, Seymour. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath. New York: Random House, 1970.

Kovic, Ron. Born on the Fourth of July. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.

Lipsitz, Lewis. "On Political Belief: The Grievances of the Poor," Power and Community: Dissenting Essays in Political Science, ed. Philip Green and Sanford Levinson. New York: Pantheon, 1970.

Modigliani, Andrew. "Hawks and Doves, Isolationism and Political Distrust: An Analysis of Public Opinion on Military Policy," American Political Science Review, September 1972.

Pentagon Papers. 4 vols. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971.

Pike, Douglas. Viet Congo Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1966.

Schell, Jonathan. The Village of Ben Suc. New York: Knopf, 1967.

Zinn, Howard. Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal. Boston Beacon Press, 1967.


Akwesasne Notes. Voices from Wounded Knee, 1973. Mohawk Nation, Rooseveltown, N.Y.: Akwesasne Notes, 1974.

Baxandall, Rosalyn, Gordon, Linda, and Reverby, Susan, eds. Americas Working Women. New York: Random House, 1976.

Benston, Margaret. "The Political Economy of Women's Liberation," Monthly Review, Fall 1969.

Boston Women's Health Book Collective. Our Bodies, Ourselves. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976.

Brandon, William. The Last Americans. McGraw-Hill, 1974.

*Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971.

Brownmiller, Susan. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975.

Coles, Robert. Children of Crisis. Boston: Little, Brown, 1967.

Cottle, Thomas J. Children in Jail. Boston: Beacon Press, 1977.

The Council on Interracial Books for Children, ed. Chronicles of American Indian Protest. New York: Fawcett, 1971.

Deloria, Vine, Jr. Custer Died for Your Sins. New York: Macmillan, 1969.

---. We Talk, You Listen. New York Macmillan, 1970.

Firestone, Shulamith. The Dialectics of Sex. New York: Bantam, 1970.


Blair, John M. The Control of Oil. New York Pantheon, 1977.

Dommergues, Pierre. "L'Essor Du conservatisme Americain," Le Monde Diplomatique, May 1978.

*Evans, Les, and Myers, Allen. Watergate and the Myth of American Democracy. New York: Pathfinder Press, 1974.

Frieden, Jess. "The Trilateral Commission," Monthly Review, December 1977.

Gardner, Richard. Alternative America: A Directory of 5000 Alternative Lifestyle Groups and Organizations. Cambridge: Richard Gardner, 1976.

Glazer, Nathan, and Kristol, Irving. The American Commonwealth 1976. New York Basic Books, 1976.

New York Times. The Watergate Hearings. Bantam, 1973.

*U.S., Congress, Senate Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Hearings. 94th Congress. 1976.


Barlett, Donald, and Steele, James. America: What Went Wrong? Kansas City, Andrews & MeMeel, 1992.

Barlett, Donald, and Steele, James. America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Chomsky, Noam. World Orders Old and New. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Croteau, David, and Hoynes, William. By Invitation Only: How the Media Limit the Political Debate. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994.

Danaher, Kevin, ed. 50 Years Is Enough: The Case Against the World Bank. Boston: South End Press, 1994.

Derber, Charles. Money, Murder and the American Dream. Boston: Faber & Faber, 1992.

Edsall, Thomas and Mary. Chain Reaction. New York: W W Norton, 1992.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. The Worst Years of Our Lives. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.

Greider, William. Who Will Tell the People? New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

Grover, William F. The President as Prisoner. Albany: State University of New York, 1989.

Hellinger, Daniel, and Judd, Dennis. The Democratic Facade. Pacific Grove, California, Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1991.

Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition. New York: Vintage, 1974.

Kozol, Jonathan. Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools. New York: Crown Publishers, 1991.

Piven, Frances Fox, and Cloward, Richard. Regulating the Poor. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

Rosenberg, Gerald N. The Hollow Hope. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Savage, David. Turning Right: The Making oft he Rehnquist Supreme Court. New York. John Wiley & Sons, 1992.

Sexton, Patricia Cayo. The War on Labor and the Left. Boulder: Westview Press, 1991.

Shalom, Stephen. Imperial Alibis. Boston: South End Press, 1993.


Ewen, Alexander, ed. Voice of Indigenous Peoples. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Clear Light Publishers, 1994.

Grover, William, and Peschek, Joseph, ed. Voices of Dissent. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.

Loeb, Paul. Generations at the Crossroads. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

Lofland, John. Polite Protesters: The American Peace Movement of the 1980s. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1993.

Lynd, Staughton and Alice. J. Nonviolence in America: A Documentary History. Maryknoll, New York, Orbis Books, 1995.

Martinez, Elizabeth, ed. 500 Jean of Chicano History. Albuquerque: Southwest Organizing Project, 1991.

Piven, Frances, and Cloward, Richard. U7hy Americans Don't Vote. New York: Pantheon Books, 1988.

Vanneman, Reeve, and Cannon, Lynn. The American Perception of Class. Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 1987.

NOTE: Much of the material in this chapter comes from my own files of social action by organizations around the country, from my collection of news clippings, and from publications outside the mainstream, including: The Nation. In These Times, The Nuclear Resister, Peacework, The Resist Newsletter, Rethinking Schools, Indigenous Thought.


Bryan, C. D. B. Friendly Fire. New York Putnam, 1976.

Levin, Murray B. The Alienated Voter. New York: Irvington, 1971.

Warren, Donald I. The Radical Center: Middle America and the Politics of Alienation. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1976.

Weizenbaum, Joseph. Computer Power and Human Reason. San Francisco: Freeman, 1976.


Bagdikian, Ben. The Media Monopoly. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.

Chomsky, Noam. World Orders, Old and New. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Dowd, Doug. Blues for America. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1997.

Garrow, David. Bearing the Cross. New York: Morrow, 1986.

Greider, William. One World or Not. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

Kuttner, Robert. Everything/or Sale. New York Knopf, 1997.

Smith, Sam. Shadows of Hope: A Freethinker's Guide to Politics in the Time of Clinton. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.

Solomon, Norman. False Hope: The Politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994.

The State of America's Children. Washington, D.C.: Children's Defense Fund, 1994.

Tirman, John. Spoils of War: The Human Cost of the Arms Trade. New York: Free Press, 1997.


Ahmad, Eqbal. Terrorism, Theirs and Ours. (Interviews with David Barsamian). New York: Seven Stories Press, 2001.

Brecher, Jeremy, Costello, Tim, and Smith, Brendan. Globalization from Below. Boston: South End Press, 2002.

Chomsky, Noam. 9-11. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickeled and Dimed. New York: Henry Holt, 2001.

Kaplan, Daniel. The Accidental President. New York: HarperCoIlins, 2000.

Lapham, Lewis. Theater of War. New York: The New Press, 2002.

Nader, Ralph. Crashing the Party. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.

Zinn, Howard. Terrorism and War. (Interviews with Anthony Arnove). New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002.
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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:16 pm


abolitionists, 117, 120, 121, 122, 124,
155, 181-90 passim
abortion, 574
Abrams, Elliot, 586, 590
Acheson, Dean, 438
activism, after 1960s, 565
Adamic, Louis, 399-400
Adams, Henry, 258-59
Adams, John, 67, 68, 70, 77, 100, 109,
Adams, Mrs. John (Abigail), 109-10
Adams, John Quincy, 130, 132, 153
Adams, Samuel, 60, 61, 66, 93, 95
affirmative action, 574
Afghanistan, 572, 604-05, 659, 678-81
Africa, 363, 429-30
black civilization and culture, 26-27, 28
economic importance, 569
slavery and slave trade, 26, 27-28, 32
African National Congress, 608
Agency for International Development
(AID), 569, 658
Agnew, Spiro, 544, 545
Agricultural Adjustment Administration
(MA), 393, 397
Alabama, Indians in, 127, 128, 133, 136,
137, 141-43
Albright, Madeleine, 659, 666
Aldrich, Nelson W., 351
Allan, Robert, 291
Allen, Ethan, 63
Allen, Robert, 465
Allende, Salvadore, 548, 554
Alliance for Progress, 438
Alperovitz, Gar, 423
Al Qaeda, 678
alternative media, 624-25
American Anti-Slavery Society, 119, 155
American Civil Liberties Union, 436
American colonies, 12-17, 21, 23-25,
banking and finance, 70, 90, 91-92, 93,
business and industry, 48, 49, 51, 52,
65, 84
children, 43, 44, 49, 55
indentured servants 42-47, 23, 25, 32,
37, 42-47
slavery, 23, 27-38 passim, 43, 46, 49,
11, 53-58 passim, 72, 103, 105-06
rebellions, 32-38 passim, 53, 54, 55, 56,
59, 72
taxation, 39, 40, 41, 48, 52, 61, 63, 65,
66, 69, 71, 72, 109
women, 43, 44, 49, 72, 73, 102, 104-11
see also Revolutionary War
American Federation of Labor (AFL),
251, 269, 306, 307, 328-30, 335, 352,
377, 380, 381, 385, 399, 401, 417
American Indian Movement (AIM), 534
American Revolution, see Revolutionary
American Tobacco Company, 254, 260,
American with Disabilities Act, 629
Ames, Oakes, 255
Amherst, Jeffrey, 87
Anderson, John, 611
Angola, 618
Anthony, Susan, 342-43
Anti-Imperialist League, 311, 314-15,
antinuclear movement, 601-05 passim
Aptheker, Herbert, 36, 174, 176, 194,
Arab-Americans, 600, 680
Arawak Indians, 1-7 passim, 9, 10, 11
Armour, Philip, 255
Armour and Company, 309
Aspin, Les, 584, 652
Astor, John Jacob, 305
Astor family, 238, 242
Atlantic Charter, 412
Attica prison riot, 520-21, 523
Attucks, Crispus, 67
Avilla, Philip, 621-22
Aziz, Tariq, 596
Aztecs, 11-12

Bacon, Nathaniel, 39, 40-41
Bacon, Robert, 351
Bacon's Rebellion, 37, 39-42, 45, 54,
55, 59
Badillo, Herman, 566
Baez, Joan, 537
Bagley, William, 263
Bailyn, Bernard, 101
Baker, Ella, 404
Baker, James, 596
Baker, Polly, 107
Baldwin, Hanson, 422
Baldwin, Samuel, 52
Ball, George, 561
Ballard, Martha Moore, 111
Baltimore, Lord, 84
Baltimore (Md.), 88, 222-23, 245, 246
Bancroft, George, 90
banking and economy, 101, 130, 189,
206, 224, 238, 242, 254-58 passim,
277, 284, 287
Colonial era; 70, 90, 91-92, 93, 97
crises and depressions, 224, 225,
242-43, 260, 277-78, 323, 386-94
foreign investment capital, 427, 561
international regulation, 349, 414, 561
Banneker, Benjamin, 89
Barbados, 44
Barbot, John, 28
Barnet, Richard, 427
Barlett, Donald, S 80
Barsamian, David, 624-25, 671
Baruch, Bernard, 363
Beard, Charles, 90-91, 98, 371
Beecher, Catharine, 116
Beecher, William, 605
Belcher, Andrew, 51
Bellamy, Edward, 264, 278
Bellush, Bernard, 392-93
Belmont, August, 246, 256
Benavidez, Roy, 578
Benin, 26
Benjamin, Judah, 195
Bennett, Gwendolyn, 445-46
Bennett, 'William, 629
Benston, Margaret, 506
Berger, Victor, 353
Berkeley, 'William, 41, 42, 44
Berkman, Alexander, 272, 277, 321,
372, 375
Bernstein, Barton, 392
Bernstein, Carl, 545
Berrigan, Daniel, 488-89, 602
Berrigan, Philip, 488, 601, 602
Berthoff, Rowland, 84
Beveridge, Albert, 299
Billings, Warren, 359
Bingham, Euls, 575
bin Laden, Osama, 678, 679
Blackett, P. M. S., 423
Black Hawk, 130-31
Black Panthers, 461, 463, 464, 542, 547,
blacks, 9
civil rights after Civil War, 198-210
Clinton and, 645
Colonial era, 57, 77, 80, 82, 88
Constitution, 14th Amendment, 202,
204, 260-61, 449, 526
Declaration of Independence, 72-73,
demonstrations and protests (1950s
and 1960s), 443, 450-67, 500-01,
542, 547, 555, 667-68, 686
education, 89, 198, 199, 202, 208, 450,
465, 467
effects of Reagan administration,
farming and Populist movement, 284,
Ku Klux Klan, 203, 382, 432, 452
labor, 199, 203, 208, 209, 241, 274,
328, 337-38, 381, 404-05, 415, 464,
466, 467
Miami riot (1983), 609
military forces, 10, 77, 82, 88, 191, 192,
193, 195-96, 203, 317, 318-20;
segregation, 404, 415, 419, 449-50
NAACP, 348-39, 382, 447, 464
New Deal, 404
poverty and, 662-63
racism and violence, 24, 203, 209, 210,
221, 315-20, 347, 348, 443, 444, 461,
transportation segregated, 450,
450-51, 453
unemployment, 570
view of Gulf War, 622
voting, 65, 88-89, 198, 199, 203, 207,
291, 450, 454-55, 456, 458, 459, 461,
welfare and, 578-79
women, 32, 103, 105-06, 184-85, 193,
202, 347, 504
World War II, 415, 419, 448
see also slavery/slave trade
Blackwell, Elizabeth, 118-19
Bloom, Allan, 629
Bloomer, Amelia, 113, 119
Blumenthal, Michael, 561
Bolden, Dorothy, 509
Bond, Horace Mann, 206-07
Bond, Julian, 485, 621
Bonner, Raymond, 591
Bonus Army, 391, 462
Bosnia, 655, 660
Boston, 220-21, 467, 645
Colonial era, 36, 47, 49-53 passim, 57,
60, 61, 65-67, 69-70, 71, 75
Boston Massacre, 67, 69-70, 71
Boston Tea Party, 67, 69-70, 71, 109
Bourne, Randolph, 359
Bowdoin, James, 94
Braden, Anne, 614
Bradford, William, 15
Brandaon, Luis, 29-30
Brandeis, Louis, 256
Brandon, William, 533
Branfman, Fred, 481
Braverman, Harry, 324
Brecher, Jeremy, 399, 403, 417
Breeden, Bill, 587-88
Brennan, William, 574
Brewer, David J., 261
Breyer, Stephen, 645
Bridenbaugh, Carl, 47-48
Brooke, Edward, 553
Broun, Heywood, 339-40
Brown, Antoinette, 119
Brown, Harold, 566
Brown, H. Rap, 461
Brown, John, 171, 182
Brown, Robert K, 98
Brown, Ronald, 645
Brown, Sam, 566
Brown, William Garrott, 293
Brownell, Herbert, 434.
Brownmiller, Susan, 510
Bruce, Robert, 246-47, 248, 251
Bryan, William Jennings, 294, 301, 362
Bryant, 'William Cullen, 179
Brzezinski, Zbigniew, 560, 561, 565,
566, 599-600
Bulgaria, 426, 592
Bundy, McGeorge, 474
Burbank, David, 250
Burgess, John, 200, 299
Burke, Edmond, 110
Bush, George, 574-75, 576, 580, 610,
611, 633, 643, 645, 661
Gulf War, 594-600, 616, 620-21, 625,
627, 653, 685
Panama invasion, 593-94, 685
Bush, George W., 675-77
"war on terrorism" and, 677-81
business and industry: 48, 49, 51, 52, 65,
factory and mill system, 10, 111, 115,
116-17, 216, 221, 228-31, 239, 241,
244, 253, 300, 324-27, 334-39passnn,
346, 349, 381, 380-86, 387, 397
foreign investment and markets, 297,
298, 301, 302-03, 313-14, 362, 438
government and politics, 219, 543,
547-49, 550, 650-51
health and safety conditions, 230, 239,
241, 242, 246, 254, 255, 256, 278,
325, 326, 327, 338-39, 346
insurance and compensation, 349, 352-53
legal and judicial protection, 239-40,
monopoly and merger, 219, 254-58
reforms, 259-60, 349-53 passim
tariffs, 91, 101, 130, 141, 142, 189, 206,
238, 257
World War II, 417, 425
see also labor; specific fields
Byrd, William, 35
Byrnes, James F, 422, 423

Caldicott, Dr. Helen, 603
Calhoun, John, 168
California: U.S. desire for and
Mexican war, 149, 151, 153, 154,
163, 169, 181
Calley, William, 478-79, 667
Cambodia, 472, 483, 484, 491, 498,
545, 551-53
Camus, Albert, 10
Carmichael, Stokely, 454
Carnegie, Andrew (and Carnegie steel),
255, 257, 258, 260, 262, 276-77, 294,
314, 324
Carroll, Charles, 82-83
Carson, "Kit, " 529
Carter, Amy, 613
Carter, Jimmy, 565-66, 569-72, 575,
581, 601, 605, 611, 631, 633
"human rights" policy, 568
Iran hostage crisis, 573
Latin America policy, 590
military budget increase, 583
Panama Canal Treaty, S68
Carter, Landon, 33
Cass, Lewis, 13 1-32, 134
Catholic Church, 2, 29
conflicts and controversies, 221, 226,
265, 538
Vietnam protests, 488-91, 538
Catton, Bruce, 417
Central Intelligence Agency, 439,
543, 554, 555-56, 583-84, 593,
in Cuba, 440, 441, 554, 555
Vietnam and Laos, 474, 476, 478, 481,
483, 499
Watergate, 544, 547, 554
Chafe, William, 343
Chafee, Zechariah, 366
Chamorro, Edgar, 585
Chancy, James, 456
Chavez, Cesar, 614, 615
Chechnya, 657
Cheney, Dick, 652
Chernobyl, 613
Cherokee Indians, 10, 54, 55, 126, 127,
128, 132, 133, 136-37, 139-41, 144,
Chiang Kai-shek, 427, 470
Chicago, 254, 272, 650
labor and socialist groups, 243, 244,
247, 268-73 passim, 278, 279-81
Chicanos, 495, 614, 615-16
Chickasaw Indians, 54, 126, 133, 134,
140, 144
children: Colonial era, 43, 44, 49, 55
Indians, 4, 67, 20
labor, 43, 44, 49, 221, 230-31, 266,
267, 324, 335, 346-47, 403
Children's Defense Fund, 571, 610
Chile, 545, 548, 554, 568
China: civil war, 427, 431
Communism in, 427, 429
as foreign market and Open Door
Policy, 297, 298, 300, 303, 313-14,
321, 410, 657
Indochina and World War II, 412, 424,
Japan, war with, 406, 410, 427
Korean war, 428
Chinese immigrants, 253, 254, 265,
266, 382, 648
Chisholm, Shirley, 511
Choctaw Indians, 54, 133, 134, 138-39,
140, 141, 144
Chomsky, Noam, 567, 593, 624--25
Christman, Henry, 211
Churchill, Winston, 17, 303, 412, 421,
Cisler, Lucinda, 510
civil rights/civil rights movement, 449
passim, 488, 518, 523, 614
after Civil War, 198-210 passim, 667-68
see also blacks; voting
Civil Rights Act (1875), 198, 204
Civil War, 10, 171, 189-95 passim,
Clay, Henry, 141, 145
Clean Air Act (1970), 576
Clear, Todd, 647
Cleveland, Grover, 256, 258, 259, 260,
279, 302-03
Clinton, George, 86
Clinton, Bill, 633, 643-65
Cloward, Richard, 402, 466
Coal Mine Health and Safety Act
(1969), 575
Cochran, Thomas, 218, 219, 220, 323
Coin, William Harvey, 293
Colden, Cadwallader, 57
cold war, end of, 592-93
Coles, Robert 498
Collier, John, 21-22, 524
Colombia, 408
Columbus, Christopher 1-5 passim, 7-8,
9, 11, 17, 18, 25, 685
quincentennial, protests against,
Commons, John, 273
Communism/Communist Party (in
U.S.), 385, 441
and blacks, 447-48
crusade against, 426, 428-37 passim, 441
and labor movement, 385-86, 394,
397, 402, 405, 428, 441, 447
unemployed councils, 394, 447
Workers Alliance, 394
World War II, 407, 420
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE),
453, 464
Congress of Industrial Organizations
(CIO), 399, 401-02, 405, 417
Conkin, Paul, 403
Connery, William P., 384-85, 395
Conot, Robert, 459
Constitution, 9, 10, 46, 90-91, 98-101
passim, 633, 676
adoption of, 70, 86, 91, 96, 98-99
Bill of Rights, 99
1st Amendment 100
13th Amendment, 192, 198, 204
14th Amendment, 198, 204, 260-61,
449, 526
15th Amendment, 198, 449
16th Amendment, 349
17th Amendment, 349
19th Amendment, 384
22nd Amendment, 675
constitutions, state, 83, 110, 291
Continental Congress, 71, 81
contras, 585-87, 613
Conwell, Russell, 262
Cooke, Marvel, 404
Coolidge, Calvin, 387
Cooper, Richard, 590
Copeland, John, 186
Corbin, Margaret, 110
Cornbmy, Lord, 48
Cornell, Ezra, 262
corporate executives, income of, 581
corporations, multinational, 568-69
Cortes, Hernando, 11-12, 14, 17, 18
Cott, Nancy, 111, 114, 115, 117
Cotton, John, 108
cotton, 89, 125, 129, 171, 219, 274, 283,
284, 285, 301, 301, 408, 459
Coulter, E. Merton, 237
Council for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze,
Cox, Archibald, 549
"Coxey's Army, " 2.60, 294
Crafts, Thomas, 75
Crane Stephen, 237
Cranston, Alan, 546
Crawford, James, 454-55
Creek Indians, 54, 55, 126, 127-28,
129, 132, 134-35, 141-43
Creel, George, 364, 365, 369
Crevecoeur, Hector St. Jean, 53-54
crime, 637, 665
Crockett, Davy, 136
Croly, Herbert, 350-51
Cub" Castro, Fidel, 439-41.554, 634
Spain and, 3, 5-7, 301, 302, 303
Spanish-American war and
independence of, 309-13, 318, 408,
U.S. and, 297, 299, 302-03, 439, 647,
Cullen, Countee, 444
Curti, Merle, 383
Czechoslovakia, 429, 592

Daly, Marcus, 289
Darrow, Clarence, 365
D'Aubuisson Roberto, 590
Davidson, Basil, 27
Davis, Angela, 542
Davis, Benjamin 448
Davis, Hugh, 30
Dawley, Alan, 232-33
Day, Luke, 92, 93
death penalty, 574, 645
Debs, Eugene, 278, 279, 281, 330,
339-41, 347-48, 367-68
Declaration of Independence, 70-75
passim, 558, 665, 674, 682
Degler, Carl, 85
Deloria, Vine, Jr., 525-26, 527
Denison, George, 539
Depew, Chauncey, 273
Diem, Ngo Dinh, 472, 473, 47~75
Dix, Dorothea, 121
Dole, Robert, 643
Dole, Sanford B., 299
Dole family, 300
Dominican Republic, 408, 592
Donnelly, Ignatius, 288-89
Dorr, Thomas, 214-16
Dorr's Rebellion, 215-16
Dos Passos, John, 374, 391
Douglas, William 0., 435
Douglass, Frederick, 157-58, 180-81,
182-3, 184, 185, 187, 188, 189, 209
Dreiser, Theodore, 322, 383
Dresden, bombing of, 421
Drew, Charles, 415
Drew, Elizabeth, 595
Drinan, Robert, 553
Du Bois, W. E. B., 23, 175, 185-86,
192, 193, 210, 328-29, 348-49, 363,
448, 686
Dukakis, Michael, 583, 611
Duke, James, 254, 262
Dunbar, Paul Laurence, 445
Dunmore, Lord, 82
Dylan, Bob, 537, 538

Earth Summit (1992), 577
Easley, Ralph, 352, 353
Eastern Europe, 591-92
East Germany, 591
Eastman, Crystal, 343
Eastman, Max, 370-71
East Timor, 567, 595, 655-56
Eaton, john, 133, 139
ecological crisis, 576
Edelman, Marian Wright, 571, 610
Edelman, Peter, 649
Edison, Thomas, 254
education, 9, 21, Ill, 118, 556, 574,
blacks, 89, 198, 199, 202, 208, 450,
466, 467
colleges, 219, 262, 263
public schools and high schools,
women, 110, 115, 118, 123, 509
Ehrlichman, john, 543, 544
Eisenhower, Dwight, 391, 435, 439,
440, 473, 474, 475, 560, 583, 643, 661
Elders, Jocelyn, 645
election of 2000, 675-77
Elkins, Stanley, 33-34
Ellsberg, Daniel, 470, 487-88, 543,
El Mozote massacre, 591
El Salvador, 572, 589-91, 606-07, 608,
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 146-47, 156,
186, 221
Engel, George, 271
Engerman, Stanley, 173
environmental movement, 575
Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), 576, 613
Ethiopia: Italian invasion, 409, 410, 421
Ettor, Joseph, 331, 335, 336, 337
Evans, George Henry, 222
Evans, Rowland, 498
Everett, Edward, 146, 219
Evers, Medgar, 538

Fair Employment Practices
Commission, 415
Fairfax, Lord, 84
"fairness doctrine, " 564
Farmer, James, 464
Farmers Alliance, 283-94 passim
farming, 84, 197, 206
Depression (1930s), 392, 397
farmers' movements (19th century),
264, 282-95
grain, 253, 261, 283, 286, 287, 301
mechanization of, 219, 253, 283
Shays' Rebellion, 91-95, 98
tenants and rebellions (Colonial era
and 18th century), 47, 62-65, 84,
85-86, 91-95, 211, 212-14
see also cotton; land; slavery; tobacco
farm workers, 614, 615
Faulkner, Harold, 350
Faulkner, William, 283-84
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
433, 434, 462, 463-64, 489, 490, 534,
544, 554-55, 556, 645-46
Federalist Papers, 96-97
Federal Reserve System, 651
Feingold, Henry, 415
feminist movements: 19th century, 117,
119-24 passim, 184-85, 202
early 20th century, 342-46, 349
19605 and 19705, 504-14
19805 and 19905, 616
Fine, Sidney, 400
Firestone, Shulamith, 511, 513
Firestone company, 399
Fischer, Adolph, 271
Fiske, John, 82
Fite, Emerson, 233
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, 383
Flagler, H. M., 207
Fletcher, Benjamin, 48
Flexner, Eleanor, 115, 122, 384
Florida: acquisition of, 129, 685
election of 2000 and, 676-77
Seminole Indians, 127, 128, 129, 141,
Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley, 334, 336, 344,
347, 436
Fogel, Robert, 173
Foner, Eric, 80
Foner, Philip, 159, 223, 244, 303-04,
308, 309-10, 317, 328, 372, 431
Food Not Bombs, 617
Ford, Ford Madox, 374
Ford, Gerald, 544, 545, 546-47, 549,
550, 551, 552, 556
Ford, Henry, 324, 387
Ford Motor Company, 387, 401
foreign aid, 426-27, 429, 438
Foreman, Grant, 147--48
Forsberg, Randall, 603
Fortune, Thomas, 208-09
Foster, William Z., 381
France, 2, 9, 87, 80, 438
Indochina, 412, 429, 469-71, 472
Seven Years' War, 53, 59, 60, 61, 87
slavery, 28
World War I, 359-60, 361
World War II, 409, 412, 417, 424
Franklin, Benjamin, 44, 80, 85, 91, 107
Franklin, George, 560
Franklin, John Hope, 172
Frelinghuysen, Theodore, 138
Fremont, John c., 189
French and Indian War (Seven Years'
War), 53, 59, 60, 61, 77, 87
Frick, Henry Clay, 260, 276, 277
Friedan, Betty, 505, 506
Friend, Isaac, 45
Fuentes, Carlos, 607
Fugitive Slave Act, 181, 186, 188
Fuller, Margaret, 120
Fussell, Paul, 361

Gage, Nicholas, 572
Gage, Thomas, 65
Galbraith, John, 386
Garland, Hamlin, 282-83
Garner, Deborah Sampson, 110
Garner, Lloyd, 413, 414
Garrison, William Lloyd, 122, 187, 190
The Liberator, 157, 182, 184
Garvey, Marcus, 382
Gary, Elbert, 350
Gatewood, William, 318, 319
Gaylin, Willard, 516
gay movements, 616-17, 645
General Motors, 400
Genovese, Eugene, 175, 176, 177, 194
George, Henry, 264, 272, 273
Georgia, 82, 83
Indians, 52, 126, 127, 128, 133,
134-35, 136, 137, 139, 140-41, 146
German immigrants, 43, 46, 49, 160,
226, 265, 279
socialism, 244, 249, 268, 270, 340
Germany, 409
Spanish Civil War, 409, 421
World War 1, 359-60, 361-62
World War II, 17, 407, 410, 411,
412-13, 415, 421, 424
Germany, East, 429
Gerry, Elbridge, 91
Gettleman, Marvin, 214
Giddings, Joshua, 154
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 342
Ginsburg, Ruth, 645
Giraud, Henri, 412
global warming, 577
Gold, Harry, 433-34
gold, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 18, 134, 139
Golden, John, 352
Goldman, Emma, 272, 277-78, 321,
345, 372, 375, 503 .
Gompers, Samuel, 306, 308, 328, 352,
365, 380, 381
Gonzalez, Henry, 587
Goodman, Andrew, 456
Goodwyn, Lawrence, 284-85, 286, 288,
289, 290-91, 292, 293
Goodyear company, 400
Gould, Jay, 254, 255, 258
Gorbachev, Mikhail, 591
Gore, Albert, 675-77
Grady, Henry, 207
Graham, Billy, 538
Grant, Ulysses, 199, 204, 242
Grantham, Thomas, 41
Great Britain, 2, 9, 10, 12, 42, 183, 425,
426, 470
King George's War, 52
parliamentary government setup, 73,
private property, 16, 27, 42
Queen Anne's War, 52
Seven Years' War, 53, 59, 60, 61, 87
slavery, 28, 29
War of 1812, 127
World War I, 359-60, 361, 362
World War II, 17, 407, 410, 411, 413,
414, 417, 421, 424
see also American colonies;
Revolutionary War
Greece, 425-27, 429, 551
Greek immigrants, 265
Greeley, Horace, 159, 190-91
Green, James", J.40
Greene, jack, 59
Greene, Nathanael, 83
Greenglass, David, 433
Greenspan, Alan, 651
Greider, WilIiam, 580, 581
Grenada, 588-89, 685
Grenville, Richard, 12
Grimke, Angelina, 120, 121
Grimke, Sarah, 121J.-21
Grover, William, 575-76
Groves, Leslie, 423
Guam, 312, 4D8
Guatemala, 439, 586, 648
Guinier, Lani, 645
Gulf War, 594-600, 618-25, 652,
Gutman, Herbert, 173, 178, 229
Gwertzman, Bernard, 588-89

Haig, Alexander, 546, 605
Haig, Douglas, 361J.-61
Haiti, 303, 408
Haldeman, Robert, 543
Hall, Bolton, 307, 308
Hallgren, Mauritz, 389-90
Hamby, Alonzo, 428
Hamer, Fannie Lou, 505
Hamilton, Alexander, 77, 95-96, 97, 98,
101, 219, 417
Hamilton, Richard E., 492
Hammond, James, 174
Hampton, Fred, 463, 555
Hancock, John, 85
Haney, Evan, 531
Hanna, Mar, 351
Harburg, Yip, 391J.-91
Harding, Warren, 368, 384
Harlan, Jobe, 204, 205
Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins, 202
Harriman, Averell, 414
Harriman, E. H., 351
Harris, Joel Chandler, 208
Harris, Patricia, 566
Harrison, Benjamin, 259, 260
Harrison, William Henry, 126, 132
Harte, Bret, 265
Havel, Vaclav, 592
Hawaii, interest in and annexation of,
297, 299, 300, 302, 306, 312, 408
Hay, John, 309
Hayes, Rutherford, 205, 246, 258
Hays, Samuel, 353
Haymarket affair, 272, 32 I
Haywood, Big Bill, 330, 335, 336,
337-38, 340, 341, 373
Headley, Joel Tyler, 236
health and safety, 111, 117, 118-19,
662, 663
in business and industry, 230, 239, 241,
242, 246, 254, 255, 256, 278, 325,
326, 327, 338-39, 346
disease and epidemics, 40, 218, 221,
Indians, 16, 87
insurance and compensation, 349,
352-53, 651, 664
and nuclear development, 441
railroads, 245-46, 255, 256, 278
health care coverage, 611, 612
health degradation, 638
Hearst, William Randolph, 294, 390
Heller, Joseph, 418
Hekos, Richard, 548
Hemingway, Ernest, 374
Henretta, James, 57
Henry, Patrick, 68-69, 126
Herndon, .Angelo, 447
Hersh, Seymour, 479, 573
Hertsgaard, Mark, 591, 594
Hiatt, Howard, 603
Hill, Anita, 574
Hill, Christopher, 74
Hill, James J., 351
Hill, Joe, 334-35
Hiroshima, bombing of, 9, 17, 422
Hispaniola, 3, 4, 7, 32, 685
Hitchcock, Ethan Allen, 149, 150, 151,
Hitler, Adolf 407, 409, 410, 415
Ho Chi Minh, 469, 470, 472
Hoerder, Dirk, 66, 67
Hoffman, Abbie, 613
Hoffman, Ronald, 82, 83
Hofstadter, Richard, 57, 187, 189, 192,
351, 361, 362, 563
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 366, 368
Homestead strike, 276-77, 294, 321
Honduras, 585
Hoover, Herbert, -387, 392, 563
Hopi Indians, 19, 529-30
Hopkins, Harry, 414
Horwitz, Morton, 239, 239-40
House of Representatives, election of, 96
Houston, Sam, 136
Howard, Michael, 598
Hudson, Hosea, 398-99, 447
Huggins, Nathan, 445
Hughes, Langston, 404-05, 443, 445, 467
Hull, Cordell, 409
Humphrey, Hubert 431, 456, 487
Humphrey, R. M., 290
Hungary, 592
Hunt, E. Howard, 543
Hunt, Harriot, 118
Huntington, Samuel, 558-60, 566
Hussein, Saddam, 594, 599, 622-23,
653, 666-67
Hutchinson, Anne, 108-09
Hutchinson, Thomas, 52-53, 57, 61
Huxley, Aldous, 460

Ickes, Harold 413
Illich, Ivan, 539
immigration, 49, 125, 216, 221, 225,
227-28, 230, 238, 244, 253, 254,
265-67, 306, 324, 647-49
quotas set, 382
see also individual ethnic groups
imperialism, 314-15, 569
indentured servants 42-47, 23, 25, 32,
37, 42-47
Indians, Central and South American,
3-7 passim, 11-12, 18, 53
see also Arawak Indians
Indians, North American: anti-Columbus
Protests, 625-28
Alcatraz, occupation of, 528-29
Bacon's Rebellion, 37, 39, 45, 54, 55,
civilization and culture, 17-22, 135-36,
137, 531-32
Colonial era, 12-17 passim, 24, 25, 29,
39, 41, 53-54, 57, 58, 59, 72, 86-87,
death from disease introduced by
whites, 16, 87
Declaration of Independence and
Constitution, 65, 72, 86, 96
French and Indian War, 53, 59, 60, 61,
77, 87
Indian Removal and warfare, 126-27,
295, 524, 529-30
protests by (20th century), 523-37
on reservations, 17, 524
Revolutionary War, 77, 80, 87, 125,
Indians (cont'd.)
suffrage denied, 65, 96
treaties with, 128-34 passim, 136, 138,
141-42, 144-45, 146, 526, 529
see also individual tribes
Indochina, 412, 429, 430, 469-72
see also Vietnam/Vietnam war
Indonesia, 429, 567, 595, 655-56
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW),
330-38, 341, 344, 347, 350, 354, 359,
369, 370, 372-73, 377_79, 382
International Monetary Fund, 414, 440,
658, 674
International Telephone and Telegraph
(ITT), 543, 548, 554
Iran, 438, 567, 586, 595, 599, 604
Iran/contra affair, 586-87
Iraq, 594-600, 647, 652, 653-54, 681,
Irish immigrants, 46, 49, 100, 159, 160,
177, 225, 226-27, 230, 235, 243, 254,
255, 265, 382
Iriye, Akira, 410
Iroquois, League of the, 19-20, 21, 86,
130 see also Mohawk Indians
Isaac, Rhys, 68
Israel, 586, 595, 596, 681
Italian immigrants, 226, 244, 265, 266,
349, 382
Italy, 438
Ethiopia invaded by, 409, 410, 421
Spanish Civil War, 409, 421
World War II, 411, 412, 423-24

Jackson, Andrew, 126-27, 187, 216, 217
Indian policy, 10, 127-30, 133, 135,
136, 137, 140, 141, 216
Jackson, George, 519-20
Jackson, Maynard, 466
Jackson, Aunt Molly, 393
James, Henry, 323, 360
James, William, 300, 314
Jamestown, 12, 23, 24, 26, 30, 40, 104
Japan, 297, 471, 558
China, war with, 406, 410, 427
and Indochina, 469, 470
"opening of, " 299, 408, 410, 411
World War 11, 9, 17, 410-11, 413,
421-24, 469, 470
Japanese-Americans, internment of, 416
Jay, John, 96
Jefferson, Thomas, 83, 89, 95, 97, 110,
117, 126, 128
Declaration of Independence, 71, 72
Jennings, Francis, 14-15, 16, 86, 87, 88
Jewish immigrants, 265, 268, 340; 349,
Jews: Germany and World War II, 409,
Palestine, 414
Spain, 2
John Paul 11, Pope, 576
Johnson, Andrew, 197, 199
Johnson, Lyndon, 431, 509, 526, 601
blacks and civil rights, 456, 456, 459,
463, 464
Vietnam, 411, 475, 476, 481, 483-84,
500-01, 685
Johnson, U. Alexis, 475
Jones, James, 418
Jones, Mother Mary, 330, 338, 346, 354
Jordan, June, 600, 638
Josephson, Matthew, 259, 260
Julien, Claude, 545

Kahn, Herman, 441
Kaufman, Irving, 434
Kay, Marvin L. Michael, 63, 64-65
Keller, Helen, 341, 345-46, 503
Kemble, Fanny, 176-77
Kennan, George, 583, 592
Kennedy, Edward, 594
Kennedy, John E, 431-32, 437, 438,
441, 442, 526, 560
blacks and civil rights, 453, 456, 457,
Southeast Asia and Vietnam, 473, 474,
Kennedy, Robert, 454, 456
Kenya, 659, 678, 682
Kerry, John, 594
Khadafi, Muarnmar, 591
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 451-52, 461,
462, 485, 644
"King Philips War, " 16, 40
Kissinger, Henry, 9, 441, 484, 491, 498,
544, 548, 551, 552, 553-54, 556, 569
Kistiakowsky, George, 604
Kitt, Eartha, 487
Kleindienst, Richard, 544, 547, 548
Knights of Labor, 251, 267-68, 269,
273, 274, 279, 285, 289, 307
Knox, Henry, 81, 95, 126
Kolchin, Peter, 199
Kolko, Gabriel, 350, 413
Koning, Hans, 17-18
Korea/Korean war, 428, 429, 647, 652,
Kornbluh, Joyce, 332
Kovic, Ron, 496-97, 619, 621
Kozol, Jonathan, 539
Kristol, Irving, 435
Kropotkin, Peter, 271
Krushchev, Nikita, 592
Ku Klux Klan, 203, 382, 432, 452, 636
Kurds, 656
Kuwait, 594-96, 598, 622, 627, 653

labor: blacks, 199, 203, 208, 209, 241,
274, 328, 337-38, 381, 404-05, 415,
466, 467
children, 43, 44, 49, 221, 230-3 1, 266,
267, 324, 335, 346-47, 403
Colonial era, 23, 25, 27-28, 29, 30, 32,
37, 42-47, 50, 53, 55, 56, 57, 62, 80,
Constitution, support for, 99
convicts, 209, 275, 292
Depression and unemployment,
386-95 passim
factories and mills, 10, 111, 115,
116-17, 216, 221, 228-31, 239, 241,
243-44, 253, 300, 324-27, 334-39
passim, 346, 349, 381, 386, 387, 397
Fair Employment Practices
Commission, 415
health and safety in working
conditions, 230, 239, 241, 242, 246,
254, 255, 256, 278, 325, 326, 327,
338-39, 346
insurance and compensation, 349,
ILGWU, 326
immigrants, 49, 125, 216, 221, 225,
227-28, 230, 238, 244, 253, 254,
265-67, 307, 324
see also individual ethnic groups
Independent Labor party, 272
Indians, 25, 29, 53
Knights of Labor, 251, 267-68, 269,
273, 274, 279, 285, 289, 306
minimum-wage (1938), 403
National Labor Relations Board, 401,
402, 574
1980s and 1990s, 617
organization (unions, strikes); 19th
century, 218-19, 221, 222, 223,
225-51 passim, 260, 265, 267-83,
293, 310; 20th century, 324, 326,
330, 334-39 passim, 346-47, 354,
377-82, 386, 392, 397, 399-402
passim, 406, 407, 415, 416, 417-18,
575, 578, 668-74
socialism and, 244-45, 249, 268-73,
278, 281, 282, 307-08, 336, 339-40,
382, 385, 406, 547
Spanish American war and, 317
Wagner Act, 395, 401
women, 10, 32, 43, 44, 103, 104-05,
110, 111, 114-15, 123, 228_31,
234-35, 240-41, 253, 257, 267-68,
324-27 passim, 336, 338-39, 347,
405-06, 504, 506-11 passim
Workingmen's party, 244-45, 248-49
see also American Federation of Labor;
Congress of Industrial Organizations;
farming; Industrial Workers of the
World; slavery
Lafeber, Walter, 301, 304
La Follette, Robert, 353
LaGuardia, Fiorello, 384, 385, 388, 684
LaMonte, Robert, 354
Land, Aubrey, 57
land: Bacon's Rebellion, 37, 39-42, 45,
54, 55, 59
blacks and post-Civil War problems,
197-98, 199
"eminent domain" favoring business,
Homestead Acts, 206, 238, 282
Indians, 13, 20, 86-88, 128
Indian Removal and treaties, 126-28,
295, 526, 529
private property, Colonial era, 13, 17,
47, 48, 49, 54, 84, 85; in Europe, 16,
27, 74; law's regard for, 260-62; as
land (cont'd)
qualification for voting, 49, 65, 83,
96, 214-16, 291; after Revolutionary
War, 84, 85, 86-87, 99, 126; tenants
and rebellions, 47, 62--65, 84, 85-86,
91-95, 98, 211, 212-14
Proclamation of 1763, 59, 71, 87 .
railroads acquisition of, 220, 238, 239,
territorial expansion, 9, 87-88, Ill,
124, 685: Florida, 129; Louisiana
Purchase, 126, 149; Mexico/Mexican
war, 10, 149-69 passim, 181, 297, 408,
411, 492; overseas, 297-300; see afro
Spanish-American war
see also farming
Laos, 472, 473, 481-83, 484, 556
las Casas, Bartolome de, 5-7
Latin America, 53, 299, 408
Alliance for Progress, 438
Good Neighbor Policy, 439
Monroe Doctrine, 297, 408
Organization of American States, 440
slavery, 25, 32, 173
see also Indians, Central and South
Latinos, 615-16
Lattimore, Owen, 432, 436
Lease, Mary Ellen, 288
Lebanon, 439, 586, 595 '...
Lee, Richard, 42
Lee, Richard Henry, 81
Lee, Robert E., 185, 192, 195
Lehman, John, 597
Lehrmann, Leonard, 628
Leisler, Benjamin, 48
Lekachman, Robert, S 71
Lemon, James T, 50
Lenin, V. I., 363
Leontief, Wassily, 577
lesbianism, 511
LeSeuer, Meridel, 406
Lester, julius, 459-60
Levine, Lawrence, 179
Levy, Howard, 493
Levy, Leonard, 100
Lewinsky, Monica, 659
Lewis, John, 457
Lewis, John L., 399, 401
Lewis, Mollie, 405
Lewis, Sinclair, 383-84
Liddy, G. Gordon, 543
Lincoln, Abraham, 130, 153-54, 238, 631
slavery and Civil War, 171, 187-92
passim, 194, 197, 233, 410
Lincoln, Benjamin, 94, 95
Lingg, Louis, 271
Link, Arthur, 364
Lloyd, Henry Demarest, 293, 294-95
Locke, John, 47, 73-74
Lockridge, Kenneth, 50
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 158-59, 299, 300,
301, 305, 351
Lodge, Henry Cabot, II, 366, 444,
474-75, 499
Logan, Rayford, 347
Loguen, J.W., 181-82
London, Jack, 322, 365
Louisiana Purchase, 126, 149, 685
Lowell, James Russell, 155
Lowell, Robert, 487
Lowell (Mass.): textile mills, 10, 115,
116-17, 228-29, 230, 263, 397, 418
Ludlow Massacre, 355-57
Lusitania, 362
Luther, Seth, 214, 224
Lynd, Alice, 406
Lynd, Helen, 383, 503
Lynd, Robert, 383, 503
Lynd, Staughton, 85, 99, 406, 486

MacArthur, Arthur, 316-17
MacArthur, Douglas, 391
McAlister, Elizabeth, 601
McCarthy, Joseph, 428, 431
McCone, John, 548
McCord, James, Jr., 542, 543
Macdonald, Dwight, 420
McFarlane, Robert, 587
McGovern, George, 545, 553
McKay, Claude, 444
McKinley, William, 295, 299, 303, 304,
305-06, 312-13, 314, 320
McKinnon, Cynthia, 621
McKissick, Floyd, 464
MacLeish, Archibald, 414
McLoughlin, William G., 83-84
MacMichael, David, 618
McNamara, Robert, 475-76, 484, 550
McNaughton, John, 481, 499
McPherson, James, 194
Macune, Charles, 287
MeVeigh, Timothy, 646, 649
Madison, Dolly, 110
Madison, James, 33, 91, 96, 97-98, 132,
Mahan, A. T., 298, 300
Maier, Pauline, 67-68
Mailer, Norman, 418-19
Main, Jackson, 80, 98
Malcolm X, 457-58, 461
Manning, Robert, 560-61
Marcos, Ferdinand, 572
Markham, Edwin, 324
Marshall, George, 422, 438
Marshall, Thurgood, 574, 548-49
Marshall Plan, 438
Martin, Luther, 91
Martineau, Harriet, 113
Martinez, Elizabeth, 616
Marx, Karl, 12, 242, 243, 250, 258, 293
Maryland, Colonial era, 34, 35, 44, 46,
47, 50, 57, 68, 82, 83
Mason, John, 14-15
Massachusetts: Colonial era 13-17
passim, 21, 47-54 passim, 65-67,
69-70, 71, 72, 78, 83, 91_95
labor (19th century), 222-23, 228-33,
234, 236, 241, 243-44
reform movements, 115, 119, 120-21
see also Boston
Massachusetts Bay Colony, 13, 15-16,
47-48, 108-09
Mather, Cotton, 15
Matthews, Mary Musgrove, 109
Mattick, Paul, 395
Mayaguez incident, 551_54, 588
meatpacking industry, 253, 254, 308-09,
322, 330, 349
media censorship, 671-72
Mellon, Andrew, 384
Mellon, James, 255
Mencken, H. L., 647
Mexican immigrants. 648
Mexican war, 10, 152-69, 181, 408, 411,
Mexico, 11-12, 150, 357, 658, 685
Meyers, Marvin, 130
Middle East: oil interests, 413-14, 426,
439, 439, 549, 595
military forces: blacks, 10, 77, 82, 88,
191, 192, 193, 195-96, 203, 317,
318-20; segregation, 404, 415, 419,
G. W Bush administration and, 678-82
Clinton administration and, 644,
651-57, 660-61, 663-67
Depression and Bonus Army, 391, 462
draft evasion: Civil War, 192;
Revolutionary War, 75, 79; World
War I and World War II, 418
draft registration, 605-06
foreign bases, 312; Cuba, 311, 312; see
also Panama/Panama Canal
and Indians, 125, 127-32 passim, 134,
135, 141-48 passim
Indians and Revolutionary War, 77, 87,
125, 126
intervention overseas and expansion,
298, 300
naval impressment in Colonial era, 51,
52, 66, 67, 79
Reagan buildup, 577, 594-85
rearmament since World War II, 426,
428, 436, 437, 441, 644, 654, 664
share of national budget, 569-60
strikebreaking in early days; 235,
246-51 passim, 269, 274, 276, 278
see also individual wars and conflicts
Miller, Arthur, 487
Miller, Douglas, 216-17, 429
Miller, Samuel, 261
Miller, William 218, 219, 220, 323
Millis, Walter, 309
Mills, C. Wright, 438
Mills, Sid, 526-27
Milosevic, Slobodan, 660-61
Minear, Richard, 411
minerals and mining, 207, 242, 253,
306-07, 395
gold, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 18, 134, 139
strikes, 235, 243-44, 275, 35+-56
United Mine Workers, 307, 330, 354,
Mississippi, Indians in, 127, 128, 133,
Mitchell, John, 543, 544
Mitford, Jessica, 538
Mittelberger, Gottlieb, 43
Mohawk Indians, 86-87
Akwesasne Notes, 527, 532, 534, 535-36
see also Iroquois
"Molly Maguires, " 243-44
Mondale, Walter, 611
Monroe, James, 97
Monroe Doctrine, 297, 408
Montezuma, 11, 12
Montgomery, David, 226
Mooney, Tom, 359
Moore, Ely, 227
Morgan, Edmund, 13, 25, 37-38, 56, 84
Morgan, J. P. (and companies), 207,
242, 246, 255-56, 257, 258, 305, 323,
350, 351, 362-63, 618
Morison, Samuel Eliot, 7-8, 17
Morris, Gouverneur, 81, 84
Morris, Richard, 44-45, 46, SO, 84, 308
Morris, Robert, 70, 80, 81
Morris, William, 271
Moses, Bob, 453
Mott, Lucretia, 122
Moundbuilders, 19
Moylan, Mary, 489-90
Muhammad Ali, 485
Mullen, Peg, 623
Mullin, Gerald, 33, 34, 36
Multiculturalism, 629
multinational corporations, 568-69
Mumford, Lewis, 383
Munsey, Frank, 353
Murrin, John, 84
Mussolini, Benito, 409
Muste, A.J., 420, 424
Myers, Gustavus, 238, 255-56
My Lai, 478-79, 667

Nader, Ralph, 676
Nagasaki, bombing of, 422, 423-24
Nardella, Luigi, 385
Nash, Gary B., 20, 21, 50, 54, 60, 61, 62
National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP), 348-49, 382, 447, 464
National Civic Federation, 352-53, 354,
National Labor Relations Board, 401,
402, 574
National Labor Union, 240, 241-42
National Recovery Act (NRA), 392-93
National Resources Defense Council,
Native Americans see Indians, North
Navajo Indians, 529
Navasky, Victor, 454
Neblett, Carver, 455
Nelson, Gaylord, 553
Netherlands: exploration and
colonization, 23, 26, 48, 211
slave trade, 28, 29
New Deal, 392-93, 395, 397, 403-04,
414, 417, 425, 649, 650
New Jersey: Colonial era, 51-52, 62,
labor, 230, 247
New Mexico, 149, 164, 169
Newton, Huey, 461
Newton, John, 27-28
New York: Colonial era, 35-36, 37, 48,
49, 50, 51, 54, 68, 83, 110
Indians, 54, 86-87, 130; see also
Iroquois; Mohawk Indians
landholding and tenants, 62, 63, 84,
85-86, 211, 212-14
New York City: Colonial era, 48-49, 50,
57, 60, 61-62, 67
blacks (1930s), 404
labor: 18th century, 50, 57, 99; 19th
century, 1I7, 223, 224--25, 227-28,
234, 235, 240, 242-43, 251, 266, 267,
268, 270, 273, 278; 20th century,
poverty, 48-49, 60, 218, 240, 385, 647,
Niagara movement, 348, 349
Nicaragua, 298, 408, 567, 572, 585, 608
9/11 terrorist attacks, 677-82
Nixon, E. D., 451
Nixon, Richard, 464, 526, 529, 575,
605, 633
Vietnam and Southeast Asia, 479,
483-84, 491, 497, 500, 501
see also Watergate
Noriega, Manuel, 593-94
Norris, Frank, 322
North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), 658
North Carolina, 128, 200
Colonial era, 47, 50, 54, 63-65, 68, 71,
7l, 82, 83
North, Oliver, 586, 587, 593
Novak, Robert, 498
Nowack, Marion, 429
nuclear energy, 566
armament and World War II, 9, 17,
422-24, 432, 434, 437, 441
protests against, 613, 667
Nunn, Sam, 587

Oakes, Richard, 528
Occupational Safety and Health Act
(OSHA), 575
Offner, Arnold, 409
Oglethorpe, James, 109
O'Hare, Kate Richards, 342, 343, 372
oil, 253, 256-57, 301
Cuba, 439, 440
Middle East, 413-14, 426, 439, 439,
Oliver, Andrew, 61
Oliver, Peter, 78
Olney, Richard, 279
Open Door Policy, 298, 408, 410, 413
Operation Desert Storm, 594-97
Operation Urgent Fury, 588
Organization of American States, 440
Osceola Indians, 145, 146
O'Sullivan, John, 151
Otis, James, 57, 60, 61, 66
Ottley, Roi, 404

Page, Thomas Nelson, 208
Paine, Robert Treat, 168
Paine, Thomas, 62, 69, 70, 111
Pal, Radhabinod, 411
Palestine, 414
Panama/Panama Canal, 408
U.S. military invasion (1989), 593-94,
Pankhurst, Christabel, 512
Parker, Theodore, 156-57, 221
Parks, Rosa, 450-51
Parsons, Albert, 249, 268, 270, 271
Paterson, Matthew, 85
Patterson, Ben 290
Patton, George S., 391
peace dividend, 625
Pennsylvania: Colonial era, 57-58, 62,
70, 83
labor and strikes, 226, 230, 243-44,
247, 306
see also Philadelphia; Pittsburgh
Pentagon Papers, 412, 461, 472, 473,
474, 476, 481, 488, 499, 500, 543,
566, 567
Peoples Party, see Populist party
Pequot Indians 14-15
Perkins, George W, 350, 351
Perot, Ross, 643
Peru, 12
Pessen, Edward, 218, 222
Philadelphia, 88, 254
Colonial era, 49-50, 60, 70, 80, 111
labor, 221, 226, 233, 266
poor, 49-50, 218, 221
Philippines, 300
U.S. and, 10, 312-20, 567
rebellions against 10, 313, 408, 429
Phillips, Kevin, 579-80, 582
Phillips, Ulrich, 34, 174-75, 176
Phillips, Wendell, 188, 189-90
Physicians for Social Responsibility, 603
Picasso, Pablo, 435
Pike, Douglas, 473
Pilgrims, 13, 21
"Pitcher, Molly, " 110
Pittsburgh: labor and strikes, 243-44,
246-48, 276-77, 294
Piven, Frances, 402, 457-58
Pizarro, 12, 17, 18
Plains Indians, 104
Plowshares Eight, 602
Poindexter, John, 587
Poland, 426, 592
"Political correctness, " 629
Polk, James, 150, lSI-52, 158, 159, 411
Polk, Leonidas, 289, 290
Pollack, Norman, 293
Polo, Marco, 2
"Pontiac's Conspiracy, " 87
Popper, David, 554
Populist Party, 283, 286-95 passim, 301
Portugal, 2, 26, 27, 29
Powell, Colin, 593, 652
Powderly, Terence, 269
Powhatan, 12, 13
Pratt, Julius, 302
President, election of, 96
Prison conditions and reform, 119, 121,
124, 514-24 passim, 616, 646-47
convict labor, 209, 275, 292
Progressive period and reforms, 349-54
property, see land
Prosser, Gabriel, 171
Puerto Rico, 32, 312, 408
Puritans, 14, 15-16, 17, 40

railroads, 205, 206, 207, 218, 219, 220,
227, 238, 239, 259, 261, 323
Cuba, 310
land acquired by, 220, 238, 239, 283
regulation, 349, 351
safety, 246, 255, 256, 278
unions and strikes, 235, 245-51, 260,
269, 270, 278, 279-81
see also transportation
Ramusio, Giambattista, 26
Randolph, A. Philip, 404, 458, 464
Randolph, Edmund, 68
Rankin, Jeannette, 371-72
Rantoul, Robert, 218
Rather, Dan, 598
Rawick, George, 177-78, 193
Reagan, Ronald, 564, 573-74, 577, 578,
580, 581, 611, 633, 645, 661
arms race and, 604
bombing of Libya, 591
budget cutbacks, 609-10
Grenada invasion, 588-89, 685
intervention in Central America,
585-87, 605-D8
Record, George L., 374
Redding, J. Saunders, 23
Reed, John, 373
Rehnquist, William, 574
religion; conflicts and controversies,
221, 226, 265
Constitutional guarantees, 83, 99
women, 108-09, 117, 118, 120
Remarque, Erich Maria, 360
Remini, Robert, 217
Reno, Janet, 645-46
Reston, James, 441, 442, 553
Revolutionary War, 50, 58-85, 492,
events leading to, 59, 60, 61, 62, 65-75
hostilities, 71, 85, 88
Indians, 77, 80, 87, 125, 126
Reynolds, Malvina, 537-38
Rhode Island: Colonial era, 14, 48, 54,
67, 91, 93
Dorr's Rebellion, 214-16
labor, 230, 2J 5, 241, 397
Rich, Adrienne, 512-13
Robeson, Paul, 448
Robinson, John, 20-21
Robinson, Patricia, 465, 508-9
Rockefeller, David, 465, 560, 561, 565
Rockefeller, John D., 242, 255, 256,
257, 258, 262, 356
Rockefeller, Nelson, 521
Rockefeller, William, 305
Rockefeller family, 301 , 323, 351,
354-56, 464-65, 570
Rogin, Michael, 125, 128, 134
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 409, 415, 439,
631, 643
Middle East, 413-14
New Deal, 392-93, 395, 397, 403,
403-04, 414, 417, 425, 441
World War II, 410, 411, 412, 415, 416,
Roosevelt, .Mrs. Franklin D., 403
Roosevelt, James, 435
Roosevelt, Theodore, 208, 273, 297, 298,
300, 300, 301, 312, 341, 346, 347, 369
reform and big business, 349, 350, 351,
Root, Elihu, 273, 316, 351, 368
Romero, Archbishop Oscar, 590
Rosenberg, Julius and Ethel, 432-35
Rosengarten, Theodore, 397-98
Rositzke, Harry, 583
Rossi, Alice, 504
Rostow, Eugene v., 416
Ruffin, Josephine St. Pierre, 193
Rumania, 426
Rusk, Dean, 298, 366, 476, 499
Russett, Bruce, 410, 411
Russia, 598, 657, see also Soviet Union
Russian immigrants, 226, 265, 375, 382
Russo, Anthony, 470, 487, 488
Rwanda, 655
Ryan, Jack, 618
Ryan, Thomas Fortune, 305

Sacco and Vanzetti case, 376
Safe Water Drinking Act, 576
Sage, Russell, 207, 305
Salsedo, Andrea, 375-76
Sampson, Anthony, 413-I4
Sanders, Bernie, 622
Sandinistas, 585, 593
Sandford, Mrs. John, 112
Sanger, Margaret, 343
Santa Anna, Antonio Lopez de, 166,
Sartre, Jean-Paul, 435
Sasway, Benjamin, 606
Saudi Arabia, 413-14, 623, 678, 681
Savak, 573
savings and loan scandal, 582-83
Schell, Jonathan, 477, 604
Schenck, Charles, 365-66
Schlesinger, Arthur, 130, 352, 441, 458
Schlesinger, James, 550, 552, 566, 619
"School of the Americas," 569, 667
Schroeder, John, 152, 153, 158
Schutz, Carl, 301
Schwerner, Michael, 456
Scotch immigrants, 49
Scott, Dred, 187, 198
Scott, William, 78
Scott, Winfield, 10, 145, 147, 157, 166
Scottsboro Boys, 398, 444, 447
Seaton, Esta, 51 I
Seeger, Pete, 537
Seminole Indians, 127, 128, 129, 141,
Seminole War, 143-46
Senate, election of, 96, 349
Seneca Indians, 526; see also Iroquois
Seven Years' War (French and Indian
War 53, 59, 60, 61, 77, 87
Shah of Iran 572, 573
Shalom Stephen, 589, 591
Shattuci, Job, 92
Shaw, George Bernard, 271
Shaw, Irwin, 374
Shaw, Nate, 178-79, 397-98
Shays, Daniel, 93-94, 95
Shays' Rebellion, 91-95, 98
Sherman, William T, 197
Sherman Anti-Trust act, 259-60, 351
Sherwin, Martin 422, 423, 424
Shy, John, 77, 78, 79
Simon, William, 558
Sinclair, Upton, 322, 365
Sioux Indians, 104, 524
Slater, Samuel, 115
slavery/slave trade, 12, 28-29, 30_31
abolitionists, 117, 120, 121, 122, 124,
155, 181-90 passim
African states, 27-28
Colonial era, 23, 27-38 passim, 43, 46,
49, 50, 53-58 passim, 72, 103, 105-06;
rebellions, 32-38 passim, 53, 54, 55,
56, 59, 72
Constitution, 13th Amendment, 192,
198, 204
Declaration of Independence 72-73
Dutch, 28, 29
18th century, 33, 58, 88, 89, 91, 98
English, 28, 29
French, 28
Indians, 3-7 passim, 32
19th century, 171-94; Fugitive Slave
Act, 181, 186, 188; rebellions and
conspiracies, 171, 174, 175, 183
passim, 194; see also Civil War
Portuguese, 25, 29
Spanish, 3-7 passim, 25, 32
Smith, Abbot, 43, 45, 46-47, 53
Smith, Adam, 74
Smith, Henry Nash, 282
Smith, John, 13
Smith, Justin H., 158-59, 166-67
Smith, Ruby Doris, 453, 504
Smith, Sir Thomas, 24
Sobell, Morton, 434
Socialism/Socialist party, 264, 322,
330-50 passim, 352, 353, 359, 374, 558
and labor, 244-45, 249, 268-73, 278,
281, 282, 307-08, 336, 339-40, 382,
385, 406, 547
Spanish-American war, 307-08
Socialism/Socialist party (cont'd.)
World War I, 10, 359, 364-70, 372
World War II, 420
Social Security Act, 403
Somalia, 654-55
Somoza dictatorship, 572, 585
Sons of liberty, 66, 68, 71
Sorensen, Theodore, 546
Sorge, F. A., 242
Sousa, Jerry, 518, 522
Sonth Africa, 321, 430, 566, 568, 608
South Carolina, 141, 142, 199-200
Colonial era, 36, 47, 53-57 passim, 68,
73, 77, 82, 83
Soviet Union, 17, 426, 568, 613
Afghanistan invasion, 572, 604-05
Bolshevik Revolution, 373, 380, 409
cold war with U.S., 425, 429, 437, 448,
and Cuba, 440
disintegration of, 584, 591-92, 625,
638, 644, 651-52
immigrants returned to, by U.S., 375
labor leaders flee 00, 373, 386
World War II, 407, 410, 411, 413, 423, 424
Spain, 2, 32
Civil War, 409, 420, 486
exploration and colonization, 1-5, 7-8,
9, 11-12, 14, 17-18, 25
and Cuba, 3, 5-7, 301, 302, 303, 304
Florida, 129
loss of Puerto Rico, Guam, and
Philippines to U.S., 312
and Mexico, 11-12
and Peru, 12
slavery, 3-7 passim, 25, 32
Spanish American war, 10, 295, 300,
303-10, 312
Speckled Snake, 136
Spies, August, 270-71
Spock, Dr. Benjamin, 618
Spotswood, Alexander, 34
Spring, Joe!, 263
Spruill, Julia, 106, 109
Stalin, Joseph, 17, 592
Stamp Act of 1765, 61, 65, 66, 69, 71
Stampp, Kenneth, 31, 35
Standard Oil Company, 256-57, 260,
301, 323
Stanford, Leland, 262
Stans, Maurice, 544, 547
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 119, 122
Star Wars program, 584
steel, 253, 257, 258, 276-77, 294, 310,
324, 363, 380-81, 401, 408
Steele, James, 580
Steffens, Lincoln, 323
Stein, Herbert, 575
Steinbeck, John, 389
Steiner, Stan, 533
Steinke, Richard, 492-93
Stillman, James, 323, 351
Stockwell, John, 617
Stone, I. F., 553
Stone, Lucy, 119
Stout, Linda, 614
Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC), 453, 454, 455,
459, 485
Sudan, 659, 678
suffrage, see voting
Sulzberger, C. L., 501, 551
Sununu, John, 595
Supreme Court, 141, 216, 260-61,
596, 645
on abortion, 510, 574, 616
appointment of, 96, 260
business and economic interests
protected by, 260-62
and civil rights, 187, 198, 204, 205,
450, 451
on Communist party, 435
election of 2000 and, 677
on free speech, 366
Indians, rights of, 526
on Japanese-American evacuation, 416
NRA declared unconstitutional, 393
on Pentagon Papers, 488
on prison conditions, 523
on school desegregation, 582
on sit-downs, 402
Vietnam war, constitutionality of, 476,
on White House tapes, 547
Swan, E. S., 328
Swift, Gustavus, 254

Taft, William Howard, 347, 349, 350
"talk radio, " 564
Tanzania, 659, 678, 682
Tarbell, Ida, 323
tariffs, 91, 101, 130, 141, 142, 189, 206,
238, 257
Tatum, Georgia Lee, 23 7
taxation: Colonial era, 39, 40, 41, 48,
52, 61, 63, 66, 71, 72
Stamp Act, 61, 65, 66, 69, 71
18th century, 83-84, 91, 100, 101
income, 260, 349, 384, 580-81
Taylor, Frederick W, 324
Taylor, Maxwell, 475
Taylor, Zachary, 150, 151, 152, 153,
160, 164, 165
Tecumseh, 127, 132-33
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), 393,
Terkel, Sruds, 390, 391, 394
terrorism, 591, 649
"war on..., " 678-82
Texas: annexation and boundary
dispute, 149, 150, 159, 169
textile mills, 243-44, 253, 300, 334-37,
346, 381, 385, 386, 397
Thomas, Clarence, 574
Thoreau, Henry David, 156
Thorpe, Grace, 528
Three Mile Island, 613
Tiffany, Charles, 207
Tikas, Lou, 355
Tilimon, Johnnie, 513-14
tobacco, 24, 171, 254, 260, 283, 301, 310
Tocqueville, Alexis de, 218
Todd, John, 120
Tragle, Henry, 174
transportation, 125, 218, 219, 239, 283
segregation, 450, 450-51, 453
see also railroads
Trilateral Commission, 558, 560-61, 566
Trollope, Frances, 116
Trotter, William Monroe, 348
Truman, Harry, 425, 426, 434-35, 438,
470, 473, 560, 583
civil fights, 448-49
Korean war, 427, 428, 438, 685
security Program and anti-
Communism, 428, 430, 432, 435, 436
World War II, 17, 412, 422, 423-24
Truman Doctrine, 426-27, 429
Trumbo, Dalton, 374, 496-97
Truth, Sojourner, 124, 184-85, 193, 202
Tubman, Harriet, 175, 185, 193
Tumulty, Joseph, 374-75
Turkey, 426, 429, 551, 656
Turner, Henry MacNeal, 200
Turner, Nat, 171, 174, 185
Twain, Mark, 316, 321
Tyler John, 215

unemployment, 557-58, 570, 578, 650
unions, see labor organization
United Fruit Company, 439, 508
United Mine Workers, 307, 330, 354, 355
United Nations, 415, 427, 470, 653-55
U.S. Steel, 257, 331, 350, 363, 381

Van Buren, Martin, 130, 146, 148, 217,
Vandenberg, Arthur, 415
Vanderbilt, Cornelius, 262
Vanderbilt family, 242
Van Every, Dale, 135-36, 137, 138-39,
142, 143, 146
Vanzetti, Bartolomeo, 376
Vesco, Robert, 544, 547
Vesey, Denmark, 171, 173-74
Vietnam/Vietnam war, 9, 366-67, 411,
469, 472-501, 542, 549-54, 556, 558,
563, 618, 618-19, 631, 652
opposition to, 461, 484-94, 500-01,
516, 518, 523, 541, 542, 554, 567
Pentagon Papers, 412, 470, 472, 473,
474, 476, 481, 488, 499, 500
War Powers Act, 588
Vincent, Henry, 286
Vinson, Fred, 434, 435
Virginia (Colonial era), 12, 13, 18, 25,
41-47 passim, 50, 55, 56, 68, 78, 82,
84, 86
Bacon's Rebellion, 37, 39-42, 45, 54,
55, 59
House of Burgesses, birth of, 43
slavery, 25, 30, 32-38 passim, 47, 72
see also Jamestown
Vogel, Virgil, 15
voting: blacks, 65, 88-89, 198, 199, 203,
voting (cont'd.)
207, 291, 449, 454-55, 456, 458, 459,
461, 465-66, 610
Constitution, 96
15th Amendment, 198, 449
Indians, 65, 96
low voter turnout, 563
1960s and 1970s, 562
property qualifications, 49, 65, 83, 96,
214-16, 291
women, 65, 96, 110, 114, 123, 342, 343,
344-45, 384, 503
see also civil rights/civil rights movement

Wadsworth, James, 359
Wake Island, 312
Walker, Charles R., 394
Walker, David, 180, 184
Walker, Margaret, 446
Wall, John, 618
Wallace, Henry, 428, 449
Wampanoag Indians, 15-16, 40
War of 1812, 127
War on Poverty, 601
War Powers Act, 553, 588
War Resister's League, 437
Washburn, Wilcomb, 40
Washington, Booker T, 208, 209, 348
Washington, George, 85, 91, 95, 97,
125, 126
Revolutionary War, 79~80, 81, 82, 145
Washington, Mrs. George (Martha), 110
Watergate, 488, 542-49 passim, 554,
558, 631
Watergate scandal, 563, 618
Watson, Tom, 291-92
Wayland, Francis, 156
Wayne, Anthony, 81, 87
wealth distribution, 571, 612, 629,
662-64, 668
Weatherby, William, 404
Weaver, James, 289
Webster, Daniel, 142, 145, 181, 216
Weems, John, 162, 166, 167
Weil, Simone, 420
Weinberger, Caspar, 584, 585, 605
Wiener, Jon, 595
Weinstein, James, 351, 353, 365
welfare, attack on, 578-79, 647-50
Welles, Sumner, 412
Welter, Barbara, 112
West Germany, 591
Westmoreland, William, 500, 550
Wheeler, Burton, 385
White, Walter, 419
Whitman, Walt, 154
Wicker, Tom, 521, 566
Wiebe, Robert, 350
Willard, Emma, 117-18
Williams, Roger, 16-17
Williams, William Appleman, 301-02
Wilson, Charles E., 425
Wilson, Darryl B., 530
Wilson, Edmund, 237-38
Wilson, James, 70, 80
Wilson, James Q., 587
Wilson, Woodrow, 347, 349, 350, 356,
362, 381
World War 1, 361, 362, 364, 365
Winthrop, John, 13, 14, 48, 108-09
Winthrop, Robert, 158
Witt, Shirley Hill, 533
Wittner, Lawrence, 419, 425
Wollstonecraft, Mary, 111
women: abolitionists, 117, 120, 121,
122, 124
abortion, 509-10, 511
blacks, 32, 103, 105-06, 184-85, 193,
202, 347, 504
change in status, 503-14
Colonial Era, 43, 44, 49, 72, 73, 102,
104-11 passim
Declaration of Independence and
Constitution, 72, 73, 96, 102
education, 110, 115, 118, 123, 509
exploitation and oppression, 9, 103~24
feminist movements: 19th century, 117,
119-23 passim, 184-85, 202; early
20th century, 342-46, 349; 1960s and
1970s, 504-14; 1980s and 1990s, 616
Indians, 5, 7, 19, 20, 104
in antinuclear movement, 603
labor, 10, 32, 43, 44, 103, 104-05, 110,
111, 114-15, 123, 228-31, 234-35,
240-41, 253, 257, 267-68, 324-27
passim, 336, 338-39, 347, 406, 504,
506-11 passim; see also labor, factory
and mill system
property ownership denied, 114, 123
rape, 510, 511
socialists, 341-46 passim
voting, 65, 96, 110, 114, 123, 342, 343,
344-45, 384, 503
World War II, 416
Wood, Leonard, 311, 312
Woodford, Stewart, 304
Woodward, C. Vann, 205, 206, 274--75,
Woodward, Carl, 545
Worcester, Samuel, 141
Workingmen's party, 244-45, 248-49
World Bank, 566, 658, 674
World Trade Organization (WTO),
World War 1, 10, 359-74, 376, 418,
World War II, 10, 407-25 passim,
Germany and Japan, bombing of, 9, 17,
421-23, 481
and labor, 402, 407, 415, 416, 417-18,
Wright, Frances, 121-22, 221
Wright, Margaret, 465
Wright, Richard, 446-47

Yeltsin, Boris, 657
Young, Andrew, 554, 566
Young, Marilyn, 300, 625
Young, Thomas, 62
Yugoslavia, 4~6, 660-61

Zuni Indians, 19, 104
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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:18 pm

About the Author

Howard Zinn. Photo by Jeff Zinn.

Meet Howard Zinn

HOWARD ZINN is a historian, playwright, and social activist. He came of age in the slums of Brooklyn. His working-class immigrant home lacked even a modest library; he managed, however, to find his first book on the street. Upon reading that book, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, he resolved to read a great many more books, and possibly to write a few as well-he was eight, maybe nine years old. As a young adult, he worked in a shipyard for three years. He flew bomber missions during World War II, after which he returned to Brooklyn, got married, and occupied a basement apartment.

He went to college under the GI Bill and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has taught at Spelman College and Boston University, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. He has received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award.

He enjoys "old, good films like Bridge on the River Kwai, and half-old, funny films like Midnight Run." He likes dramatic and political movies "if they're well done." He likes Oliver Stone "when he's doing something like Salvador." He "sneaks out" to Dunkin' Donuts for a cup of coffee (small with cream and sugar), and complements the beverage with a powdered doughnut. Once a devoted tennis player, , he now maintains his physique on daily walks. He has no pets ("they would tie me down"). He lives with his wife, painter Roslyn Zinn, in Auburndale, Massachusetts. They have two children and five grandchildren.
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Re: A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Postby admin » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:18 pm

A Discussion with Howard Zinn

Is it true that you'd have preferred to write romance novels?

[laughs] Where did you get that? It's true that I'd rather write plays, which I have done. It's more fun to write for the theater because it's not as isolated an occupation.

A People's History of the United States has found its way into many places. Describe its proliferation among various languages, along with its curious development into a cartoon.

It's been translated by now into a dozen languages -- into Spanish, French, Italian, German, Turkish, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Swedish, Norwegian. Czech, Portuguese, and it's being translated into Russian, Greek, and Hebrew. I don't know if it will happen, but there's a group in Canada that wants to do an animated version of A People's History. And there's a group in New York that is planning a documentary series for television and schools. This would be a series of films based on A People's History, maybe six to eight hours.

A March 1999 article in The Nation opened: "The contracts are signed, the treatment is being written, and Fox Television plans to fast-track production on a ten- to twelve-hour miniseries based on lefty historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, scheduled to run early next year." Br, what happened, Howard?

That was something of an exaggeration. Maybe the writer was anticipating too much. [laughs] There was a contract with Fox Television, and Fox was at one point planning a series of films based on A People's History, and then after a few years of back and forth. they dropped the idea, after which it was taken up by HBO. We were under contract with HBO for a couple years and they actually hired a number of writers to write movie scripts -- John Sayles wrote one, Howard Fast did another, several other scripts were written -- then HBO decided against going ahead.

Do you think Fox and HBO were influenced by cultural transformations in the wake of 9/11?

It's hard to tell. When people in the film industry drop things, they don't give you explanations. And so, in the case of Fox we don't know. After all, Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch [laughs]. Well, come to think of it, Murdoch owns HarperCollins too, and that hasn't interfered with HarperCollins's handling of the book. But did political considerations enter into it? Fox dropped it before 9/11. No, 1don't think 9/11 1had anything to do with it. They may have found that it was too difficult and complicated a project. When John Sayles's script was turned down by HBO, he said, "Well, I think HBO probably doesn't consider it sexy enough." It may be that the television medium is a very difficult form for transforming history into feature films.
In 2003, A People's History sold its one millionth copy. Dick Cheney threw you a big shindig, right?

Yes it was. I recall that it took place in Dunkin' Donuts [laughs].

Seriously, though, there was a celebration at the 92nd Street YMHA, right?

Yes. We had a great cast of actors who agreed to read. We had James Earl Jones and Danny Glover and Marisa Tomei and Harris Yulin and Alfre Woodard. A number of the things they read were from the book, and a number of things were connected with the spirit of A People's History. A little book called The People Speak came out of that. We didn't just have actors reading; we had other people in the arts as well. We had Kurt Vonnegut reading Eugene Debs, Alice Walker reading a poem by Langston Hughes, and we had my son, Jeff, reading the voice of an IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) organizer and poet, Arturo Giovannitti. I can tell you that as soon as they announced the event, it was sold out almost immediately.

It's a mite unsettling to reread your account of the first Gulf War. You argue, in this account, that the United States acted in order to revive Bush Sr.'s approval ratings, and to achieve greater sway over OPEC. "But those motives," you conclude, "were not presented to the American public. It was told that the United States wanted to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi control." So, too, do you argue: "The justification for war that seemed most compelling was that Iraq was on its way to building a nuclear bomb, but the evidence for this was very weak." Care to reflect on this?

Our own intelligence agency, the CIA, had no clear evidence that Iraq could build a bomb for several years. So the evidence indeed was weak. Can you really believe that Bush Sr. was anguished over the takeover of Kuwait by Iraq? Other countries have occupied parts of other countries, and we didn't go to war over that. We didn't go to war over the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. So Bush's rationale for the war against Iraq was very hard to believe, given the long history of the United States's interest in Middle Eastern oil, especially since the end of World War II. For instance, the covert action to overthrow the government of Iran in 1953 came about because Iran was nationalizing oil. Iraq is the second largest possessor of oil reserves in the world. The oil motive is a far, far more likely one than the motive of liberating Kuwait.

What comparison. then, would you make between Gulf Wars I and II?

The comparison is very strong in that in both cases false reasons were given for the invasion. In the case of Gulf War I, the false reason was the takeover of Kuwait. In the case of Gulf War II, the false reason was weapons of mass destruction. Neither argument is believable. With weapons of mass destruction, it's already been shown that it was simply a deception practiced on the American people. The Bush administration was determined to go to war, and again. behind it all was oil, and the control of oil.

You don't cotton to ''just war" theories. This very likely represents your most controversial posture, and it's a real hot potato. How, though, has the present war in Iraq failed or satisfied the traditional "just war" theory?

Michael Walzer, who wrote the standard modern book on just war theory, [Just and Unjust Wars], has supported some wars. But even he says the current war doesn't meet the requirement of just cause, doesn't meet the requirement of a war for defense, doesn't meet the requirement of proportionality -- because the killing of huge numbers of Iraqi civilians, and the destruction of cities is far, far out of proportion to any possible gain in human rights that has come out of this war.

How would you critique the moral ''justification'' for, say, the war in Korea? You don't seem all that affectionate toward Truman's decision to intervene there.

Well, Korea is an example of a situation that I have described as pointing to an important difference between just cause and just war. A cause may be just -- in other words, the defense of South Korea against an invasion by North Korea may be a just cause -- but a just cause is not necessarily corrected by war. And so it maybe wrong for North Korea to invade South Korea, but it's pretty hard to justify the killing of several million people in order to prevent one half of a divided country's military action to unify that country, even though that action maybe unjust. So I think it was a misguided, immoral decision to go to war in Korea. We spent three years at war -- where were we at the end of it, with three million people dead? We still had dictatorial regimes in both North Korea and South Korea.

You persistently focus on the impact of war upon civilians. In the U.S. invasion of Panama, for instance, you note that "hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians were killed" and upward of fourteen thousand were left homeless. How well do you think the media have reported the effects of war upon the people of Iraq?

Well, the media have been shamefully negligent in reporting the effect of the war on the civilian population of Iraq. I'm sure that if you took a poll of Americans to see how much they knew about civilian death in Iraq, you would get a blank. The British medical journal The Lancet published a report saying that up to one hundred thousand civilians in Iraq have died as a result of this war. This was in some of the newspapers for a day and then disappeared. It was not reported on any major television station. And certainly while the numbers are given of American dead, there are no numbers given of Iraqi dead. In fact, the Pentagon says it doesn't keep such records. Aside from the neglect of the reporting of Iraqi dead, the American press doesn't even give an adequate report of terrible injuries done to Americans. Maybe ten thousand to fifteen thousand Americans have been badly wounded in the war. Thousands have lost limbs or been blinded, and there has been no adequate coverage of this in the American press.

The 9/11 Commission Report was a finalist for the National Book Award. What are your thoughts about its vaguely bizarre nomination? And what, in your view, is the dominant lesson contained in this report?

Well, I think the report misses the crucial issues connected with 9/11. I think the report mostly focuses on intelligence failures, failures to anticipate 9/11, the bureaucratic inefficiency -- the FBI and the CIA and the lack of sufficient communication between them. It seems the main proposals that came out of this report were proposals for reorganizing intelligence agencies. Now all of this is very superficial. All of this ignores fundamental questions about 9/11. The most fundamental questions being: What were the motives behind those attacks, and to what extent were those motives connected with American foreign policy? The 9/11 Commission dodges the issue of relationships between American foreign policy and the creation of enormous anger in the Middle East -- an anger which is felt by millions of people in the Middle East, which then leads to a small number of fanatics engaging in terrorist attacks. To point to the way in which American foreign policy has inflamed people against us and therefore led to terrorist attacks is not therefore to justify, of course, the terrorist attack; it's simply to say we need to look for more profound causes of 9/11 than intelligence failures.

President Clinton -- what do you consider his greatest achievement and his biggest disappointment?

His greatest achievement ... well, the truth is, I don't believe that Bill Clinton had any great achievements in office. If you can begin to talk about a greatest achievement, you can say it was a negative one. It was a negative one meaning he did not plunge his country into war the way his successor did. On the other hand, his foreign policy was an aggressive one. His maintenance of sanctions against Iraq was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, according to United Nations officials. He was the first to raise the specter of weapons of mass destruction, and used that in order to bomb Iraq again and again while not engaging in major war. He continued what Reagan had started, and that is the attempt to dismantle FDR's social reform program by doing away with aid to families with dependent children. So I think his administration only did good in relation to the administration that followed him. At one point, Clinton's secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, was questioned about the deaths of all the people in Iraq as the result of sanctions, and she said, "It was worth it, we had to pay that price." Well, of course, we didn't pay that price; the children of Iraq paid that price. One of the first things Clinton did when he came into office was to bomb Baghdad -- supposedly because Baghdad was responsible for a failed assassination attempt on George Bush, Sr., but there was no proof for that. He was obviously trying to show that he was a tough guy. a tough president who would be willing to use military means to boost his standing with the public. So Bill Clinton is to my mind one of the most overrated presidents of the last several decades.

What do you admire most about the United States?

Let me make it clear that when I say "admire the United States, " the United States is not the government. There is very little in the government that I admire -- certainly not in the present, and certainly not in recent years -- but there is much that I admire in the United States, and what I admire is the spirit of independence and thought, which has allowed so many Americans to protest against policies they disagreed with. What I admire most in the United States is the spirit of those people who have protested against the war in Iraq, those black people in the South who demonstrated and protested and risked so much to do away with racial segregation. That is what is most admirable about this country. Working people who have been trying in every possible way against great odds to improve conditions in their lives. I read about hotel workers going out on strike, or the United Parcel workers going out on strike to better their conditions that is part of the noble tradition in America of working people getting together and doing what the government will not do for them, trying to create a modicum of economic justice.

You are frequently called a "radical" historian. Do you accept this label?

I like it. I accept it. Because I believe radical solutions are needed. "Radical" means getting to the roots, means going to fundamental things. and I believe we need fundamental changes in our society, fundamental changes in ending policies of war and expansion, fundamental changes in our economic system. fundamental changes in dealing with the environment -- all of those are radical, you might say.

How might this term, radical, correspond to your actions off the page throughout your lifetime?

Well, I suppose the civil rights movement was considered a radical movement in the South until it sparked the national movement of support. The young people in the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, pronounced "snick"), mostly young black people in the South, were considered the radical part of the civil rights movement, and I was involved with them. I was on their executive committee. They did what were considered radical things: sit-ins and demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience.

And you participated in sit-ins?

That's right. I was teaching in the South, and living with my family in Atlanta, Georgia, teaching at Spelman College, a black women's college, and became involved with the SNCC, and went around the South from Atlanta to Albany, Georgia. and Selma, Alabama, and various towns in Mississippi, and participated in what the movement was doing.

How did being there, at that time, influence your approach to writing and communicating history?

Being involved in the southern movement, and being aware that what was happening at the grass roots in the South was not being recorded, made me very conscious of the idea of a people's history. Most history skims the surface and records things from the top; tells us what presidents did, or Congress, or the Supreme Court. What was happening below, in the South -- the church meetings, the things that ordinary black people were doing to struggle against segregation -- these things were not being recorded. So what that experience of being involved in the southern movement did for me was to give me a different idea of what democracy is. Because in junior high school, and in our schools in general, democracy is presented as the structure of government: the Constitution. the three branches of government. What I realized is that democracy does not come through these institutions. These institutions are very often obstacles to democracy. and democracy comes alive when ordinary people get together and create a social movement for change, as they did in the civil rights movement and the antiwar movement and the women's movement. That was probably the most important thing I learned while teaching and being active in the South for seven years.

Have you ever broken down and posted a copy of your book to, say, a reactionary president or senator?

I've never done anything like that. Other people have. When I wrote a book during the early years of the Vietnam War, a book called Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal, there was a businessman in Ohio who bought up five hundred copies and sent one to every congressman, and to President Johnson.

Did you ever learn whether this approach achieved an impact?

Well, let's put it this way, the war continued. The last chapter in the book was a speech I'd written for Johnson -- not ordered by him [laughs] -- announcing our withdrawal from Vietnam. Of course Johnson never delivered that speech, although the following year he did refuse to run again, and began peace negotiations. I don't want to claim that my book led to that. I don't think my book had a direct effect on people in office. That book went through seven or eight printings, and I think it had its effect mostly on people who joined the peace movement.

More and more, the Left seems hell-bent on reclaiming the religious high ground. This effort commenced before the installation of George W. Bush, but the effort spiked somewhat after his reelection. How do you view this trend?

I think it's a good thing for the Right-wing capture of the Bible to be challenged, and for people who are progressive and religious -- like Jim Wallis, like Harvey Cox, like Daniel Berrigan -- to point out statements in the Bible that support the idea of peace and equality, and serving the poor rather than the rich. Theological doctrines and the Bible are susceptible to all sorts of interpretations, and therefore it is wrong to allow one political group to monopolize the interpretation of the Bible, and it is right to offer a challenge that will cause Christians to think about whether Jesus would approve of war, would approve of siphoning off the wealth of the country for the rich.

Is there anything you would like to add, Howard?

I think that it's extremely important for young people to learn a different history that will make them skeptical of what they hear from authority. I think if young people knew, for instance, the history of lies and violence that have accompanied American foreign policy, they would not be enticed into joining the armed forces.
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