AK Press / Alternative Tentacles Records
2001, 101 minutes, CD set
Howard Zinn takes us back a century to a newly industrialized America, the time of robber barons and tycoons, of tenements bursting with immigrants, of dramatic and often violent labor struggles like Haymarket and Homestead. Zinn's cast includes Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie, the young J. Edgar Hoover, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and George Bernard Shaw. But his focus, as ever, is on the organizers and agitators in the laboring and immigrant communities, a cast as colorful as any novel, like Ben Reitman, the king of the hobos; Alexander Berkman, author of Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist; Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, anarchist organizers whose arrest, conviction, and execution on trumped-up murder charges produced storms of protest around the world; and Emma Goldman, feminist, anarchist, propagandist extraordinaire for free love and against capitalist exploitation, for direct action, and against oppression.
"I've never been a historian who went into the past and got lost in it, which is a common thing, because it is so interesting. You don't want to come out. But I always believed you should go in and, as tempting as it is to stay, come out, and bring some of that stuff with you and apply it to what's going on today." -from the CD