The great “people’s historian” Howard Zinn died January 27, 2010 at the age of 87. His book, A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, presented an alternative view to the one most are taught in school: instead of focusing on presidents and tycoons, it told the story of people’s movements, including those of workers, civil rights and antiwar activists, women and gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
Zinn spoke to Writers Voice host Francesca Rheannon in 2005 about his companion volume to A PEOPLE’S HISTORY, VOICES OF A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. It’s a collection of writings from the great protagonists of social justice: Frederick Douglass, George Jackson, Chief Joseph, Martin Luther King Jr., Sacco and Vanzetti, and Malcolm X, among many others. Zinn talks about hi perspective on history, war and peace, and the two sides of the American story — idealism and exploitation.
Mystery novelist Robert Parker died January 20, 2010 at his desk at home, writing. It was a fitting end for this most prolific of writers — more than sixty books emerged from his pen. Although he wrote in several genres, including westerns and young-adult novels, Parker was best known for his mystery novels, especially those featuring Spenser, the hardboiled detective with a sensitive heart.
Writers Voice guest host Jodi Schneider talked to Robert Parker in 2005 about his Spenser novel, SCHOOL DAYS, his life and his writing. She found out he wrote ten pages a day with no revisions, working for about six hours. He made it up as he went, with little or no planning in advance. And he never read any of his books after publication. Listen to this free-wheeling, funny interview.
Journalist Lesley Hazleton talks about AFTER THE PROPHET. It’s about the wars of succession after Mohammed’s death that led to the split between Shia and Sunni. And author Tracy Kidder talks about Haiti, Dr. Paul Farmer, and the organization Farmer founded, Partners in Health. Kidder’s book is MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS, published in 2003. Continue reading →
Richard Benjamin talks about SEARCHING FOR WHITOPIA: An Improbable Journey To The Heart Of White America. It’s about his odyssey to discover the hearts and minds of those living in the overwhelmingly white enclaves that are some of the fastest growing communities in the country. And poet and children’s book author Richard Michelson talks about AS GOOD AS ANYBODY. It’s about the friendship between Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Continue reading →
Ralph Nader talks about his latest book, ONLY THE SUPERRICH CAN SAVE US! It’s a “utopian fantasy” about a cadre of billionaires under the leadership of Warren Buffet who take on corporate America to save democracy and the planet. And neuroscientist Sue Barry talks about conquering a visual disability and training her brain to see normally. Her memoir is FIXING MY GAZE. Continue reading →
Peter Phillips of Project Censored talks about the Project’s latest yearbook of the top censored news stories of 2009, CENSORED 2010. And novelist Dan Chaon talks about his thriller, AWAIT YOUR REPLY. It examines the truth and lies about identity. Continue reading →