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When Howard Zinn, America’s best-loved historian, began his work on Voices of a People’s History of the United States (a companion volume to his classic, A People’s History of the United States), his goal was to disrupt the stale paradigm of the inaccurate and at times deceitful representations of US history. In its place, he offered some of our nation’s finest testimonies to living history—speeches, letters, poems, songs—left by the people who make history happen but who usually are left out of history books—women, workers, people of color.
Zinn succeeded exceptionally, and now this phenomenal compilation has been set to stage. This DVD features Zinn and co-editor Anthony Arnove introducing the historical context of various excerpts of Voices. Seven most accomplished actors help bring to life a symphony of our nation’s original voices, rich in ideas and actions, the embodiment of the power of civil disobedience and dissent wherein lies our nation’s true spirit of defiance and resilience.
This groundbreaking DVD includes writer/producer John Sayles reading the journal entries of Bartolome de las Casas upon the conquistadors’ encounter with America’s first peoples in 1542; actor Brian Jones as Frederick Douglass confronting the New England Convention on the hypocrisy of celebrating Independence Day in 1849 amidst institutionalized slavery; and popular actor/director Lily Taylor as Emma Goldman, icon of American anarchism and feminism, performing her scathing critique of blind and ignorant patriotism at the outbreak of the First World War.
Howard Zinn is the author of the best-selling A People’s History of the United States (over one million copies sold) and numerous other works of history, politics, and biography. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Anthony Arnove is an editor, author, and activist based in Brooklyn, New York. His writing has appeared in The Nation, Financial Times, and Mother Jones.