ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, June 13, 2005

Downer's Reading List

Check out Downer's reading list. No wonder he's a loony.

Read the comments as well, as he and I go back & forth...

The last book I bought:
- The Exception to the Rulers by Amy Goodman [uggh!!!]

The last book I read:
- The Republican Noise Machine by David Brock

Right now I'm also reading:
- The Antonio Gramsci Reader. [WARNING!! WARNING!! NUTJOB COMMIE IDENTIFIED!!]

Five books that mean a lot to me:
Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals by Saul Alinksy. These two books go together. They were given to me during an important time in my life and they completely changed the way I think about organizing and politics. These are essential reads for any activist or organizer who believes in the ability of the people to rule themselves. [rule themselves as in the example set by the USSR]

Tao Te Ching. Inspirational. It brings balance to my life and it applies to politics as well since it was written for the governing class. [Hey, good for you, Downer!]

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. The incredible must read for everyone who wants to know the real story of the American people that wasn't approved by the court historians. This is one of those books that completely changes how a person understands the world. Declarations of Independence is another favorite Zinn book of mine.

Yikes... No wonder his view of Amerika and history is twisted! from Publisher's Weekly
According to this classic of revisionist American history, narratives of national unity and progress are a smoke screen disguising the ceaseless conflict between elites and the masses whom they oppress and exploit. Historian Zinn sides with the latter group in chronicling Indians' struggle against Europeans, blacks' struggle against racism, women's struggle against patriarchy, and workers' struggle against capitalists. First published in 1980, the volume sums up decades of post-war scholarship into a definitive statement of leftist, multicultural, anti-imperialist historiography. This edition updates that project with new chapters on the Clinton and Bush presidencies, which deplore Clinton's pro-business agenda, celebrate the 1999 Seattle anti-globalization protests and apologize for previous editions' slighting of the struggles of Latinos and gays. Zinn's work is an vital corrective to triumphalist accounts, but his uncompromising radicalism shades, at times, into cynicism. Zinn views the Bill of Rights, universal suffrage, affirmative action and collective bargaining not as fundamental (albeit imperfect) extensions of freedom, but as tactical concessions by monied elites to defuse and contain more revolutionary impulses; voting, in fact, is but the most insidious of the "controls." It's too bad that Zinn dismisses two centuries of talk about "patriotism, democracy, national interest" as mere "slogans" and "pretense," because the history he recounts is in large part the effort of downtrodden people to claim these ideals for their own.

Back to the list for some normality??
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. My favorite work of fiction.

Lincoln by David Herbert Donald. The authorative Lincoln biography of this generation. I'm a Lincoln lunatic like everyone else in Springfield.

Ahh, Downer... we ARE from two different planets!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler