Agitation with a Smile: Howard Zinn's Legacies and the Future of Activism

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Agitation with a Smile offers a reappraisal of Howard Zinn's political thought and situates his efforts in a contemporary context, looking toward the nature of activism and dissent in the future. This is the first book to provide a substantive account and assessment of Zinn's philosophy and approach to collective action and, to a larger extent, democracy. The contributors to this book explore the most effective mechanisms by which to arouse public support for seemingly radical positions and how current technological advancements may alter our perception of Zinn's activism. The book is a valuable guide to a new generation of activists and scholars of politics in gauging the lasting relevance and legacy of Zinn's ideals, concepts, and methodology. The text is neither fawning nor unduly critical, unlike many discussions of Zinn in popular culture. Rather, the contributors engage the various complexities and tensions present throughout Zinn's work and subject them to contemporary assessment. This is a multidisciplinary and international approach to Howard Zinn's intellectual and activist canon.

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About the Author:

Stephen Bird is a professor of political science at Clarkson University, where he focuses on energy and environmental policy, with a concern for social justice.

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"This book consists of thirteen chapters, a foreword by Frances Fox Piven and an afterword by Noam Chomsky. The configuration (of sections) is perfect for teaching the text.... Rich with significant concepts.....As I read each section of this book I imagined myself walking through passenger “cars” on Zinn’s famous metaphor of history as a “moving train” (2002) and each contributor sparked an inner dialogue with their unique readings and encounters with Zinn’s life."
-Teacher's College Record

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