Item description for 50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism by Mickey Z...
Since when was it unpatriotic to dissent? Why is it "un-American" to question our government's policies? And how did the Far Right manage to claim the flag exclusively for itself?
A book that the country desperately needs, 50 American Revolutions is a concise, quick guide to the people and events in our country's history that progressives and anyone not impressed by the radical Right's warped version of patriotism can be proud of. Author Mickey Z begins with Thomas Paine's revolutionary manifesto Common Sense, written anonymously as a pamphlet in January 1776 and read by every member of Congress, and goes on to highlight the most notable people and events in the history of the United States, right through to the families of 9/11 victims in the group Peaceful Tomorrows questioning the connection between the events of that day and the United States' subsequent acts of aggression in Iraq.
In addition to concise essays on everything and everyone from the Bill of Rights to disability rights, Coxey's Army to Public Enemy, Mickey also highlights important milestones along the timeline of the book, making for a complete picture of US history, good with bad.
As with Russ Kick's ultra-popular 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know, 50 American Revolutions is perfectly sized for handbags and coat pockets (it's the same size as a CD), and at less than $10, it's a tremendous gift for anyone whose idea of patriotism needs some revision.
A self-educated kickboxing instructor who lectures on foreign policy at MIT in his spare time, Mickey Z has been called a "professional iconoclast" by Newsday. TimeOut New York says he's a "political provocateur." To Howard Zinn, he's "iconoclastic and bold." The author of four books, most recently The Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda, Mickey lives in Queens, New York.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 5.25" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2005
Publisher The Disinformation Company
ISBN 1932857184 ISBN13 9781932857184
Availability 0 units.
More About Mickey Z
What's to make of a self-educated kickboxing instructor...who lectures on foreign policy at MIT in his spare time? Newsday calls Mickey Z. a "professional iconoclast." Time Out says he's a "political provocateur." To Howard Zinn, he's "iconoclastic and bold." And New York City Council Member Peter Vallone told him: "You write well; it's too bad you're on the wrong side."
Reviews - What do customers think about 50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American Patriotism?
Revolutions? Really? Apr 14, 2008
Of the 50 so called "revolutions" in this book there are only 3, maybe 4 instances in this book that were actually revolutionary. Based on that fact I cannot, in good conscience, recommend that any one purchase this book.
Where There Is Injustice, Resistance is Possible Nov 19, 2006
Mickey Z is a dissenting American radical who deeply admires diverse forms of passionate dissent. He is mainstream enough to cite legislation passed as a result of radical protest as a vindication of that protest, but his general vision of government is that of a passive agent, awaiting the next protest demonstration to get a sense of direction.
The theme of this book is best stated in a quotation from Barbra Ehreneich. "Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots," she says.
This a book for the age of soundbites and hyperlinks. It provides an introduction to many diverse individuals and social movements, so that virtually everyone will learn something from it. And it deals with Bob Dylan's complaint about history: "I've never seen a history book that tells me how anybody feels," he said.
One of the few Presidents in this book to earn a mention--and perhaps the only President to be praised for an action taken--is Chester A. Arthur who--it turns out--at age 24 was a pioneering civil rights attorney representing Lizzie Jennings, the Rosa Parks of 1854, who sued and won after being denied admission to a New York City horse drawn carriage. Arthur's representation of Jennings is called a "classic 'who knew' situation. " It certainly justifies taking another look at Arthur.
Another surprising fact--for me, at least--was the deep passion and antagonisms resulting from Jack Johnson, an African-American, being named heavywieght champion of the world in 1908: an uproar that perhaps slowed down black admission to other professional sports.
And then, in a section on Daniel Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers, there is this cogent political analysis from key Richard Nixon Presidential aide H.R. Haldeman on June 14, 1969:
To the ordinary guy, all this is a bunch of gobbledygook. But out of all the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing: you can't trust the government; you can't believe what they say; and you can't rely on their judgement. And the implicit infallibility of Presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the President wants to do even though it is wrong, and the President can be wrong.
I also like Martin Luther King's telegram to farmworker's leader Cesar Chavez,after a United Farmworker organizing victory, which puts King's eloquence, profundity, and coalition building on display all at once:
The fight for equality must be fought on many fronts--in urban slums, in the sweatshops of the factories and fields. Our separate struggles are really one--a struggle for freedom, for dignity, and for humanity. You and your valiant fellow workers have demonstrated your commitment to righting grievous wrongs froced upon exploited people. We are together with you in spirit and it determination that our dreams for a better tomorrow will be realized.
In summary, this is a provocative and stimulating little book which should encourage interest in American history, provide new insights to many readers, and provide no shortage of inspirational material. Because of ideological biases, which give violent protests a stature they do not deserve, it is less than the sum of its parts. But many of the parts are very, very good. Politicians seeking to keep the attention of audiences, columnists seeking to say memorable things, and teachers seeking to counter student apathy all can find useful material here.
Share It With Everyone - Especially Friends, Family, Neighbors, & "Enemies." Dec 3, 2005
There are a great many wonderful stories in this book. There are stories about Thomas Paine and Billie Holiday and Mohammad Ali and about the families of people killed in the September 11 attacks. Almost everyone will enjoy one or two or a few of them, and many people will enjoy and perhaps feel inspired by them all.
Of course the book is written from the author's perspective. Through who else's eyes should an author choose to see the world? With who else's voice should he tell his story? And let's not for a minute accept the tired, condescending refrain about "Left Wing Myth." Who would say such a thing, except someone mired in mainstream blather, with it's relentless insistence that we only accept information from their list of officially designated experts and authorities?
This book can change the way you look at your country, your world, and your own place in the great dramas currently unfolding before our eyes. This book can be a great help in waking friends and family from their foolish, but oh so comfortable political slumbers. It's a great book for grandma and grandpa, a book with a short story a day for a restless teen, a book for busy mothers who rarely have more than 5 consecutive minutes to themselves, and it's a book to share with the conservatives in your life - at least those who enjoy a good story, and can appreciate acts of courage, compassion, honesty, and good hope.
Good Book, But Obviously Written From Mickey Z's Point of View Oct 17, 2005
This is a basically a good easy to read book, and probably very useful, because unfortunately most Americans are fairly ignorant about our nation's history. The vignettes are short and easy to read, and most of them are fairly obscure to the average person, like Lizzie Jennings getting on the bus, Coxey's army marching to Washington, and Billie Holiday singing "Strange Fruit". Also useful and interesting were the "Timeline" bullets at the end of every chapter. Coming from Mickey Z I expected the see his point of view in every chapter, and I wasn't disappointed. I remember thinking as I read - Is there another way to view this event except through Mickey Z's eyes? It has inspired me to research some of these for myself, to look for other points of view as well as Mickey Z's.
Ivory Tower Intellectuals Won't Like This Book: Call it Blithe Ignorance Sep 25, 2005
To the previous reviewers herein who think this book is junk, all I can say is "wake up punks". Movements can't be built until the masses realize real change is possible. Most don't read "Dissent Magazine", and they shouldn't.
Mickey Z's latest is not a Howard Zinn rip-off either; it's a coherent well-researched book that has the capability of reaching a lot of people. Something most accredited historians will never do.
I can see how pompous academics may also find Z's book a bit trite; for they are used to writing essays and articles for their own little insular cohorts. Stroking each other's egos. Quarreling over the mundane and arguing the insignificant. But it's not Z's book that is trite - that award goes to the academy that only deems certain literature as viable to creating discourse in the public arena. Yet, academic books, which Z's is not, are limited in their scope and ability to reach large numbers of people. And that is the best thing about 50 American Revolutions - it breaks through the mold of elitist b.s. and helps bridge the gap between the history-untold and the real world.
Mickey Z is a brave spokesperson for the radical frontier of American politics and 50 American Revolutions is his best work yet.