A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

Howard Zinn wants to do history justly. He seeks to bear witness to a past that’s never exactly past, and the acts of remembering he demands of his audience (and himself) mesh seamlessly with an intense and determined awareness of present goings-on. Zinn understands that remembrance and awareness don’t come naturally to us. It’s a difficult and paradoxical task to try to want to know what we don’t want to know in our personal lives, in the markets our buying sustains, and in the governments whose actions depend on our funding and our consent. But when we exist in a state of historical deafness, it’s as if we were literally born yesterday, and we will believe anything that the powerful—the sellers and spinners of news—need us to believe in order for them to sustain their perceived interests.

 

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