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Thanksgiving with Howard Zinn

No reason to mince words: Thanksgiving is a weird holiday, one that celebrates a deplorable, genocidal history, yet is also, for many of us, a treasured chance to spend some down-time with those we love, and even, for some, an opportunity to check in and contemplate the actual gratitude for what we have, coexisting with the anger over the state of things that drives us to make change.  In short, like much of American life, it’s complicated.

In the interest of fostering a critical approach to that kind of complexity, and, as they say, in the spirit of the season, we wanted to share this excerpt from the classic Voices of People’s History of the United States, beginning with an explanatory note by authors Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove:

On the three hundred fiftieth anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing on Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts officials planned a celebration, and asked Wamsutta (Frank B.) James to deliver a speech.

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Middle East History and Current Policy from Kirk J. Beattie and Loretta Napoleoni

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Let’s not mince words: it’s been a ghastly week.  Catastrophic violence in Beirut and Paris, taking place against the backdrop of Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis, Syria’s ever-worsening civil war, and the Islamic State’s brutal expansion across Iraq, Syria, and beyond, have reminded us all just how precarious matters are in the Middle East.


These same events have also left many of us confused.  ISIS, Islamic State, or Daesh?  With so many enemies, does the US have any allies in the region?  What are the goals of the Western powers’ airstrikes?  And, perhaps most crucially of all, how did we get to this point?  What is the history that has led us here?


Kirk J. Beattie, the author of Congress and the Shaping of the Middle East, and Loretta Napoleoni the author of many books including The Islamist Phoenix: The Islamic State and the Redrawing of the Middle East, offer unparalleled insights into what’s happening in the middle east and radiating across the world.

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Kirk J. Beattie with Larry King

Last week, long-time Middle East-watcher and author of Congress and the Shaping of the Middle East Kirk J. Beattie sat down with the legendary Larry King to talk Israel, Palestine, Washington, and more.  What ensued was an edifying conversation that has only grown more timely in the few days since it took place, worth watching in its entirety:

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