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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Voices of a People's History of the United States in the 21st Century

Documents of Hope and Resistance

by Anthony Arnove and Haley Pessin

Book cover for Voices of a People's History of the United States in the 21st Century
Book cover for Voices of a People's History of the United States in the 21st Century

Twenty-first century social movements come to life through speeches, essays, and other documents of activism, protest, and social change.

Gathering more than 100 texts from social movements that have shaped the 21st century, this powerful book includes contributions from Angela Y. Davis, Nick Estes, Colin Kaepernick, Rebecca Solnit, Christian Smalls, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Howard Zinn, Rev. William Barber, Bree Newsome, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Tarana J. Burke, Dream Defenders, Sins Invalid, Mariame Kaba, Naomi Klein, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Linda Sarsour, Chelsea E. Manning, Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, Julian Brave NoiseCat, H. Melt, and others.

Inspired by the original Voices of a People’s History of the United States, this new book features speeches, essays, poems, and calls to action from Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Indigenous struggles, immigrant rights activists, the environmental movement, disability justice organizers, and frontline workers during the global pandemic who spoke out against the life-threatening conditions of their labor. Together, their words remind us that history is made not only by the rich and powerful, but by ordinary people taking collective action.

Voices of a People’s History of the United States in the 21st Century offers inspiration for those seeking to understand our recent history in order to change it. 

Book cover for Voices of a People's History of the United States in the 21st Century
Book cover for Voices of a People's History of the United States in the 21st Century

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“Howard Zinn made a unique contribution to civilizing the country. This collection of inspiring voices from the struggles is a fitting complement to his incomparable legacy.”

“Documenting two decades of activism from Occupy Wall Street to the #MeToo movement to the uprisings for Black lives and a resurgent labor movement, these urgent, vibrant voices are a bulwark against hopelessness and a reminder that always and everywhere, even under the harshest conditions, people organize collectively on behalf of a more just world. Facing state-sanctioned murder, Troy Davis calls on supporters to keep pushing for an end to the death penalty. When COVID-19 plunges the planet into a public health crisis, Christian Smalls demands stronger workplace protections and a union for Amazon’s 'essential workers.' In the wake of ongoing and intensifying police violence, Mariame Kaba pushes for abolition. In gathering the words of these and dozens more activists and authors, Arnove and Pessin offer a crucial contribution to a historical record and an essential antidote to despair.”

“Howard Zinn challenged us to see history as near and everyday; Anthony Arnove and Haley Pessin now tenderly extend this proximity. Their collection helps us to see the ordinary extraordinariness in people around us: the world-making of our very own time.”

“A profound collection. I bounded back and forth through the book, proud to see my peers, shocked by many of the new voices, comforted by old ones. This bracing and essential edition of Voices slices through the blare of the demagogues and disinformation merchants with their clear-ringing words of truth, power, and clarity. This new century, with its clamorous dangers, horrors, and threats, has also brought us so many fresh new voices of hope. Let this radiant multitude ground you, renew you, and rouse you to making the expansive world we all want.”

blog — March 14

Library Halts Book Event Over Authors’ Support of Palestine, Against Israeli Occupation [UPDATED MARCH 20]

UPDATE: the New Rochelle Library event for Voices of a People's History of the United States in the 21st Century has been rescheduled to April 18th at 6:30pm.

It has come to our attention that the New Rochelle Public Library has pulled out of hosting an event with authors Anthony Arnove and Haley Pessin, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 21st, in which Arnove and Pessin were to discuss their book Voices of a People’s History of the United States in the 21st Century: Documents of Hope and Resistance. They were informed the event would be indefinitely postponed due to complaints about the authors’ vocal support for Palestine. It is unacceptable for New Rochelle public institutions to promote censorship and silence pro-Palestinian voices. This is similar to book bannings we’ve seen in libraries across the US and echoes authoritarian efforts to silence and oppress opinions that do not support their agenda. Libraries should serve as spaces to expand our thinking, not constrict it.

The New Rochelle Public Library's decision to indefinitely postpone this event is alarming. Our ask is that NRPL continue with the event as scheduled, and to take a strong stance against censorship of any sort. Please email or call the Board of Trustees using the scripts posted below. We will not be silenced!

EMAIL SCRIPT:

EMAIL: Director of the NRPL, Tom Geoffino, tgeoffino@nrpl.org

SUBJECT LINE: Event Cancelation- Arthur Arnove & Haley Pessin

Dear Mr. Geoffino,
I am emailing today because it has come to my attention that Anthony Arnove and Haley Pessin’s book event was indefinitely postponed due to their support for Palestine. Silencing their voices goes against everything our community stands for. The library should serve as a non-political space for ALL voices to be heard. Please see that their event continues as originally scheduled.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

CC THESE EMAILS:
Whitney Barrat, President: wbarrat@nrpl.org
Corey Galloway, Vice President: cgalloway@nrpl.org
Lucille Renwick, Secretary, lrenwick@nrpl.org
Beth Acocella: bacocella@nrpl.org
Rhiannon Navin: rnavin@nrpl.org
Tatiana Infante: tinfante@nrpl.org
Fela Cortes: fcortes@nrpl.org

PHONE SCRIPT:

- Call the New Rochelle Public Library: (914) 632-7878
- On the menu, wait for dial name to speak. Then, type TOM to speak to the director, Tom Geoffino.

SCRIPT:
"Hi Mr. Geoffino, I am calling to voice my concern over the indefinite postponing of Anthony and Haley's event next week due to their pro-Palestinian views. The library should serve as a non- political space that welcomes voices from all backgrounds. Silencing pro- Palestinian voices goes against everything New Rochelle and public libraries stand for. I would like to see their event continue as originally scheduled."

Anthony Arnove

ANTHONY ARNOVE is the editor of several books, including, with Howard Zinn, Voices of a People’s History of the United States and Terrorism and War. He wrote the introduction for the thirty-fifth anniversary edition of Zinn’s classic book A People’s History of the United States. Arnove cofounded the nonprofit education and arts organization Voices of a People’s History of the United States, wrote, directed, and produced the documentary The People Speak, and has directed stage and television versions of The People Speak in Dublin with Stephen Rea, in London with Colin Firth, and across the United States with various arts groups including Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Sundance Film Festival. He produced the Academy Award–nominated documentary Dirty Wars. Arnove is on the editorial boards of Haymarket Books and Tempestmag.org and is the director of Roam Agency, where he represents authors including Arundhati Roy and Noam Chomsky. He lives in Hopewell, New Jersey.

Haley Pessin

HALEY PESSIN is a socialist activist living in Queens, New York. They have participated in struggles against police brutality and mass incarceration, in solidarity with Palestine, in defense of abortion rights and reproductive justice, and as a legal service worker and union delegate for 1199SEIU (Service Employees International Union). Pessin has spoken at conferences in Switzerland, Australia, Ireland, Quebec, and throughout the United States on the struggle for Black liberation. Their writing has appeared in New Politics and at Tempestmag.org, where they currently serve on the editorial board.