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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday, November 21 - Peter Dreier Part I

Tonight at 8 PM on Bibliocracy Radio, on KPFK 90.7 FM.  PETER DREIER, in the first of a two-part show I’ve been looking forward to since I learned of this book, which the KPFK audience might have been wishing for, waiting for, hoping and changing for!  It’s one progressive historian-scholar-activist’s “best of” list, but meant as much more than only a parlor game, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century makes an argument, provokes a discussion, and offers a way into the story of our recent century.  Peter Dreir’s amazing project, a gift from Nation Books, profiles his choices for, as explained in the subtitle, A Social Justice Hall of Fame.  Just reading the table of contents, flipping madly to a particular chapter, seeing the photograph of some thinker, activist, elected official, movement leader and finding that person, hero, still alive and kicking there on the pages of Dreier’s book made me personally just plain happy, and although I am all for happiness, this is a particular kind, critical and genuine, and built, like Dreier’s gallery of flawed and forgotten and familiar heroes on a “reading” --- fair but generous --- of how it is that these Americans were able to ring a bell, wield a hammer, sing a song --- to lift from the famous song by one of them, who’s in here of course, Pete Seeger.  Peter Dreier is the EP Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics and chair of the Urban and Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College, and writes for the Nation, LA Times, American Prospect  This is a much-welcome book, not to mention the perfect holiday gift.  Thanks for listening, on the radio or online, and as a download free for 90 days from the station archives. 

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