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You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

In a tidy autobiography, the emeritus professor of political science and celebrated author of _A People's History of the United States_ tells the story of his life in terms of the big issues he engaged with other colorful activists: civil rights, the Vietnam War, labor and social justice. The son of poor working-class immigrants in Brooklyn, Zinn worked in the shipyards, became a bombardier in a B-17 during the Second World War, and then went to court and jail many times in the struggles of the 1960s and 70s. There are terrific stories about the heroes (such as Daniel Berrigan) and villains (Sheriff Cull Campbell of Albany, Georgia; dictatorial Boston University president John Silber) of these controversies. The thread that runs through all these stories is how a few common people can make a difference in history if they put their mind to it and work together.
This report prepared by David Loftus








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Chapter Analysis of You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

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Plot & Themes

Political/social rights fight    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   fighting for social change    -   minorities fighting for rights    -   union leaders fighting for labor rights    -   fighting for free speech/press    -   fights between different pol/social groups    -   fighting discrim. (other than racial/gender) job/profession:    -   teacher Gender/Class story?    -   story of lower class Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes If this is a culture clash:    -   minority culture living in majority area Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes War/Cloak & Dagger story?    -   Fought as soldier War/Spying    -   Yes

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher/professor Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American

Setting

How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Deep South Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Southeast Asia

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   encouraged    -   like laughing How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

Books with storylines, themes & endings like You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

Howard Zinn Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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