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Michael Harrington and Today's Other America; Corporate Power and Inequality 1999

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Distributed by Filmakers Library, 124 E. 40th Street, NY, NY 10016; 212-808-4980
Produced by Produced by Bill Donovan
Directed by Directed by Bill Donovan
VHS, color, 88 min.

College - Adult
Japan, Popular Culture, Music Trade, Singers

Date Entered: 11/09/2018

ALA Notable:
Reviewed by: Reviewed by Susan Awe, Parish Memorial Library for Business & Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

This video is based on the writings and speeches of Michael Harrington, who was the pre-eminent spokesman for socialism in the United States. More than thirty interviews with people as diverse as William F. Buckley, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Gloria Steinem, discuss the important issues raised by Harrington and the Democratic Socialist Party. Ordinary people struggling to earn a living or dependent on food stamps and other social services provide viewers with a glimpse into their every day lives and the choices they must make. Cities shown include Youngstown, Ohio, where 60,000 jobs in the steel and coal industry were lost and never replaced, and San Diego, where farm workers live in shacks without running water or a sewage system. Also discussed is the domination and control of many areas of life in the United States by large corporations and the failure of the public school system and health care. This brief history of socialism in America and the changes in the past few decades in American life presented raise many questions.

The documentary is very nicely photographed and edited; the audio track, including several songs, is very well modulated and clear. The still photographs are also clear and illustrate many points of the narrative. Appropriate for viewers high school age and older, this film will instigate discussion, debate, and thought. Highly recommended.