The University of Wisconsin Press

Politics / Social Issues / Current Affairs / Media Studies

Democracy in Print
The Best of The Progressive Magazine,

Edited by Matthew Rothschild

From Addams to Zinn, a century of voices speaking out on war, peace, human rights, labor, and democracy

“From these pieces one gets a sense of the vigor of the left’s past. . . . and its perennial relevance to American life.”
Publishers Weekly

Democracy in Print
captures many of the most influential voices from a century of United States history who have spoken out on the struggle to make real the promise of democracy for all Americans, railed against abuses of corporate power, renounced American empire, championed environmental causes, opposed war, and waged peace. It chronicles voices of the women’s rights movement, the civil rights movement, the labor movement, and the gay rights movement. And on every page it declares the importance of an independent media by culling the best of The Progressive magazine over the last one hundred years.

Readers will discover the vision of the magazine’s founder, Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette, and his suffragist wife, Belle Case La Follette. They’ll find historic gems from the likes of Jane Addams, Carl Sandburg, Huey Long, and John Kenneth Galbraith, and profound essays by Theodore Dreiser, Barbara Ehrenreich, Noam Chomsky, Upton Sinclair, Arundhati Roy, James Baldwin, Edwidge Danticat, and Edward Said. The collection is leavened with humor from Kate Clinton, Will Durst, Michael Feldman, and Molly Ivins, and graced by poems from such writers as Mahmoud Darwish, Rita Dove, Martín Espada, Maxine Kumin, Adrienne Rich, and Sandra Cisneros. Fascinating interviews bring readers into conversations with prominent cultural figures, including Chuck D, the Dalai Lama, Allen Ginsberg, Amy Goodman, Harold Pinter, Patti Smith, Susan Sarandon, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

Eminently browsable, this book is for anyone concerned with American democracy, the global community, and the perils of the planet. With contributions by actors and Supreme Court justices, comedians and Nobel Prize winners, Democracy in Print offers all readers nourishing food for thought.

“For a century, The Progressive has drawn on great thinkers and writers to envision a better world. Democracy in Print reminds us of the wrongs that have been righted and the challenges that remain.”
—Senator Bernie Sanders

Matthew Rothschild is editor of The Progressive magazine and host of Progressive Radio, a weekly public affairs program syndicated nationally. He is author of You Have No Rights: Stories of America in an Age of Repression.

The Progressive celebrates its 100th birthday May 1–2, 2009
• Visit The Progressive website

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)


The cover of Democracy in Print is blue, with type in the style of the Progressive Magazine. It is titled Democracy in Print: The Best of The Progressive Magazine, 1909-2009, followed by a block of type listing some very famous, and influential people.

May 2009

LC: 2008046312 JK

390 pp.   7 x 9 1/2


Paper $24.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-23224-5 
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A sampling of voices included:


Jane Addams
Hanan Ashrawi
James Baldwin
Philip Berrigan

Hugo Black

George Carlin

Helen Caldicott

Noam Chomsky

Chuck D

The Dalai Lama

Edwidge Danticat

Mahmoud Darwish

William O. Douglas

Rita Dove

Theodore Dreiser

Barbara Ehrenreich

Martín Espada

Senator Russ Feingold

John Kenneth Galbraith

Eduardo Galeano

Allen Ginsberg

Sam Hamill

Jim Hightower

Molly Ivins

June Jordan

Murray Kempton

Martin Luther King Jr.

Huey Long

Bill Moyers

Ralph Nader

Gaylord Nelson

Sister Helen Prejean

Adrienne Rich

Arundhati Roy

Bertrand Russell

Edward Said

Susan Sarandon

Upton Sinclair

Patti Smith

I. F. Stone

Norman Thomas

Leo Tolstoy

Alice Walker

Paul Wellstone

Kurt Vonnegut

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Howard Zinn


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Updated May 17, 2013

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