The polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes and droughts ravish the planet, and the earth’s population is threatened by catastrophic climate change. Millions of American jobs have been sent overseas and aren’t coming back. Young African-American men make up the majority of America’s prison population. Half of the American population are poor or near poor, living precariously on the brink, while the top one percent own as much as the bottom eighty. Government police-state spying on its citizens is pervasive. Consequently, as former President Jimmy Carter has said, “we have no functioning democracy.”
Imagine: Living In a Socialist U.S.A., edited by Francis Goldin, Debby Smith, and Michael Steven Smith, is at once an indictment of American capitalism as the root cause of our spreading dystopia and a cri de coeur for what life could be like in the United States if we had economic as well as a real political democracy. This anthology features essays by revolutionary thinkers, activists, and artists—including Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, civil rights activist Angela Davis, incarcerated journalist Mumia Abu Jamal, and economist Rick Wolff— addressing various aspects of a new society and, crucially, how to get from where we are now to where we want to be, living in a society that is truly fair and just.
Frances Goldin heard the word “socialist” when she was 18 and met her husband-to-be, Morris Goldin. It sounded like a great idea! She got married at 20, her activism started, and it hasn’t stopped yet, at age 89. She founded a literary agency almost 40 years ago, and it’s still going strong, favoring books that help change the world. She is not just a living legend, but an American institution.
Debbie Smith has worked full-time for the anti-Vietman War movement, the Kent State Legal Defense Fund, and in the feminist, union, and socialist movements. She participates in the anti-capitalist and pro-democracy movements that are growing so rapidly in the United States and worldwide.
Michael Steven Smith is a New York City attorney and author. His most recent book, written with Michael Ratner, is Who Killed Che? How The CIA Got Away With Murder. He cohosts the radio show, “Law and Disorder” on WBIA-FM with Michael Ratner and Heidi Hoghosian. He lives with his wife, Debby, and talking parrot, Charlie Parker. (Harper Perennial Books)