A people's art history of the United States [electronic resource] : 250 years of activist art and artists working in social justice movements / Nicolas Lampert.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "Places art history in of politics, social struggles, and the fight for justice from the colonial era through the present day"--Provided by publisher.
    • Notes:
      Title proper from title frame.
      Includes bibliographical references (p. 305-345) and index.
      Publisher's Weekly, October 2013
      Booklist, November 2013
      Choice, June 2014
      Adult Follett School Solutions.
      Print version ISBN. 9781595583246 (trade : hardback).
      Mode of access: World Wide Web.
      Description based on print version record.
      Follett Shelf eBook
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:


Booklist Reviews 2013 November #1

Following the trail blazed by historian Howard Zinn, author of the paradigm-shifting A People's History of the United States (1980), artist and writer Lampert addresses the essential yet underappreciated role activist art has played in diverse social reform movements. In a sweeping journey across America and through past eras, Lampert casts light on the stories behind such propagandistic images as Paul Revere's engraving The Bloody Massacre and the "liberation graphics" in abolitionist materials. The work of progressive photographers is prominent here, from Jacob A. Riis' famous tenement images to Danny Lyon's courageous civil rights movement documentation and army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle's exposure of the My Lai massacre. Covering vast amounts of information in a free-rolling, thoroughly engaging manner, Lampert analyzes the posters, flyers, placards, banners, publications, and street theater associated with everything from the labor, antiwar, and nuclear disarmament movements to feminist, Chicano, and AIDS civil rights organizations. Lampert's eye-opening, history-enriching, and superbly well-illustrated exposition of the union of art and activism reminds us of how creative dissent can be and how necessary it is to our democracy. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2013 October #3

This latest addition to the New Press's People's History series, with a preface by Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States), is both readable and instructive. Rather than writing a comprehensive history of social-justice-movement art, Lampert, an activist artist himself, focuses on "examples that were complicated, where the decisions made by artists were controversial and confounding," his premise being that "analyzing histories that are deeply complicated helps us learn." His examples range from an examination of the changing uses of wampum belts between Native Americans and Europeans to the contemporary Yes Men's audacious hoaxes that expose corporate and capitalist culture. Encouraging readers to consider how art can instigate—or dilute—activism and social change, and emphasizing lessons that can be learned and techniques that can be borrowed from earlier activists, the book is a useful and thought-provoking text for history and art students. It may also inspire activists, artist or otherwise, to maximize their effectiveness. 236 b&w illus. (Nov.)

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