Best-selling historian Howard Zinn is celebrated for looking at history not from the perspective of those in power but rather from the viewpoint of those who speak truth to power. In his plays Marx in Soho, Emma, and Daughter of Venus, Zinn applies that principle with enormous zest and great doses of drama and humor. A much-admired public intellectual himself, Zinn here brings to life the radicals Emma Goldman and Karl Marx, and in the previously unpublished Daughter of Venus explores ethical questions of political resistance.
Marx in Soho is a witty introduction to Karl Marx’s life and thought disguised as a romp. Marx is sent, via a bureaucratic mix-up in the afterlife, to Soho in New York, rather than to his familiar London neighborhood, for the hard-won opportunity to clear his name. In Emma, the feminist, anarchist, and free-spirited thinker Emma Goldman lives life to the fullest in a play that reveals her agonized internal struggle between sexual freedom and political rebellion. Daughter of Venus is a family drama, an intellectual and personalduel between a biophysicist and his rebel daughter.