An Unauthorized Biography of the World
Oral History on the Front Lines
Publisher: Between the Lines, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 2004
Pages: 320pp Price: $26.95 ISBN: 1-896357-93-8
Library of Congress Number: HN17.5.R56 2004 Dewey: 361.1
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: Michael Riordon
This book explores engaged oral history, the challenging, sometimes dangerous work of recovering human life-stories that have gone missingfrom the mainstream narrative, the big picture. It springs from the author's thirty years of experience as a writer and broadcaster in the field.
Readers encounter a gallery of brave, passionate people who gather oral histories and create outlets for silenced voices. The canvas is broad, the stakes high: the long battle for First Nations lands in Canada, seeking environmental justice in Chicago, women of the Andes speak out after two decades of horrific violence in Peru, homeless people organize in Cleveland, workers recover their histories in Canada, the official version vs the human story of September 11/2001 and after in New York City, gay survivors of electroshock surface in Britain, the struggle for homeland in Israel-Palestine, preserving a people's identity in Newfoundland, peasant resistance to transnational gold mining in Turkey.
Critical comment: "This wonderful book was written by one who understands oral history from the inside - and masterfully reveals its mission to articulate history's silences." Mary Marshall Clarke, Director, Oral History Research Office, Columbia University, NY.