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Jürgen Habermas

Art, The Arts, “Secret Thought,” and Intellectual History

In A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn refers to the arts* as holding a society’s “secret thoughts” (p. 443-444). This notion came up during his discussion of early twentieth-century precursors, in poetry and music dating to the Harlem Renaissance, for the developing Civil Rights Movement. The arts, for the repressed, were a repository for revolutionary thought in a country where social control, Zinn argues, was at a premium. This train of thought is not entirely new to the blog (or me), since I covered it, indirectly at least, in a review Richard Cándida Smith’s 2009 book, The Read more