Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Disobedience and Democracy: Nine Fallacies on Law and Order” as Want to Read:
Disobedience and Democracy: Nine Fallacies on Law and Order
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Disobedience and Democracy: Nine Fallacies on Law and Order

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Howard Zinn’s cogent defense of civil disobedience, with a new introduction by the author. In this slim volume, Zinn lays out a clear and dynamic case for civil disobedience and protest, and challenges the dominant arguments against forms of protest that challenge the status quo. Zinn explores the politics of direct action, nonviolent civil disobedience, and strikes, and d ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by South End Press (first published 1968)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Disobedience and Democracy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Disobedience and Democracy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 269)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
So basically, back in the 60's, an associate Justice of the Supreme Court wrote a pamphlet about Civil Disobedience in response to all the upheavals of the time. His name was Abe Fortas. His argument was essentially that disobedience was acceptable only if it didn't go directly against the laws of the country.

Another guy named Howard Zinn read it, got really pissed off, and wrote the book I am now reviewing.

It's pretty much 124 pages of Abe Fortas getting bitch slapped.

Zinn, though especially ra
Daniel Lightfoot
"We are a nation of laws." Even in periods of acute social unrest in the United States, when government has played a dynamic role in stifling change and perpetuating and extending various inequities, it has not been uncommon to hear liberal social critics articulate a doctrine of loyalty to a state.

Such was the case in 1968 when Howard Zinn wrote his Nine Fallacies on Law and Order. Abe Fortas, justice of the American Supreme Court, had just published a book arguing for unflinching loyalty to t
David Bjelland
For being a response to a specific publication (Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas' "Concerning Dissent and Civil Disobedience") in a specific time/place (the US circa 1968), Disobedience and Democracy is an impressively broad treatise on "civil disobedience" - taken by Zinn to encapsulate all the tools at the disposal of citizens to leverage their collective power and bring about a more just society. There is idealism at work here (Howard Zinn is Howard Zinn), but the content is rock solid. Histo ...more
Written as a critique of Supreme Court Justice Abe FortasConcerning Dissent & Civil Disobedience, this really serves as an excellent rebuttal to any critics of extra-legal civil disobedience, dismantling their arguments one by one. Zinn's language is precise, accessible, and utterly logical. One can sense the seething emotion behind his words even though he does well maintaining his argument dispassionate. I suffered a minor cringe within the first few pages upon seeing his "The time for act ...more
James Payne
A surprisingly robust, almost seething though dispassionate/cogent, tear down of quote/unquote liberal opinions regarding actual political change i.e. civil disobedience re: race, Vietnam, etc in the 1960s.

His defense of "violence" as a resistance tactic was AWESOME 2 SEE. Why don't more people talk about this book? He is young and angry and a smartie here, whereas he sometimes came off too Clintonville liberal in his later work.
Ryan Mishap
Written in 1968 as a rebuttal of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas's book on civil disobedience, this slim volume still holds important points that every activist should know about defending the practice of civil disobedience--then, after successfully defending it, we can move beyond it...
Finally, a book where I can feel the passion for a humanist cause through his words. I wish this was required reading in high school. A quick read and a GREAT introduction to Zinn.
Jeffrey Thiessen
Obviously a little outdated, since the fallacies are all based on a Supreme Court Judge's position paper during Vietnam - but still incredibly thought provoking.
Jennifer Norton
I've been carrying this book around for months, savoring its contents. Now it has a permanent place in my bag.
Jacques du Plessis
Jacques du Plessis marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Verbeke marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2015
Mahreen Khan
Mahreen Khan marked it as to-read
Jun 22, 2015
Amanda marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2015
Padera added it
Jun 17, 2015
Princess marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2015
Benjamin Stoltman
Benjamin Stoltman marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
Scott Campbell
Scott Campbell marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Megan Hoover
Megan Hoover marked it as to-read
May 19, 2015
Lauren Lubaroff
Lauren Lubaroff marked it as to-read
May 15, 2015
James Francis
James Francis marked it as to-read
May 10, 2015
Jonathan Alter
Jonathan Alter marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2015
Melanie marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2015
Abagail marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2015
Josh marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2015
Murat marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2015
Kathryn Duffield
Kathryn Duffield marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition
  • A People's History Of The Vietnam War
  • Talking About a Revolution: Interviews with Michael Albert, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, bell hooks, Peter Kwong, Winona LaDuke, Manning Marable, Urvashi Vaid, and Howard Zinn
  • North Korea: Another Country
  • The Economics of Innocent Fraud: Truth for Our Time
  • American Power and the New Mandarins: Historical and Political Essays
  • Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six
  • Che Guevara
  • Democracy: A Very Short Introduction
  • Public Power in the Age of Empire (Open Media Series)
  • Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America
  • Black Liberation and Socialism
  • 9.5 Theses on Art and Class
  • Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley
  • Another Way of Telling
  • On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual
  • Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It
  • Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983
Howard Zinn was a historian, playwright, and social activist. He was a shipyard worker and Air Force bombardier before he went to college under the GI Bill and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He taught at Spelman College and Boston University, and was a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. He received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs ...more
More about Howard Zinn...
A People's History of the United States You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times A People's History of American Empire The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy Voices of a People's History of the United States

Share This Book

“Aucun représentant ne peut exactement représenter les besoins d'autrui ; un représentant tend à devenir membre d'une certaine élite et jouit souvent de privilèges qui érodent l'intérêt qu'il doit porter aux revendications de ses mandants. Relayée par les élus du système représentatif, la colère des protestataires perd de sa force ; [...]. Les élus développent une certaine expertise qui tend à sa propre perpétuation. Les représentants passent plus de temps ensemble qu'avec les électeurs qu'ils représentent et forment vite un club fermé respectant ce que Robert Michels appelait "un pacte d'assistance mutuelle" contre le reste de la société.” 4 likes
“Aucun changement fonctionnel ou structurel ne peut garantir une société parfaitement démocratique. Nous acceptons mal ce fait parce que nous avons été élevés dans une culture technologique où l'on pense généralement que, si on pouvait seulement trouver le bon instrument, tou irait enfin pour le mieux et qu'il serait alors possible de se relâcher un peu. Mais on ne peut jamais se relâcher. L'expérience des Noirs américains, comme celle des Indiens, des femmes, des Hispaniques et des pauvres, nous apprend cela. Nulle constitution, nulle déclaration des droits, nul système électoral, nulle loi ne peuvent garantir la paix, la justice et l'égalité. Tout cela exige un combat permanent, des débats incessants impliquant l'ensemble des citoyens et un nombre infini d'organisations et de mouvements qui imposent leur pression sur tous les systèmes établis.” 4 likes
More quotes…