Summary: This video portrays Howard Zinn's essay "Empire or Humanity?: What the classroom didn’t teach me about the American empire" as narrated by the actor Viggo Mortensen (original essay and teaching materials posted here). It traces Zinn's own development of his sociological imagination, his miseducation in public schools, and his critique of US foreign policy. This video is good for introducing the concept of the sociological imagination, the connecting of private troubles to public issues (CW Mills), and thinking critically about issues of power, empire, and imperialism. It may be useful during an introductory lecture in lower level sociology classes (particularly Intro to Sociology, Social Problems, or Contemporary Theory). It can be used as an ice-breaker for beginning to talk about the sociological imagination as a way of seeing by looking for patterns, thinking critically, and connecting one's "private troubles" to "public issues."
Submitted By: Dave Paul Strohecker (@dpsFTW)