Every kid in school a political prisoner

Every lawyer in his cubicle a political prisoner

Every doctor brainwashed by AMA a political prisoner

Every housewife a political prisoner

Every teacher lying thru sad teeth a political prisoner

—Diane di Prima, from “Revolutionary Letters #63” (1968–71)

This book, being about work, is, by its very nature, about violence—to the spirit as well as to the body. It is about ulcers as well as accidents, about shouting matches as well as fistfights, about nervous breakdowns as well as kicking the dog around. It is, above all (or beneath all), about daily humiliations. To survive the day is triumph enough for the walking wounded among the great many of us.

—Studs Terkel, Working (1974)

I got into the arts, at least in part, in an attempt to avoid institutional control of my life. I was very idealistic, and as a young man was...

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