Michael Parenti

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Person.png Michael Parenti   Amazon Sourcewatch Unwelcome Guests WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(historian, academic)
Michael Parenti2.jpg
BornMichael John Parenti
New York City
Alma materCity College of New York, Brown University, Yale University
ChildrenChristian Parenti
A highly recommended American historian.

Michael Parenti is a highly recommended American historian.


Michael Parenti grew up in a working-class family of Italian descent, and managed to take a Ph.D. in political science from Yale in 1962. The Vietnam War made him wake up politically. Parenti explained "I began questioning the war, then I questioned the leaders who produced the war, and then the system that produced the leaders. At first I thought the war was an irrational venture, a tragic mistake. Eventually I concluded that the war was quite rational, a tragic success (or at least partial success) serving global corporate interests. At that point I started moving from a liberal complaint about how bad things are to a radical analysis about why they are the way they are."

He lost the chance of a regular university position because of his political activism. While peacefully protesting at the University of Illinois in 1970, Parenti was arrested and charged with aggravated battery, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. Ever since then, teaching opportunities was hard to find, and he had to make his own career as an independent writer.


Parenti's writings cover a wide range of subjects: U.S. politics, the deep state culture, ideology, political economy, imperialism, fascism, communism, free-market orthodoxies, false flags, religion, ancient history, modern history, historiography, repression in academia, news and entertainment media, technology, environmentalism, sexism, racism, Venezuela, the wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia, ethnicity, and his own early life.

He served for 12 years as a judge for Project Censored.

Online lectures

Understanding Deep Politics featuring Michael Parenti

In addition to several books, he is a skilled speaker, and many of his lectures are available online. (for example at https://archive.org/search.php?query=michael+parenti or http://www.tucradio.org/parenti.html)


“When change threatens to rule, then the rules are changed.”
Michael Parenti [1]

“The first atrocity, the first war crime committed in any war of aggression by the aggressors is against the truth.”
Michael Parenti [2]

“Official Washington cannot tell the American people that the real purpose of its gargantuan military expenditures and belligerent interventions is to make the world safe for General Motors, General Electric, General Dynamics, and all the other generals.”
Michael Parenti [3]

“The most powerful ideologies are not those that prevail against all challengers but those that are never challenged because in their ubiquity they appear as nothing more than the unadorned truth.”
Michael Parenti [4]

“Every ruling class has wanted only this: all the rewards and none of the burdens. The operational code is: we have a lot; we can get more; we want it all.”
Michael Parenti [5]


Selections of his writings are available at his website (http://www.michaelparenti.org)

  • The Anti-Communist Impulse. Random House, 1970.
  • Trends and Tragedies in American Foreign Policy. Little, Brown, 1971.
  • Ethnic and Political Attitudes. Arno Press, 1975. ISBN 0-405-06413-6
  • Democracy for the Few. c.1974. 8th edition, 2007.[10] ISBN 978-0-495-00744-9
  • Power and the Powerless. St. Martin's Press, 1978. ISBN 0-312-63372-6, ISBN 0-312-63373-4
  • Inventing Reality: The Politics of the Mass Media. 1986. ISBN 0-312-02013-9 / 2nd Edition, 1993. ISBN 0-312-08629-6
  • The Sword and the Dollar: Imperialism, Revolution and the Arms Race. St. Martin's Press, 1989. ISBN 0-312-02295-6
  • Make-Believe Media: the Politics of Entertainment. St. Martin's Press, 1992. ISBN 0-312-05603-6, ISBN 0-312-05894-2
  • Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America. St. Martin's Press, 1993. ISBN 0-312-09497-3, ISBN 0-312-09841-3
  • Against Empire. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1995. ISBN 0-87286-298-4, ISBN 978-0-87286-298-2
  • Dirty Truths. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1996. Includes some autobiographical essays. ISBN 0-87286-317-4, ISBN 0-87286-318-2
  • Blackshirts & Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997. ISBN 0-87286-329-8, ISBN 0-87286-330-1
  • America Besieged. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1998. ISBN 0-87286-338-7, ISBN 0-87286-338-7
  • History as Mystery. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1999). ISBN 0-87286-357-3, ISBN 0-87286-364-6
  • To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. Verso, 2002. ISBN 1-85984-776-5
  • The Terrorism Trap: September 11 and Beyond. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2002. ISBN 0-87286-405-7
  • The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome. The New Press, 2003. ISBN 1-56584-797-0.
  • Superpatriotism. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2004. ISBN 978-0-87286-433-7
  • The Culture Struggle. Seven Stories Press, 2006. ISBN 1-58322-704-0, ISBN 978-1-58322-704-6
  • Contrary Notions (City Lights Books, 2007).[8] ISBN 0-87286-482-0, ISBN 978-0-87286-482-5
  • God and His Demons. Prometheus Books, 2010.
  • The Face of Imperialism Paradigm, 2011.
  • Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid's Life Bordighera Press, 2013.
  • Profit Pathology and Other Indecencies Routledge, 2015.


A Document by Michael Parenti

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)
Document:The JFK Assassination - Conspiracy Phobia on the Leftbook extract1996"Conspiracy theory"


Quotes by Michael Parenti

Hollywood“Today, very little of our make-believe is drawn from children's games, storytelling, folktales, and fables, very little from dramas and dreams of our own making. Instead we have the multibillion-dollar industries of Hollywood and television to fill our minds with prefabricated images and themes.”Michael Parenti: Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment (1992), page 1
Identity politics“Seizing upon anything but class, U.S. leftists today have developed an array of identity groups centering around ethnic, gender, cultural, and life-style issues. These groups treat their respective grievances as something apart from class struggle, and have almost nothing to say about the increasingly harsh politico-economic class injustices perpetrated against us all”1997Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism, San Francisco: City Lights Books, p. 151,
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