Michael Parenti

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Michael Parenti
Michael Parenti.jpg
Parenti in 2004
Michael John Parenti

(1933-09-30) September 30, 1933 (age 88)[1]
New York City, New York, United States
Years active1967–present
Notable work
  • Democracy for the Few
  • To Kill a Nation
  • Superpatriotism
  • Blackshirts and Reds
Political partyLiberty Union Party[a]
ChildrenChristian Parenti

Michael John Parenti (born September 30, 1933) is an American political scientist, academic historian and cultural critic who writes on scholarly and popular subjects. He has taught at American and international universities and has been a guest lecturer before campus and community audiences.[2][3] Parenti is known for his Marxist writings.[4][better source needed]

Education and personal life[edit]

Michael Parenti was raised by an Italian-American working class family in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City.[5] After graduating from high school, Parenti worked for several years. Upon returning to school, he received a B.A. from the City College of New York, an M.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. Parenti is the father of Christian Parenti, an academic, author and journalist.[citation needed]


For many years Parenti taught political and social science at various institutions of higher learning. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to writing, public speaking, and political activism.[6] He is the author of 23 books and many more articles. His works have been translated into at least 18 languages.[7] Parenti lectures frequently throughout the United States and abroad.

Parenti's writings cover a wide range of subjects: U.S. politics, culture, ideology, political economy, imperialism, fascism, communism, democratic socialism, free-market orthodoxies, conservative judicial activism, 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.[8][9][10] His influential book Democracy for the Few,[11] now in its ninth edition, is a critical analysis of U.S. society, economy, and political institutions and a college-level political science textbook published by Wadsworth Publishing.[12] In recent years he has addressed such subjects as "Empires: Past and Present," "US Interventionism: the Case of Iraq," "Race, Gender, and Class Power," "Ideology and History," "The Overthrow of Communism," and "Terrorism and Globalization."[7]

In 1974, Parenti ran in Vermont on the democratic socialist Liberty Union Party ticket for U.S. Congress and received 7.1% of the vote.[13][14] Parenti was once a friend of Bernie Sanders, with whom he later split over Sanders's support for the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.[15][16][17]

In the 1980s, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., in 2003, the Caucus for a New Political Science gave him a Career Achievement Award. In 2007, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and an award from New Jersey Peace Action.[citation needed]

He served for 12 years as a judge for Project Censored. He also is on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network and Education Without Borders as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought.[18]

Appearances in media[edit]

Apart from several recordings of some of his public speeches, Parenti has also appeared in the 1992 documentary The Panama Deception, the 2004 Liberty Bound and 2013 Fall and Winter documentaries as an author and social commentator.

Parenti was interviewed in Boris Malagurski's documentary film The Weight of Chains 2 (2014). He was also interviewed for two episodes of the Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, speaking briefly about the Dalai Lama (Episode 305 – Holier Than Thou) and patriotism (Episode 508 – Mount Rushmore).

New York City-based punk rock band Choking Victim use a number of samples from Michael Parenti's lectures in their album No Gods, No Managers.




Book chapters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In 1974, Parenti ran for Congress for Vermont's at-large district in the House of Representatives under the Liberty Union Party ticket. He isn't associated with the party.
  2. ^ The article Parenti wrote featuring in the first edition of the Prevailing Winds magazine was an adaptation from a lecture Parenti gave in Berkeley, California on November 26, 1993.


  1. ^ DOBSearch.com
  2. ^ "About TUC Radio". www.tucradio.org.
  3. ^ "Speaking Engagements by Michael Parenti". Michael Parenti. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
  4. ^ Parenti, Michael (1998-01-01). "The Increasing Relevance of Marxism". Socialism and Democracy. 12 (1): 115–121. doi:10.1080/08854309808428215. ISSN 0885-4300.
  5. ^ Parenti, Michael (August 2007). "La Famiglia: An Ethno-Class Experience". Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader. City Lights Books. pp. 403. ISBN 978-0-87286-482-5.
  6. ^ Parenti, Michael (1996). "Struggles in Academe: A Personal Account". Dirty Truths. ISBN 0-87286-317-4.
  7. ^ a b "Biography of Michael Parenti". Michael Parenti. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
  8. ^ "Articles and Other Published Selections". Michael Parenti. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
  9. ^ a b Parenti, Michael (August 2007). Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader. City Lights Books. pp. 403. ISBN 978-0-87286-482-5.
  10. ^ "Books by Michael Parenti". Michael Parenti. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
  11. ^ a b Parenti, Michael (February 2007). Democracy for the Few (Eight ed.). Wadsworth Publishing Company. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-495-00744-9.
  12. ^ CENGAGE Learning. "WADSWORTH CENGAGE Learning political science". Archived from the original on 30 August 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2008.
  13. ^ "Elections Results Archive". VT Elections Database.
  14. ^ Sanders, Bernie (1997). "You Have to Begin Somewhere". Outsider in the House.
  15. ^ Zeitlin, Matthew (June 13, 2019). "Bernie's Red Vermont". The New Republic. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  16. ^
  17. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLNQEHbusSA
  18. ^ Parenti, Michael. "Michael Parenti Political Archive". Retrieved 2 January 2008.

External links[edit]

Michael Parenti's articles