Preservation Institute
The Natural Environment : The Social Environment

Home Page

What We Believe


Transportation and Development Politics

Political Theory: Beyond Progressive and Conservative

Preservation Institute Blog

email us


Paul Goodman
Writing on the Web

Paul Goodman became one of the most influential social critics of the 1960s after he published Growing Up Absurd, which looked at the problems of youth in the "organized system" of modern American society. He wrote on many subjects, criticizing the failings of our organized technological society, and making practical proposals to create a modern society on the human scale.

Most of the writing by Paul Goodman on the web is in the archives of the New York Review of Books, ranging from brief letters to the editor to important essays.

  • Banning Cars from Manhattan: this seminal essay by Percival and Paul Goodman was first published in Dissent in 1961 and had a strong influence on environmentalists' attempts to tame the automoble in the following decades.
  • Some Remarks on War Spirit: a speech originally given by Paul Goodman at a 1962 conference and republished in the Random House edition of Drawing the Line: A Pamphlet.
  • Designing Pacifist Films: An article by Paul Goodman that first appeared in Liberation (April 1961) and was reprinted in Utopian Essays and Practical Proposals (Random House, 1962).
  • Can Technology Be Humane?: an important essay on limiting technology, incorporated in Goodman's book New Reformation: Notes of a Neolithic Conservative. NYRB: Nov 20, 1969.
  • On Not Speaking: an article that became the basis of Goodman's book Speaking and Language: A Defense of Poetry. NYRB: May 20, 1971.
  • Responsibility of Scientists: a letter to the editor forwarding a pledge on the responsibilities of scientists that had been proposed at the Bronx High School of Science. NYRB: Apr 11, 1968.
  • Stoicism and the Holocaust: a review of the book Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima by Robert Jay Lifton. NYRB: Mar 28, 1968.
  • The Best Man: a letter to the editor about voting for the lesser evil. NYRB: Oct 24, 1968.
  • Story: an exchange of letters with the US Information Agency, which wanted to reprint Goodman's article "The Black Flag of Anarchism." NYRB: Nov 21, 1968.
  • Spring 1969: reflections of the radical student movement. NYRB: May 22, 1969.
  • Protest: an exchange of letters about Goodman's refusal to pay his phone tax. NYRB: Dec 4, 1969.
  • Attica: a letter to the editor about the prisoners at Attica. NYRB: Oct 21, 1971.

If you know of any other writing on the web by Paul Goodman, please let us know: send e-mail to: