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My colleague at Barnes & Noble, Tony, who runs the music department, has decided to set up a display in my honor come August, when I am abandoning the store and moving East. I was asked to come up with a theme. After some consideration, I picked (for obvious reasons) the theme of political rabble-rousers in twentieth century American history. The movies must be fiction (no documentaries), but be based on actual true-life people or events. It’s a completely subjective list of movies that I have enjoyed, and from which I learned something about our collective history.

In order of historical period, they are:

1. Newsies (1992)*
2. Iron-Jawed Angels (2004)
3. Reds (1981)
4. Entertaining Angels (1996)
5. Cradle Will Rock (1999)
6. Dash and Lilly (1999)
7. Good Night & Good Luck (2005)
8. Kinsey (2004)
9. Norma Rae (1979)
10. North Country (2005)

They are all worth watching . . . so add them to your Netflix queue!

*be warned, this is a (thoroughly enjoyable) Disney musical about the newsboy strike of 1899–okay, almost the 20th century–so if your taste doesn’t run to musicals, this may not be your first choice!

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