A Life on the Left

Frances Fox Piven on her political development and life’s work with popular movements.

Frances Fox Piven is a towering figure of the American left, a professor of political science whose academic work and political activism provide an extraordinary framework of ideas about social movements and the forces that oppose them.

We sat down for a conversation about her upbringing during the Great Depression, the development of her political values, her friendship with Howard Zinn, and her encounters with American reactionaries after becoming a featured target of right-wing hatred and paranoia on Glenn Beck’s television program.