Goodman's prolific career as a “professional outsider”was an uninhibited articulation of the diminishing democratic voice in Post World War-II America. His incessant publishing of philosophical, sociological and psychological texts, along with a large body of fiction and poetry, provide a glimpse into the accelerating unrest of the 40's and 50's. His political impact culminated in Absurd's publication in 1960, after which Goodman, exhausted by the tumultuous excess of 60's culture, faded into obscurity. In his prime, an advocate for massive education reform, a passionate poet, a radical urban planner and an anarchist steeped in classical western tradition. “I suspect that as a person, he's not very well remembered” said Noam Chomsky, “but his impact is all around us.”
With PAUL GOODMAN CHANGED MY LIFE director JONATHAN LEE, himself a longtime social activist and writer, testifies to Goodman's profound influence on personal and political communities, as well as boldly calls for a resurrection of his voice in the public sphere. The long deceased Goodman emerges in the film in all his humane beauty and frailty, an uncompromising man of letters.
“Any page by PAUL GOODMAN will give you not only originality and brilliance but wisdom, that is, something to think about. He is our peculiar, urban, twentieth-century Thoreau, the quintessential American mind of our time.” —Hayden Carruth, poet.