Zinn was raised in a working-class family in Brooklyn, and flew bombing missions for the United States in World War II, an experience he now points to in shaping his opposition to war. In 1956, he became a professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, a school for black women, where he soon became involved in the Civil rights movement, which he participated in as an adviser to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and chronicled, in his book SNCC: The New Abolitionists. Zinn collaborated with historian Staughton Lynd and mentored a young student named Alice Walker. When he was fired in 1963 for insubordination related to his protest work, he moved to Boston University, where he became a leading critic of the Vietnam War.
He is perhaps best known for A People's History of the United States, which presents American history through the eyes of those he feels are outside of the political and economic establishment.
1492-1992: The Legacy Of Columbus
Author: Howard Zinn
Publisher: PM Press
Published: November 2011
Format: Audio CD
Size: 5.5 by 5.5
Length: 60 Minutes
Subjects: Politics, History
Discussing the legacy of Columbus, including 500 years of indigenous resistance, “bothers the defenders of Western civilization, those people who have benefited from Western civilization, or who think they will benefit from it in some way. They are bothered by the fact that more and more Americans want to look at what happened then from a different point of view. Because we’ve been looking at it from one point of view for all these hundreds of years, looking at slavery from a white point of view, at Columbus from a white point of view, at women and the issue of sexual equality from the male point of view, looking at history from very specific, limited points of view. People have begun to look at history from the point of view of those people who have been invisible, overlooked, oppressed.” —Howard Zinn, from the CD
In this instant classic, recorded on the eve of the quincentennial, legendary historian Howard Zinn returns to the themes he popularized in his masterful A People’s History of the United States—how we interpret history, and what that tells us about the struggles of the vast majority of folks typically written out of the narrative. With his trademark wit, erudition, and generosity, he stands history on its head, to better illuminate, understand, and act upon the past, present, and future.
Howard's life and work are a persistent reminder that our own subjective judgments of the likelihood of success in engaging human problems are of little interest, to ourselves or others. What matters is to take part, as best we can, in the small actions of unknown people that can stave off disaster and bring about a better world, to honor them for their achievement, to do what we can to ensure that these achievements are understood and carried forward. --Noam Chomsky
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War and Civil Disobedience (Compact Disc)
Released: March 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60486-099-3 UPC: 877746000928
Format: Audio CD
Time: 60 minutes
Package Size: 5.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Spoken Word, Politics
Delivered in the context of the current US war in Iraq, this is a scintillating lecture and discussion by the legendary teacher, historian, playwright, and activist. The efforts of Zinn to recover and pass on stories of civil disobedience to the unjust wars of US history offers models, ideas, and inspirations for how and why we might go about challenging and changing the structures of power.
"What can I say that will in any way convey the love, respect, and admiration I feel for this unassuming hero who was my teacher and mentor." --Alice Walker
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Published: March 2010
Format: DVD (NTSC)
Length: 105 minutes
Dimensions: 7.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Politics, Philosphy, History-US
Two of the most venerable figures on the American Left—Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky—converse with Sasha Lilley about their lives and political philosophies, looking back at eight decades of struggle and theoretical debate. Howard Zinn, interviewed shortly before his death, reflects on the genesis of his politics, from the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam war movements to opposing empire today, as well as history, art and activism. Noam Chomsky discusses the evolution of his libertarian socialist ideals since childhood, his vision for a future post-capitalist society, and his views on the state, science, the Enlightenment, and the future of the planet.
“Chomsky is a global phenomenon… perhaps the most widely read voice on foreign policy on the planet.”
--The New York Times Book Review
“What can I say that will in any way convey the love, respect, and admiration I feel for this unassuming hero who was my teacher and mentor; this radical historian and people-loving ‘troublemaker,’ this man who stood with us and suffered with us? Howard Zinn was the best teacher I ever had, and the funniest.”
--Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple
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By John Duerk
Political Media Review
November 4, 2010
For many, the work of academics like Howard Zinn is an invaluable resource because he manages to inform and inspire in a way that is accessible to anyone with a sympathetic ear. On this audio recording of a lecture from 2008, he explores the complex phenomena of war and how it relates to United States foreign policy. As one might expect, there are a handful of very important themes that he touches upon that do not receive adequate attention or analysis by everyday people or pundits in the mainstream media.