On this 5th anniversary of the passing of Howard Zinn, we encourage you to read Zinn’s biography, articles, and interviews. The site was rebuilt in August of 2014 and provides a treasure trove of his work. If you have additional interviews, photos, or archival materials by Howard Zinn that can be published online, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more from the Winter 2015 Newsletter.
In the 1960s, Howard Zinn, along with Ella Baker, served as advisers to SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. On this 50th anniversary year of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery marches and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, we revisit Zinn’s first-hand account of Selma’s Freedom Day in 1963. “The idea was to bring hundreds of people to register to vote, hoping that their numbers would decrease fear. And there was much to fear,” Zinn writes.
The following excerpt is from Chapter 5 of Zinn’s autobiography, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train and is followed by related resources about Selma’s voting rights campaign, Freedom Day, and SNCC.
December 30 is the anniversary of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo being indicted in 1971 for releasing the Pentagon Papers. The papers were part of a 7,000-page, top secret history of the U.S. political and military involvement in the Vietnam War from 1945-71. In other words, their “crime” was to make the American public aware of the history of the war.
Excerpted from chapter 12 of You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, Howard Zinn recounts the lead-up to Ellsberg and Russo’s indictment. Following are resources for learning more about the Pentagon Papers, Vietnam, and Anti-War Movements. Read More
For Thanksgiving, we highlight Native American resistance that caught the nation’s attention in the 1960s and 70s. As Howard Zinn wrote in Chapter 19 of A People’s History of the United States, “Never in American history had more movements for change been concentrated in so short a span of years.” Following are additional resources on Native American history and resistance.
Voices of a People’s History is a companion to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, with first person voices—speeches, letters, poems, and songs.
The 10th anniversary edition features new voices including whistleblower Chelsea Manning; Naomi Klein, speaking from the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Liberty Square; a member of Dream Defenders, a youth organization that confronts systemic racial inequality; members of the undocumented youth movement, who occupied, marched, and demonstrated in support of the DREAM Act; a member of the day laborers movement; and several critics of the Obama administration, including Glenn Greenwald, on governmental secrecy.
Available from Seven Stories Press, Nov. 2014.
For Veterans Day, we highlight this article, “Dissent at the War Memorial,” written by Howard Zinn for The Progressive in 2004. Asked to speak on a panel called, “War Stories,” Zinn said, “I don’t want to honor military heroism–that conceals too much death and suffering. I want to honor those who all these years have opposed the horror of war.”
This is followed by additional resources for learning and teaching about war.
As I write this, the sounds of the World War II Memorial celebration in Washington, D.C., are still in my head. I was invited by the Smithsonian Institution to be on one of the panels, and the person who called to invite me said that the theme would be “War Stories.” I told him that I would come, but not to tell “war stories,” rather to talk about World War II and its meaning for us today. Fine, he said. Read More
Voices of a People’s History of the United States, The New School for Public Engagement, and Seven Stories Press, in association with Haymarket Books, present a special evening of music and readings to celebrate the tenth-anniversary edition of Voices of a People’s History of the United States.
This special tenth anniversary event will include Voices co-editor Anthony Arnove, actors Viggo Mortensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Kelly MacDonald, Aasif Mandvi, Jessica Pimentel, Wallace Shawn, Elizabeth A. Davis, Christina Kirk, Erin Cherry, Susan Pourfar, Brian Jones, and Jeff Zinn, singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, poets Staceyann Chin and Kevin Coval, playwright Idris Goodwin, and other special guests to be announced. With music by DJ Charlie Hustle.
The first-ever Howard Zinn Bookfair will be held on November 15th, 2014 at the Mission High School in San Francisco. Professor Robin D.G. Kelley is one of the featured keynote speakers. Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to Marcus Bookstore, the nation’s oldest black-owned bookstore, and Elizabeth “Betita” Martínez, Chicana feminist, community organizer and author. The bookfair will also feature a full day of workshops.
Learn more at HowardZinnBookfair.com.
For Columbus Day, we feature an excerpt from Chapter One of A People’s History of the United States. Howard Zinn describes why he tells the story of Columbus’s arrival “from the viewpoint of the Arawaks” and “the inevitable taking of sides which comes from selection and emphasis in history.” This is followed by additional resources for examining the impact of Columbus’s arrival. Read More
With Banned Book Week (Sept. 21-28) in full swing, we call attention to the recent—sometimes successful—attempts to ban Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.
In 2012, the Tucson Unified School District decided to abolish the highly-successful Mexican American Studies Program and called for an immediate removal of all program books, including A People’s History of the United States and other people’s history texts.
In 2013, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels orders to ban the use of any of Zinn’s books in K-12 classrooms gained national attention, especially since Daniels is now the president of Purdue University. Read More
On April 20, 1914, the Colorado National Guard attacked a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families in Ludlow, Colorado. An estimated two dozen people were killed, including young children.
Known as the Ludlow Massacre, Howard Zinn described its importance and obscurity in The Politics of History, “The culminating act of perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history. Despite five thousands pages of testimony, taken at the time by Congressional investigating bodies, it remains an obscure event, rarely mentioned in textbooks on American history.”
In Howard Zinn’s brilliant, timely play, Karl Marx launches into a passionate, funny and moving defense of his life and political ideas.
The play is an excellent introduction to Marx’s life, his analysis of society, and his passion for radical change. Marx uses current news and events to show how his ideas still resonate.
Visit www.ironagetheatre.org for more information and reviews.
In August 2014, a new version of HowardZinn.org launched to provide greater online access to articles, interviews, and other works by and about Howard Zinn. The website also offers a comprehensive list of books by Howard Zinn and announcements about events based on Zinn’s work. Additional articles, interviews, photos, and other archival materials will be added to the site in the months ahead.
If you have additional interviews or archival materials by Howard Zinn that can be published online, email email@example.com.
On April 24, 2014, a daylong symposium was held at New York University (NYU) to celebrate the donation of Zinn’s personal papers to NYU’s Tamiment Library by his children, Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jeff Zinn. Included in the donation are Zinn’s personal correspondences, school and military records, FBI files, datebooks, biographical articles, and interviews.
Memorial Day will be celebrated … by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication. To peace, to defiance of governments.
By Alison Kysia
Most famously, former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels celebrated Zinn’s death in emails to his education lieutenants and ordered them to find and remove Zinn’s book, A People’s History of the United States, from schools and teacher education programs. Read More
By Andrea Germano
In organizing a Howard Zinn read-in at Purdue University, students have cultivated what is described as an “imaginative and defiant response to the corporate attack on our students and our schools.”Controversy flared the summer when the Associated Press revealed that Mitch Daniels, former Indiana Governor and now Purdue University president, attempted to censor Howard Zinn’s classic A People’s History of the United States from Indiana classrooms. Read More
By Bill Bigelow
Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, one of the country’s most widely read history books, died on January 27, 2010. Shortly after, then-Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels got on his computer and fired off an email to the state’s top education officials: “This terrible anti-American academic has finally passed away.” Read More
Mitch Daniels, as an unconventional choice to become Purdue University’s president, has repeatedly pledged his strong commitment to academic freedom. And many professors — including some who had questioned the wisdom of appointing a governor as university president — have given him high marks for the start of his work at Purdue.