Sad news: Howard Zinn died today (1/27/2010)

(excerpt from) Boston Globe
Howard Zinn, historian who challenged status quo, dies at 87
By Mark Feeney, Globe Staff

Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and a leading faculty critic of BU president John Silber, died of a heart attack today in Santa Monica, Calif, where he was traveling, his family said. He was 87.

“His writings have changed the consciousness of a generation, and helped open new paths to understanding and its crucial meaning for our lives,” Noam Chomsky, the left-wing activist and MIT professor, once wrote of Dr. Zinn…

From the AP:

One of Professor Zinn’s last public writings was a brief essay, published last week in The Nation, about the first year of the Obama administration.

“I’ve been searching hard for a highlight,” he wrote, adding that he wasn’t disappointed because he never expected a lot from President Obama.

“I think people are dazzled by Obama’s rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president — which means, in our time, a dangerous president — unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.”

* A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn’s most famous book is at Powell’s Books: here.

* January 25, 2009 interview with Howard Zinn: Howard Zinn on “The People Speak,” the Supreme Court and Haiti

*Comments from David McReynolds on the passing of Howard Zinn:

I was at a meeting of the New York War Resisters League tonight when,
mid-way through the meeting, Frida Berrigan broke into the agenda to say that she
hated to relay the  news, but she had just gotten a text message that Howard Zinn,
that great historian of the struggles of the American people, had died
of a heart attack at 87.

Howard Zinn not only spoke and wrote for the best of America, he reminded
those of us who are radicals, members of the broad left, that the history
of America is not only  that of oppression and
corruption, but of resistance, struggle and affirmation.

He has left us with a legacy of work that was based on a study of the real
and often hidden history of  this country, of women, of labor, of racial
minorities, who in fact shaped the best of this country and gave us a sense
that our struggle in this desperate time will not be defeated. Yes, we have
lost a good and honest soul. But more than most, he would hope we would
remember Joe  Hill’s words:  “Don’t mourn – organize”.

2 Responses

  1. […] Here is a link to a story at On The Wilder Side. […]

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