Wednesday, January 27, 2010

RIP Howard Zinn

Sad news tonight that noted author and historian Howard Zinn passed away from a heart attack while traveling in California, he was 87. Zinn is probably best known for his 1980 book "A People's History of the United States". He was also an unabashed left wing activist.

I was lucky enough to see Zinn give a talk at The New School in New York City just before the start of the Second Iraq War in 2003. Rather than just railing against the Bush administration though, much of Zinn's speech was a discourse on how politicians sold another conflict - the Mexican-American War - to a skeptical population a century and a half earlier. It was like a lecture from a that one really cool professor whose class you always looked forward to, and it was easy enough for the audience to draw their own parallels between that conflict and the one we were about to enter. I still regret not bringing my copy of "A People's History..." along for him to sign...

Rest in peace Prof. Zinn.

Update: Democracy now has an audio file of Prof. Zinn's 2003 appearance at the New School.
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