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R.I.P. Howard Zinn

On Wednesday, historian and activist Howard Zinn, author of A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, passed away at the age of 87. In December 2009, Zinn appeared on the Journal to discuss his film THE PEOPLE SPEAK and the continuing resonance of people's movements throughout history. We invite you to watch that conversation here.


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Never posted on Huffing 'n posting pond, never will...

Which bankster paid for your operation, Grady? And what do you owe in return...? 4 houses at 250K...nothing like the personal touch, eh?


How about " night in Bangkok.."

Anna D: So they threw you off the Huffington Post? I've never tried to write on the Huffington Post. Find me upon the ever-anonymous WFAE Watercooler, my small pond approach. I sell deodorant there.

I was offering "bamboo humor" to the honourable Ikehara.

I'm sure Anna would get the "bamboo humor" if she would visit Singapore.

Grady Lee Howard pops up to insult, "The truth is like water and the people have no vessels."

Go back to huffing and posting where you can continue your psycho-logical warfare.

C. Ikehara: You are a learned and developed soul; but consider this: What if every (conscious) person writes a poem at the same time, and they talk over one another so that no one can hear?
The truth is like water and the people have no vessels. It runs down to the lowest crevice and slips away. Today the enlightened ones can only possess the little truths they can hold in their mouths, and they must swallow before they speak.

Gadflyleap Howard

- The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth.
Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.

"A Power Governments Cannot Suppress" (2006, Zinn)

I think that we should pull back are troops from the war in Afganistan.

R.I.P. Howard Zinn it is rare common sense is found then to be lost. Who will take your place in this land of talking heads that know all see all and are leading the ignorant among us who are unable to think for themselves

Dear Bill Moyers,
I had to take a second to write and thank you for introducing me to Howard Zinn. I was so inspired by Howard that I posted my new crush on my FB and twitter that night wanting to share him with others. It was incredibly sad that he would die weeks after my consciousness met him. He's not truly gone however, as it was his words that made me type a letter to Rep. Waxman's office regarding my situation with Blue Cross Anthem that is now being investigated by his committee. I won't bore you with the details here, but as a staffer called me today to ask if I could come testify at the hearings next week, I had Howard Zinn in my heart when I answered "yes." The injustice I suffered may finally be making a difference in the health care debate, if I share my story and am able to channel Mr. Zinn. I'm huge fan of your show and it's been sort of divine order that led me to you and to a possible defining moment in my life. That all started with Joseph Campbell. So thank you! And I pray that if I do get invited next week, I can speak with the courage of so many before me that believed one voice contains power.

I must admit that Howard Zinn really started to make me think about government. Is government the ruling party in power? Is it just the mass of elected representatives paid to debate endlessly? Is it everyone who is paid a salary by the taxpayer including the soldiers? What is government really? Who are they working for? And what kind of Government is real democratic government?

"No government will ever concede to do what is in the best interests of
the people unless they're pushed and shoved from below by the people
themselves." says Howard Zinn.

Obviously, the government is not the people. So what is it? Is government just a smokescreen for big business?

Thanks Bill - for exposing me to Howard Zinn. Without Howard, I would not have realized how undemocratic this government really is.

do you ever feel as if there is only so much good in the world, along with so much bad. This good and bad is embodied in individuals whose choices in life work to manifest that good or bad into our daily lives.

well, I see Howard Zinns'life as an effort to manifest what was good in the lives of all the people he made real through his writings and then building upon that good with his own history making choices. The loss of this good, manifested in his life and work, is a loss for all of us. We will all have to suffer a little for the loss of this good and then work a little harder in our own choices of compassion, empathy, tolerance and solidarity that we might honor him and his good and so manifest it in the best of human ways.

Truth is certainly stranger then fiction, but, of late fiction dominates our lives. Howard Zinn set the record straight it is truly is a shame he left us at this time a time of bewilderment regarding our foreign policy.

It just amazing that Obama didn't mention his name or pay a tribute.
Neither PBS News hour covered his passing like they did J. D. Salinger.
Who is more influential of the two.

R.I.P. Howard Zinn. Having read "A People's History of the United States" from cover to cover twice I came to recognize that no, he isn't a great historian insofar as he allowed his agenda to dictate his writing, but we have to admire and applaud his desire to rattle the cages of conventional thought. Wince away from or welcome his perpsective of our world, the nation has lost a free-thinker and fearless thorn in the side of complacency and apathy.

Thanks Bill for everything!

A thought just for you:

The flaw in our democracy is freedom cannot be governed.
If only Jefferson had known.


Thank you Howard Zinn, and thank you Mr. Moyer for broadening his audience.

Upton Sinclair's remark is always relevant: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." The loftiest dismissals of Zinn's rhetoric come from those who have the most to lose from it.

Both Howard Zinn and Michael Moore have realized that Americans never hear you until you start yelling.

i have mixed feelings about howard zinn. on one hand, he was definitely a warm and charming man with good intentions and a dream of human progress. on the other hand, his books are cartoonish and irresponsible propaganda that boils down complicated historical issues into laughably simplistic good vs. evil BS. His books tell gullible readers that the answers have always been obvious, that the only problem is that bad people keep getting in the way, and that anyone opposed to socialism and big government has always been hateful or brainwashed. his books encourage hatred, because they allow no room for disagreement or debate. his intentions were definitely better than hers are now, but howard zinn was an ann coulter for the radical left- much more about telling himself and a niche audience what they wanted to hear than any kind of responsible or serious scholarship. RIP Zinn, but RIP his books as well.

Thanks Bill for memorializing Howard Zinn, his passing has been marginalized to ignored by the Main Stream Media over the past two days. Anyone who has read Howard's books, attended one of his classes, or listened to his speeches is not surprised by this, Howard constantly challenged the status quo which won him no accolades from the establishment. He always said that recognition to achieve real reform requires peaceful dissent and can never be accomplished through capitulation with the existing power structure.

Howard Zinn, RIP !

Matt Yglesias blogged yesterday that “…the People’s History is neither good history nor good politics, offering basically nothing in terms of ways to think about solutions to the problems of the world.” Really?

Arthur Schlesinger once said about Howard Zinn, “I don’t take him very seriously. He’s a polemicist, not a historian.” I doubt that both comments would have bothered Howard Zinn. He really was a people’s historian, so he did not look to the elites for validation.

Howard Zinn changed the way we look at history in America. Countless number of people had their lives changed by reading A People’s History of the United States. What he taught and devoted his whole life to, and is so relevant today, is that history comes from the bottom up; how change happens in this country; telling people to believe in themselves and their power to change the world. He brought people into contact with the voices of dissent and protest, that they did not get in textbooks, that they did not get in the establishment media. He reminded them of the power of their own voice, reminded them of the power of dissent and protest, that there was no more meaningful action than to be involved in struggle for justice. He inspired people to create the kinds of movements that brought the rights and freedoms and liberties we enjoy in this country. That is Howard Zinn’s legacy. We need his voice more than ever right now.

Yglesias conceded, “But irrespective of what the book may or may not be “meant” to do, I think this is the function it serves. It’s an entry-point, it raises important issues, it provokes useful inquiry, most of the best people seem to have read it at some point, and all that’s a pretty impressive achievement. Certainly much more than the vast majority of us writers ever manage to do.”

I dare say that Howard Zinn certainly did achieve much more than sanctimonious bloggers of Matt Yglesias’s ilk manage to do, or ever will.

Contrast the Yglesias comment, “To be frank, the one time I met the guy he didn’t come across as nearly that humble or sensible” with Bob Herbert’s tribute to Howard Zinn in today’s New York Times. If you don’t have something nice to say about someone, why say anything at all? Herbert is right about the tendency to give true American heroes short shrift, just as Yglesias gave Howard Zinn the short shrift, in this nitwit era that we are living through.

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