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R.I.P. Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn

August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010

I read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States about twenty years ago. At that time, I was impressed by its breadth, and I’d found its slant as uncompromising as it was inspiring; I still am, and do. Since that time, I’ve read a few of his other books, and read and listened to a bunch of his interviews. I also had a chance to see and hear him speak in person a few times, and even asked him two questions at one of his talks (I think one of them had something to do with the treacherous waters one swims in when choosing between the “lesser of two evils”). I also geeked out and got his autograph on my copy of his book Terrorism and War.

Today is a sad day.

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

4 thoughts on “R.I.P. Howard Zinn

  1. A PEOPLE’S HISTORY is a tremendous book, and Zinn was an amazing historian and thinker. This is very sad news indeed.

    A friend of mine actually had a high school history teacher who used APH… as the class text. Pretty amazing, but that should be a commonplace.

    What a great idea for a book—so simple, and yet so revolutionary. …And still so radical, unfortunately.

    Zinn was brilliant. May he rest in peace; condolences to all who knew him. You, too, John. I envy you your having got to meet him, and hear him speak.

    1. I used to run after school programs here in NYC, and I, too, was impressed when one of the teachers, in a school with a terrible principal, used A People’s History as his primary textbook. I’m not one for mandatory texts, but if there must be, then this should be one of them.

      Yes, Zinn was brilliant; he did truly shine. And he had this dry sense of humor that made him all the more approachable.

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