Thursday, January 28, 2010

RIP Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn, an author, teacher and political activist whose book “A People’s History of the United States” became a million-selling leftist alternative to mainstream texts, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass. Published in 1980 with little promotion and a first printing of 5,000, “A People’s History” was, fittingly, a people’s best-seller, attracting a wide audience through word of mouth and reaching 1 million sales in 2003.

The cause of death was a heart attack, his daughter Myla Kabat-Zinn said. 
I was introduced to Howard Zinn a few months ago. A co-worker of mine told me about Zinn's political and historical ideologies and I was impressed. I read Zinn's memoir You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train in about a week. I would have finished it sooner, but work was keeping me busy. You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train is probably the best book I have ever read. Zinn lived a long and impactful life. His involvement in the Civil Rights Movement alone makes him an extraordinarily influential person. I don't agree with everything Dr. Zinn has said or written, but I have the utmost respect for the man. His passion, dedication, and revolutionary spirit will be sorely missed.

They'll look you in the eyes and  stone you
Then turn and disown you
Don't let it take the fight outta you
They'll walk all over your name
Till they find someone else to blame
Don't let it take the fight outta you