Probably not many people have heard of Howard Zinn. He may have made it to the odd secondary school history syllabus, but I’d wager not. I’ve only read the one book myself, A People’s History of the United States, although there is plenty of video content around now.
But Howard Zinn was a teacher’s teacher. He writes with a depth of research and knowledge and with a clear and universal compassion. He tells you things you may not want to hear about your ancestry, your country, your politics. He’s American and wrote for an American audience, but the principles remain the same.
He was staunchly antiwar so had no compunction about speaking out over Iraq and all the contrivances to get that war: an immoral, illegal war conducted by the pre-eminent superpower, and its lackeys, on an impoverished and disarmed country already under the heel for 13 years.
But he’ll be remembered especially for making history come alive, with his accounts from American Indians suffering from the invasions and conquests following 1492, or from black slaves and their oppression, and any number of soldiers in any number of wars.
To finish, here is a moving tribute from friend Daniel Ellsberg –