The author of A People’s History of the United States inspired historians around the world to look at history through the eyes of the down-trodden and not to be afraid to take a stand. In his book You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train he wrote: “From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.”
Over the next days, weeks and months screeds of obituaries and tributes will be written for Zinn – so here’s a taste of things to come.