Scoop Review of Books

People’s Historian Dies

The great historian Howard Zinn has died.

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.

Boston Globe
Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and whose books, such as “A People’s History of the United States,” inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the American experience, died today in Santa Monica, Calif, where he was traveling. He was 87. Original article.

By Fred Branfman (one of a number of tributes of ZNet)
I sit here in shock, having just read the Boston Globe headline, “Howard Zinn, historian who challenged status quo, dies at 87.” I knew the day would come. I dreaded it. I flew to Boston last year to spend a day with him just so I wouldn’t read a headline like this without having seen him at least one last time. And now I sit here. Devastated. Original article.

By Alex Green (Independent Bookstore Owner)
As I sit at the desk of my small independent bookstore a mile from where he lived, and think of Howard Zinn, I cannot cast my eyes in any direction without signs of his presence here. Howard was my indefatigable supporter, as he was of all books and all bookstores. Without him, I never could have kept this store alive in its first years.
Original article.

BY Daniel Ellsberg (
I just learned that my friend Howard Zinn died today. Earlier this morning, I was being interviewed by the Boston Phoenix, in connection with the release in Boston in February of a documentary in which he is featured prominently. The interviewer asked me who my own heroes were, and I had no hesitation in answering, first, “Howard Zinn.”
Original article

Noam Chomsky and Alice Walker discuss their mate Howard Zinn on Democracy Now.

And for more go to the Howard Zinn website