Who’s your favorite people’s historian, and why is it Howard Zinn? He’s ours, too, and today, August 24, he would have turned one hundred. He wore many hats: social activist, professor, author, and playwright. He meant so much to us here at Beacon Press. Going through the books we published of his, including his memoir, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train,” we get a little misty eyed. To celebrate his hundredth birthday, we pulled some beloved quotes that showcase his life’s worth of wisdom and insights on hope, the politics of writing history, the power of social movements, nonviolence, class, race, education, and much more.
By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor | Howard Zinn wrote one of the most popular books on American history ever. A People’s History of the United States has sold an astonishing two million copies since its first publication in 1980. The success of the book can also be measured by the way that it spawned a new genre of “people-centered” renditions of history. Zinn’s approach to history essentially inverted the traditional approach that placed the rich and powerful, along with the institutions they governed, as the central motors in the development of society. It was history told from above. Alternatively, Zinn championed an approach to history from the bottom up or from the perspective of “the people.”
The results of the 2016 presidential election have left many people in shock and disappointment. In a time where people are fearing that a new administration will work to reverse much of the progress made in the last eight years, we are left wondering what the future holds. How do we continue to fight against climate change, fight for reproductive rights, LGBTQ protections, and racial and economic justice?
Today marks the 90th birthday of historian, playwright, and activist Howard Zinn (1912-2010). A former bombardier in WWII, Zinn became active in the civil rights movement while teaching at Spelman. After being fired for supporting student protestors, he became a...
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The passing of historian Howard Zinn has inspired many to share their admiration and stories of the late author and activist.
The following is an excerpt from Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors by Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund. Edelman was a student of the late Howard Zinn at Spelman College. Photo by Roslyn Zinn HOWARD...
Beacon Press director Helene Atwan offers this remembrance of historian, author, playwright, social activist, and friend Howard Zinn.
The staff of Beacon Press deeply mourns the passing of Howard Zinn, historian, author, playwright, social activist, and friend.
On December 13th, the History Channel will premiere "The People Speak," based on Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States."