Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Zinn history

One of my summer reading pleasures this year was Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Zinn was a controversial figure among professional historians. I can't speak to the question of his alleged improprieties as a scholar, but it was terrific and enlightening hammock entertainment. 

He passed away earlier this year. Yesterday was his birthday.

Howard Zinn, (books by this author) was born in Brooklyn, New York (1922). He's the author of A People's History of the United States (1980). It has sold more than a million copies and continues to sell about 100,000 copies each year.
Zinn wrote more than 20 books, including the memoir You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (1994). Last year, he said: "I think it's very important to bring back the idea of socialism into the national discussion to where it was at the turn of the [last] century before the Soviet Union gave it a bad name. Socialism had a good name in this country. Socialism had Eugene Debs. It had Clarence Darrow. It had Mother Jones. It had Emma Goldman. It had several million people reading socialist newspapers around the country. Socialism basically said, hey, let's have a kinder, gentler society. Let's share things. Let's have an economic system that produces things not because they're profitable for some corporation, but produces things that people need. People should not be retreating from the word socialism because you have to go beyond capitalism." Writer's Almanac

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