The third annual Howard Zinn Book Fair was held in San Francisco on December 4, 2016. Historian Carl Mirra shared with us a description of one of the sessions at the book fair. Mirra describes the panel “Making of a Radical Historian: Howard Zinn & War” where he was one of the presenters along with Ambre Ivol and Luke Stewart.
Dispatch from the Howard Zinn Book Fair
By Carl Mirra
Some 1,800 people attended the heartening and stimulating Howard Zinn Book Fair. The following dispatch is a very small slice of a day that brought together radical publishers, teachers, scholars, and activists young and old. One of the event organizers, James Tracy, stopped by to say a word before the panel started. He explained that the reason the event is called the Howard Zinn Book Fair is because Zinn represented the quest for a unified left. One purpose of the day, Tracy earnestly noted, was to encourage unification of “all of us who have love in our hearts but don’t always act on it toward each other.” Whether it was organizing shipfitters on the shop floor at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the early 1940s; or desegregating libraries with Spelman College students in the early 1960s; or his trips to Hanoi to release prisoners of war in the 1960s, Zinn was always on call and on the front lines, as Chomsky put it, a unifying force for so many of us on the left.