Interviews With Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn on U.S. Presidential Candidates

Interview by BigThink • 5/8/08
Who do you endorse for President [in the 2008 U.S. election]?
HOWARD ZINN: Between Clinton and Obama, well both of them have promised to end the [Iraq] war, but I must say their proposals for bringing the troops out of Iraq are rather halfhearted and they talk about keeping troops there, or Barack Obama says, “Let’s take troops out of Iraq, send troops to Afghanistan.” Neither of them has shaken what Barack Obama rightly called the mindset that led to the Iraq war. The mindset is a mindset which sees war and military intervention as a solution. Neither of them has shaken that.

Howard Zinn on Race in America

Interviewed by BigThink • 5/8/08
Topic: Race in America
HOWARD ZINN: There are more openings in media and business and the professions for a certain number of Black people. But I speak about 10 or 20 percent. For the vast majority of Black people, their lives are still constricted by poverty and racism. The civil rights movement accomplished a good deal by beginning to remove some of the important social barriers. What it did not remove was the barrier of class, the barrier of economic injustice. Martin Luther King recognized this. That’s why toward the end of his life he began working for economic rights for Black people.

Learning From World War II

Interviewed by BigThink • 5/8/08
What did you learn from your experience in WW II?
HOWARD ZINN: I didn’t learn much about myself during that time, that is, while I was at war. You don’t learn much while you’re in the military except doing your job.

Howard Zinn on Iraq: Advice for the Next U.S. President

Interviewed by BigThink • 5/8/08
What should the next U.S. President do to get the military out of Iraq?
HOWARD ZINN: I think the next president should begin, announce the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. I think this will be a very healthy thing for Iraq. The American occupation has not helped a thing. It has not stopped civil war; it has provoked civil war. It has not given the Iraqi people security or democracy; it has given them the opposite. It has ruined their country. And, of course, it has ruined our country, too.

Howard Zinn on the Limitations of American History Books

Interviewed by BigThink • 5/8/08
"A more realistic and more truthful history would take a look at American foreign policy over the last several hundred years, really. It will take a look at American foreign policy and see it for what it has been–expansionist, violent and militaristic. In other words, it would be a history that would be honest in the way that we expect individuals to be honest about themselves and their past and to rectify their mistakes."

Howard Zinn on the World Today

Interview by BigThink • 5/8/08
What is the state of the world today?
HOWARD ZINN: The world today, 2008, it’s trying to overcome American dominance in the world, trying to overcome the American military bullying that’s taking place here and there in the world, in Iraq and Afghanistan and military bases in a hundred countries.

Zinn Speaks: An Interview on the State of the Empire

Interviewed by Wajajat Ali • Counterpunch • April 19, 2008
Zinn reflects on his historic and memorable time at Spelman College in the ‘60s, his thoughts on the Democratic Party, his philosophy of dissent as democracy, and his hope for America’s future.

“To Be Neutral, To Be Passive In A Situation Is To Collaborate With Whatever Is Going On”

Interviewed by Amy Goodman • Democracy Now! • April 27, 2005
Howard Zinn: I believe neutrality is impossible, because the world is already moving in certain directions. Wars are going on. Children are starving. And to be neutral, to pretend to neutrality, to not take a stand in a situation like that is to collaborate with whatever is going on, to allow it to happen. I did not want to be a collaborator with what was happening. I wanted my history to intercede and to take a stand on behalf of peace, on behalf of a racial equality or sexual equality..."