Audio With Howard Zinn

Shall the House Committee on Un-American Activities Be Abolished?

Source: Howard Zinn Papers, Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University • 1963
On February 11, 1963, at Emory University, Howard Zinn participated in a debate with Fulton Lewis III, a journalist and member of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) on whether HUAC should be abolished. Zinn noted this in his diary and the two-and-half hour event was recorded.

The First Amendment and A Free People Radio Show

Source: WBGH Boston Open Vault • 1970s
Bernard Rubin: What’s your definition of radical?
Howard Zinn: Somebody who wants to do something to make very fundamental changes in the distribution of wealth, in the distribution of political power, and in a kind of culture of violence and oppression in which we exist today. Race, sex, class oppression, something that fundamental. That’s what I mean, I guess.

Ella Baker: “One of the most consequential and yet one of the least honored people in America”

Source: American Radio Works
On April 24, 1968, Howard Zinn introduced organizer Ella Baker at a dinner honoring her work. Zinn described Baker as "one of the most consequential and yet one of the least honored people in America."

Howard Zinn: How Racial Prejudice Can Change

Source: WNYC Radio
Recorded in the 1960s (estimate 1964-1965 based on transcript), Patricia Marx sits down with historian Howard Zinn to discuss his books, SNCC: The New Abolitionists and The Southern Mystique. Zinn describes his experiences teaching at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1956 to 1963, and his subsequent observations on racial prejudice in the southern United States.

‘One Long Struggle for Justice’

Interview by Bill Bigelow • Author on Air • January 19, 2010
In early January of 2010, the Zinn Education Project joined with HarperCollins, publisher of Howard Zinn’s classic A People’s History of the United States, to sponsor an “Ask Howard” online radio interview, and invited teachers from around the country to participate. Sixty teachers and students submitted written questions to Professor Zinn. The Jan. 19 interview was conducted by Rethinking Schools Curriculum Editor Bill Bigelow. Below is the full audio recording, followed by excerpts from that interview, edited for length and clarity.

Manning Marable, Howard Zinn and Grace Paley Speak Out Against the March to War

Interviewed by Amy Goodman • Democracy Now! • September 13, 2001
"Why can’t we take our cue from the rescue workers, from the compassion shown by the medical teams, the doctors and nurses and medical students, the firemen and policemen, whose thought—when they are taking care of these people and trying to find people and help them and cure them, their thought is not of retaliation. No, their thought is of human compassion and how to end the suffering."

The Electoral College and Election 2000: A Historical Perspective from Howard Zinn

Interviewed by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez • Democracy Now! • December 8, 2000
"I mean, what’s astonishing, or maybe not so astonishing, is here over 200 years later, we are still operating with an undemocratic system of electing the president of the United States, a system which not only was flawed from the beginning by the requirements of the founding fathers, but had become more and more flawed as the election process has become dominated by two major parties, which monopolize the political arena, and dominated more and more by the fact that money decides who can reach the American people."

American History Review of the 20th Century: Manning Marable and Howard Zinn

Interviewed by Amy Goodman • Democracy Now! • December 27, 1999
"But what the history of this country shows, and especially in this century, is that democracy comes alive when people who see that the formal structure of government doesn’t help them. The formal structure of government does not change the 12-hour day, doesn’t change the conditions of work, doesn’t change the power of the corporations over working people. When people see that that formal structure doesn’t work, then they organize. They go out on strike. They demonstrate."