Films and Recordings


Howard Zinn's Emma |

Howard Zinn’s Emma

Directed and produced by Bruce Grund
Filmed by Malachi Roth

Emma dramatizes the life of Emma Goldman, the famed anarchist, feminist, and free-spirited thinker who was exiled from the United States because of her outspoken views, including her opposition to World War I.

Filmed live in 2005 at the Byrdcliffe Theatre in Woodstock, New York, with Zinn in attendance, the play draws on Goldman’s influential autobiography, speeches, and political writings to trace her emergence as one of the foremost radical intellectuals and dissident activists in America in the early part of the 20th century. Emma shows us why Emma Goldman was not only a remarkable historical figure but a woman whose fierce wit and political courage continue to resonate today.

Available at for home use-only rental or purchase. For education and institutional streaming rights, contact the Media Education Project at

Released by the Media Education Foundation and, 2016.




The People Speak

By Anthony Arnove, Chris Moore, and Howard Zinn

The People Speak was inspired by Howard Zinn’s groundbreaking books A People’s History of the United States and Voices of a People’s History of the United States.

The People Speak (2009) is a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans. The film gives voice to those who, by insisting on equality and justice, spoke up for social change throughout U.S. history and also illustrates the relevance of this to today’s society. [Publisher’s description.]

Released by Voices of a People’s History, 2009.




Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral
on a Moving Train

By Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller

This acclaimed film looks at the life of the renowned historian, activist and author Howard Zinn. Following his early days as a shipyard labor organizer and bombardier in World War II, Zinn became an academic rebel and leader of civil disobedience in a time of institutionalized racism and war.

Featuring rare archival materials and interviews with Zinn and colleagues such as Noam Chomsky, You Can’t Be Neutral captures the essence of this extraordinary man who has been a catalyst for progressive change for more than 60 years.

Narrated by Matt Damon. Featuring music by Pearl Jam, Woody Guthrie, and Billy Bragg. [Publisher’s description.]

Released by First Run Features, 2004.

Clip from Film: Howard Zinn on Civil Disobedience



Theory and Practice: Conversations with
Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn

Interviewed by Sasha Lilley

Two of the most venerable figures on the American Left—Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky—converse with Sasha Lilley about their lives and political philosophies, looking back at eight decades of struggle and theoretical debate. Howard Zinn, interviewed shortly before his death, reflects on the genesis of his politics, from the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam war movements to opposing empire today, as well as history, art and activism. Noam Chomsky discusses the evolution of his libertarian socialist ideals since childhood, his vision for a future post-capitalist society, and his views on the state, science, the Enlightenment, and the future of the planet. [Publisher’s description.]

Released by PM Press, 2010.





Howard Zinn Archives

An archive of more than 50 talks and interviews by Howard Zinn at Alternative Radio.


A People’s History of the United States

A Lecture at Reed College

A scintillating lecture and discussion by the legendary teacher, historian, playwright, and activist. Here Zinn explains with great humor and passion how his teaching, his history, and his activism are parts of the same project. The stories of social movements—labor, civil rights, feminists, anti-war—are usually left out or grossly distorted in mainstream history writing. The efforts of Zinn and others to recover and pass on those stories offers to their students, to their readers, and to us, models, ideas, inspirations for how and why we might go about challenging and changing the structures of power.” [Publisher’s description.]

Released by AK Press, 2001.


Heroes and Martyrs

Emma Goldman, Sacco & Vanzetti, and the Revolutionary Struggle

Howard Zinn takes us back a century to a newly industrialized America, the time of robber barons and tycoons, of tenements bursting with immigrants, of dramatic and often violent labor struggles like Haymarket and Homestead. Zinn’s cast includes Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie, the young J. Edgar Hoover, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and George Bernard Shaw. But his focus, as ever, is on the organizers and agitators in the laboring and immigrant communities, a cast as colorful as any novel, like Ben Reitman, the king of the hobos; Alexander Berkman, author of Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist; Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, anarchist organizers whose arrest, conviction, and execution on trumped-up murder charges produced storms of protest around the world; and Emma Goldman, feminist, anarchist, propagandist extraordinaire for free love and against capitalist exploitation, for direct action, and against oppression.” [Publisher’s description.]

Released by AK Press, 2001.


Stories Hollywood Never Tells

“In this informal talk given at the Taos Film Festival, Zinn turns his attention to Hollywood, the stories it tells, and the ones it doesn’t. He tells the stories of wars from the point of view of disillusioned deserters, of the differences between All Quiet on the Western Front and Saving Private Ryan, of railroad strikes and the Haymarket Affair, Eugene Debs and the real story of Helen Keller, socialist and anti-war agitator. Mother Jones leads a march of 11 and 12-year-old textile workers from Pennsylvania to Roosevelt’s vacation home in Oyster Bay to demand better working conditions in the textile mills then at age 85 is thrown in jail for leading the Colorado Coal strike of 1913–14. A spellbinding and provocative talk.” [Publisher’s description.]

Released by AK Press, 2001.

Artists in a Time of War

Recorded a month after 9/11, America’s finest social historian examines the role, and response, of artists in society, and particularly, during wartime. With his distinctive blend of low key wit, expansive knowledge of history, and Sherlockian ability to uncover the real stories of this country underneath the detritus of corporate disinformation and monoculture, Zinn—through the words and actions of the likes of Langston Hughes, Mark Twain, Eugene O’Neill, Ford Madox Ford, and Joseph Heller—explains that pride in one’s country comes not from the words and deeds of the government, but from the actions of working people. [Publisher’s description.]

Released by AK Press, 2002.


The People’s History Project

A handsome collection of the four previously released Howard Zinn CDs. Ranging over six discs, America’s best-loved historian ruminates and illuminates in his downbeat, witty and avuncular style, over our forgotten social, economic, and political history, the struggles waged by the dispossessed, ignored, vilified, and just plain regular folks.

The accompanying exclusive 24-page booklet contains a lengthy introductory essay by Noam Chomsky, a preface by Arundhati Roy, three previously unpublished interviews with Howard Zinn, and a transcript of an unreleased lecture, in which he discusses the themes and ideas, which have made him a household name, and their continuing relevance for the new millennium. [Publisher’s description.]

Released by AK Press, 2004.


War and Civil Disobedience

Delivered in the context of the current U.S. war in Iraq, this is a scintillating lecture and discussion by the legendary teacher, historian, playwright, and activist. The efforts of Zinn to recover and pass on stories of civil disobedience to the unjust wars of U.S. history offers models, ideas, and inspirations for how and why we might go about challenging and changing the structures of power. [Publisher’s description.]

Released by PM Press, 2010.


1492-1992: The Legacy of Columbus

In this instant classic, recorded on the eve of the quincentennial, legendary historian Howard Zinn returns to the themes he popularized in his masterful A People’s History of the United States—how we interpret history, and what that tells us about the struggles of the vast majority of folks typically written out of the narrative. With his trademark wit, erudition, and generosity, he stands history on its head, to better illuminate, understand, and act upon the past, present, and future. [Publisher’s description.]

Released by PM Press, 2011.