On March 1, 2017, Arkansas Representative Kim Hendren (R) introduced Bill HB1834 to prohibit any publicly supported schools in Arkansas “from including in its curriculum or course materials any books or other material authored by or concerning Howard Zinn.”
In a Washington Post article on February 9, 2017, Fareed Zakaria compared Steve Bannon and Howard Zinn, concluding that, "In a strange way, Bannon’s dark, dystopian view of U.S. history is closest to that of Howard Zinn, a popular far-left scholar whose 'A People’s History of the United States' is a tale of the many ways in which 99 percent of Americans were crushed by the country’s all-powerful elites. In the Zinn/Bannon worldview, everyday people are simply pawns manipulated by their evil overlords." In response, two letters to the editor of the Washington Post were sent. The authors have given us permission to publish them here.
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.
Nov. 22 marks the birthday of Staughton Lynd, longtime friend of Howard Zinn. They both taught at Spelman College and can be described as long-distance runners for justice.
"I have admired [Lynd] enormously ever since I first met him,” Zinn wrote shortly before his death, because he is an “exemplar of strength and gentleness in the quest for a better world." Read more about Lynd in this tribute by Andy Piascik.
By David Detmer
"...his extraordinary gift for clear expression, perhaps the biggest factor leading to Zinn’s success as a teacher was his relaxed, friendly, good-humored, unthreatening manner. While he certainly offered a challenge to the beliefs of many of his students, which he accomplished by presenting ideas of deadly seriousness, he also did so with a light hand, and with plenty of wit and humor. He encouraged everyone, not only to participate in class discussions, but also to 'challenge authority' by disagreeing with him."
Actor and activist Jesse Williams, best known for his role on Grey’s Anatomy, won the BET Humanitarian Award on June 26, 2016. Williams, who read in the 2014 Voices Performance in Los Angeles, and serves on the board of the Advancement Project, is the son of public school teachers and a former U.S. history teacher (in Philadelphia) himself. He acknowledged the role of teachers and students learning history (outside the textbook) in his acceptance speech.
June 27 marks the birth of Emma Goldman (June 27, 1869–May 14, 1940), an anarchist who was an early advocate of free speech, birth control, women's equality and independence, and unions. After reading Richard Drinnon's biography of Emma Goldman, Rebel in Paradise, Howard Zinn read Goldman's autobiography, Living My Life. As a historian with a PhD, he was astonished he had never learned about Goldman in his studies. "Here was this magnificent woman, this anarchist, this feminist, fierce, life-loving person."
The 35th anniversary edition of A People’s History of the United States is now available featuring a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, Howard Zinn's long-time collaborator. Arnove begins, "Howard Zinn fundamentally changed the way millions of people think about history with A People’s History of the United States. He would be the first to say, however, that he didn’t do so alone. The book grew out of his awareness of the importance of social movements throughout U.S. history, some of which he played an active role in during the 1960s and 1970s and beyond..."
French filmmakers Daniel Mermet and Olivier Azam of Les Mutins de Pangee have released part one of a three-part documentary about Howard Zinn (only available in French) called Howard Zinn une histoire populaire américaine, features interviews with Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Chris Hedges.