ZCommunications

‘Inspire Please…’

By Howard Zinn. ZCommunications. July 16, 1999. The Progressive, September 1999,  as "Words in Encouragement."
"For those not in the know, let me explain that we who write for the progressive-radical movement have our specialties. Some specialize in writing depressing stuff. Others write humorous pieces. Some concentrate on trashing other Left writers. It seems that there was an opening this month for someone to inspire, and I was chosen. Not an easy job, when the United States government has just finished dropping thousands of cluster bombs on Yugoslavia…"

‘Je Ne Suis Pas Un Marxiste’

By Howard Zinn. Article. ZCommunications, June 1988; Failure to Quit, and excerpted from The Zinn Reader.
Howard Zinn writes: For a long time I thought that there were important and useful ideas in Marxist philosophy and political economy that should be protected from the self-righteous cries on the right that "Marxism is dead,” as well as from the arrogant assumptions of the commissars of various dictatorships that their monstrous regimes represented “Marxism.”

A Campaign Without Class

Article by Howard Zinn. ZCommunications, September 29, 2000 and The Progressive, November 2000.
"There came a rare amusing moment in this election campaign when George Bush (who has $220 million dollars for his campaign) accused Al Gore (who has only $170 million dollars) of appealing to 'class warfare'.… I noticed that neither of the accused responded with a defiant 'Yes, we have classes in this country.' Only Ralph Nader has dared to suggest that this country is divided among the rich, the poor, and the nervous in between. This kind of talk is unpardonably rude, and would be enough to bar him from the televised debates."

A Fourth of July Commentary

By Howard Zinn. Article. ZCommunications. July 4, 2000.
In this year 2000, I cannot comment more meaningfully on the Fourth of July than Frederick Douglass did when he was invited in 1852 to give an Independence Day address [on July 5]. He could not help thinking about the irony of the promise of the Declaration of Independence, of equality, life, liberty made by slaveowners, and how slavery was made legitimate in the writing of the Constitution after a victory for "freedom" over England. And his invitation to speak came just two years after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. . . . So it is fitting, at a time when police are exonerated in the killing of unarmed Black men, when the electric chair and the gas chamber are used most often against people of color, that we refrain from celebration and instead listen to Douglass' sobering words…

A Larger Consciousness

By Howard Zinn. Article. ZCommunications. December 22, 1999. The Progressive, November 1999 as "Respecting the Holocaust."
"Some years ago, when I was teaching at Boston University, I was asked by a Jewish group to give a talk on the Holocaust. I spoke that evening, but not about the Holocaust of World War II, not about the genocide of six million Jews. It was the mid-Eighties, and the United States government was supporting death squad governments in Central America, so I spoke of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of peasants in Guatemala and El Salvador, victims of American policy. My point was that the memory of the Jewish Holocaust should not be encircled by barbed wire, morally ghettoized, kept isolated from other genocides in history."

An Interview with Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn interviewed by Shelly R. Fredman. ZCommunications. May 22, 2006.
"For those who find a special inspiration in Judaism or Christianity or Buddhism or whatever, fine. If that inspiration leads them to work for justice, that is what matters."

An Occupied Country

Article by Howard Zinn. The Progressive. October 2003.
"We became familiar with the term 'occupied country' during World War II. We talked of German-occupied France, German-occupied Europe. And after the war we spoke of Soviet-occupied Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe. It was the Nazis, the Soviets, who occupied other countries. Now we are the occupiers."

Antiwar Talk at the Boston Commons

By Howard Zinn. Article. ZCommunications. March 27, 2007.
If somebody invaded your home, and smashed things up, and terrorized your children, would we give them a timetable? When I look at this latest Democratic proposal for a timetable, you know, maybe 18 months from now, at the same time funding the war for another 140 billion dollars, you know, it’s as if you gave an intruder in your house a timetable for withdraw, and meanwhile, made a nice dinner for him. No, we can’t do that, we have to get out.

Are Hillary and Obama Afraid of Talking About the New Deal?

By Howard Zinn. Article. ZCommunications. April 2, 2008.
We might wonder why no Democratic Party contender for the presidency has invoked the memory of the New Deal and its unprecedented series of laws aimed at helping people in need. The New Deal was tentative, cautious, bold enough to shake the pillars of the system but not to replace them. It created many jobs but left 9 million unemployed. It built public housing but not nearly enough. It helped large commercial farmers but not tenant farmers. ...Still, in today’s climate of endless war and uncontrolled greed, drawing upon the heritage of the 1930s would be a huge step forward.

Beyond the Soviet Union

By Howard Zinn. Article. ZCommunications. December 22, 1999.
I offer as my Commentary a response I just made to a letter by a retired professor in California, who wrote: “As a great admirer of Howard Zinn, I was profoundly disappointed by some of his comments made during his interview with David Barsamian in the March issue of Z Magazine.” Without reproducing my correspondent's letter I think the gist of his comments are clear from my responses. Fundamentally, he did not like my saying I was “very glad” the rule of the Soviet government ended. He took issue with my skepticism about violent revolutions. He made interesting, provocative, thoughtful arguments.
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