Growing Up

Zinn on Growing Up, Objectivity, Bombing, Media, Genocide, and Propaganda

Interview by David Barsamian • Published by ZCommunications • November 1, 2002
I want to know something about your roots, growing up in the projects on the lower east side.

I grew up in the slums of Brooklyn, a working class family. My parents were European immigrants, factory workers in New York. They met as factory workers. They were Jewish immigrants. My father came from Austria, my mother from Asiatic Russia, Siberia. I remember moving all the time. We were always one step ahead of the landlord. And changing schools all the time. My father struggled, went from job to job, he was unemployed and under WPA. I wanted to get out of the house all the time. Where we lived was never a nice place to be. So I was in the streets a lot. I understand what it’s like for kids to live in and prefer the streets. That’s how I grew up.

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