Tribute to Howard Zinn By Sheila Wilensky
"I first encountered Howard Zinn in 1971, when I audited his Civil Liberties course at Boston University. One day he invited students to join him after class at a Vietnam protest on the Boston Common, and I went. Impressed with Zinn’s fervent belief in the power of ordinary people to change the world, I decided to become a high school social studies teacher."
Purdue University faculty has created a Howard Zinn Memorial Research Award Fund in American Studies to "support interdisciplinary American Studies research focusing on the ways in which forms of social, cultural, intellectual, and technoscientific expression circulate among, between, and beyond the geographical borders of the United States."
“Howard’s calm, quiet insistence on doing what was right and taking a stand are lessons that have stayed with me for a lifetime.”
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."
The "Howard Zinn, Our Favorite Teacher" Series collects stories from former students at Spelman College and Boston University about his role as a teacher. Here is one example, a story by Michael Stavros, Class of 1973. If you are a former student of Zinn, please contribute your story here.
The following essay was presented at the Howard Zinn Read-In held at Purdue University on November 5, 2013. This is a condensed version of a chapter on Zinn in the book, On Doing History from the Bottom Up (Haymarket Books, 2014).…
One of my favorite Howard Zinn quotes: "The chief problem in historical honesty is not outright lying. It is omission or de-emphasis of important data. The definition of 'important', of course, depends on one's values."
By Susan Mirsky • Wicked Local Newton • Feb. 2, 2010
As my college professor in 1964, he supported the idea of individual responsibility for the actions of our government, and was an advocate for student activism. He was and still is a voice of hope and for the belief that people (not BIG people, ordinary people) acting together, could effect change.
By Marian Wright Edelman • February 02, 2010
When Howard Zinn passed away on January 27 at age 87, the nation mourned the loss of a pioneering historian and social activist who revolutionized the way millions of Americans, especially young Americans, understand our shared history. His writings and work inspired millions of readers, but I was among the generations of students privileged to know him as a beloved teacher, mentor, and friend.
The death of a loved one or someone significant in our life often leaves us saying, "There weren't many like him," or "she'll really leave a hole in this world."
In the case of Dr. Howard Zinn, there was no one else like him and his passing will leave a hole we can only hope will be filled some day. He was a longtime member of Veterans For Peace.