Howard Zinn -- Social Activist, Philosopher, Author, and Professor, Who Died Last Week -- Was One Cool Dude

We have been a huge fan of Dr. Howard Zinn since the late 1960s, which dates us, but WTF.


He was a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War (in fact, this World War II veteran who served as an Air Force bombadier was against just about all wars), and wrote and spoke about his points of view eloquently (sometimes loudly) and often.

Whether or not you agree with everything he writes, his mind-expanding 1980 book, A People's History of the United States, should be required reading for all high-school students and beyond.

We recall in the late 1990s, when the Matt Damon character in the movie Good Will Hunting implores the Robin Williams character to read the book. Turns out that Damon was a neigbor of Zinn's growing up in the Boston area.

Zinn said the following in an insightful 2001 interview with Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies (which is based inside that bastion of left-wingedness, U-Cal Berkeley):

"The learning of history is a way of declaring, `I wasn't born yesterday; you can't deceive me.'" If I don't have any history, then whatever you, the person in authority, the president at the microphone announcing we must bomb here, we must go there, the president has the field all to himself. I cannot counteract, because I don't know any history. I can only believe him. I was born yesterday. What history does is give you enough data so that you can question anything that is said from on high."

Dr. Zinn died in California at the 87.

Reports say he was swimming when he suffered a fatal heart attack.


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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin