Conversations on History and Politics
Interviewed by David Barsamian
Foreword by Arundhati Roy
HarperCollins / Perennial (2006)
Paper • ISBN-13: 9780060844257 • US $13.99 • 192 pgs.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Historian, activist, and bestselling author Howard Zinn has been interviewed by David Barsamian for public radio numerous times over the past decade. Original Zinn is a collection of their conversations, showcasing the acclaimed author of A People’s History of the United States at his most engaging and provocative.
Touching on such diverse topics as the American war machine, civil disobedience, the importance of memory and remembering history, and the role of artists—from Langston Hughes to Dalton Trumbo to Bob Dylan—in relation to social change, Original Zinn is Zinn at his irrepressible best, the acute perception of a scholar whose impressive knowledge and probing intellect make history immediate and relevant for us all.
“Not to read Howard Zinn is to do a disservice to yourself.”
“A history maker to give us hope.”
“It has been Zinn’s lifework to illuminate the subjectivities others have ignored.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Howard Zinn (1922–2010) was a historian, playwright, and activist. He wrote the classic A People’s History of the United States, “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those … whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories” (Library Journal). The book, which has sold more than 2.6 million copies and been translated into 23 foreign editions, has become a cultural touchstone, encouraging interest in “people’s histories” in universities and activist meetings alike. In 2009, History aired The People Speak, an acclaimed documentary co-directed by Zinn, based on A People’s History and a companion volume, Voices of a People’s History of the United States. As Noam Chomsky wrote, “Howard Zinn’s work literally changed the conscience of a generation.”
Zinn grew up in a working-class, immigrant household in Brooklyn. At eighteen, he became a shipyard worker and flew bomber missions over Europe during World War II, experiences which helped to shape his opposition to war and his interest in the lives of working people. After attending college under the GI Bill and earning a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, he taught at Spelman College, a historically black women’s college, where he became active in the civil rights movement. After being fired by Spelman for his support for student protesters, Zinn became a professor of Political Science at Boston University, where he taught until his retirement in 1988. He wrote more than forty books.
David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape, both with his weekly radio program, Alternative Radio—now in its thirty-fifth year—and his books with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Arundhati Roy, and Edward Said.
Arundhati Roy studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into more than forty languages worldwide. She has written several non-fiction books, including Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, Capitalism: A Ghost Story, Things That Can and Cannot Be Said (with John Cusack), and The End of Imagination, all published by Haymarket Books. She is the recipient of the 2002 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize.
OTHER TITLES BY HOWARD ZINN
A People’s History of the United States: Abridged Teaching Edition (with Kathy Emery and Ellen Reeves)
A People’s History of the United States: The Wall Charts (with George Kirschner)
Howard Zinn On Democratic Education (with Donaldo Macedo)
Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches, 1963–2009 (ed. Anthony Arnove)
Indispensable Zinn: The Essential Writings of the “People’s Historian” (ed. Timothy Patrick McCarthy)
Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century (with Dana Frank and Robin D. G. Kelley)
Uncommon Sense: From the writings of Howard Zinn (eds. Dean Birkenkamp and Wanda Rhudy)
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