HOWARD ZINN SPEAKS
Collected Speeches, 1963–2009
Edited by Anthony Arnove
Haymarket Books (November 2012)
Paper • ISBN-13: 9781608462599 • US $18.95 • 320 pgs.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Howard Zinn has illuminated our history like no other US historian. This collection of his speeches on protest movements, racism, war, and US history, many never before published, covers more than four decades of his active engagement with the audiences he inspired with his humor, insight, and clarity.
“Reading Howard’s spoken words, I feel that I am almost hearing his voice again—his stunning pitch-perfect ability to capture the moment and the concerns and needs of the audience, whoever they may be, always enlightening, often stirring, an amalgam of insight, critical history, wit, blended with charm and appeal.”
“With ferocious moral clarity and mischievous humor, Howard turned routine antiwar rallies into profound explorations of state violence and staid academic conferences into revival meetings for social change. Collected here for the first time, Howard’s speeches—spanning an extraordinary life of passion and principle—come to us at the moment when we need them most: just as a global network of popular uprisings searches for what comes next. We could ask for no wiser a guide than Howard Zinn.”
“To hear [Howard] speak was like listening to music that you loved—lyrical, uplifting, honest…. I know he would love it for each of you to find your voice and to be heard. This book will provide you with some inspiration.”
“To read this book is to hear Howard Zinn speak again, inspiring us for the struggles from below that are our only hope for any future at all.”
Frances Fox Piven
“Howard Zinn was one of us, the best part of us. Enjoy these speeches. Hear his voice. Then hear your own, hear it closely.”
“One of my favorite expressions from Nicaragua is: ‘Struggle is the highest form of song.’ In that case Howard Zinn is one of our great singers and these speeches are righteous songs filled with the boldness, vision, humor, depth and urgings of his profoundly human voice. Howard sang a different America, an invisible America, an America of the 99 percent. He sang of the lies and deceit of the government and the impossibility and horror of wars made in America’s name. He sang of a dream, a deeper dream that is now rising in the streets. I cannot think of a more important set of songs to be singing at this time.”
“Howard Zinn’s speeches, beautifully gathered together here by Anthony Arnove, are a joy and an inspiration.”
“Howard Zinn’s towering legacy will forever be as a historian who made history. He made history because his books, his actions, and especially his speeches inspired ordinary people to do extraordinary things. We fight onward today in a remarkable tradition of struggle. For many of us, we first became aware of this tradition by sitting in a packed, musty meeting hall and listening to stories of heart, humor, and heroism, as communicated by Howard Zinn.”
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.
Anthony Arnove produced the Academy Award–nominated documentary Dirty Wars and wrote, directed, and produced The People Speak with Howard Zinn. He is the editor of several books, including Voices of a People’s History of the United States, which Arnove co-edited with Zinn, The Essential Chomsky, and Iraq Under Siege, and is the author of Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal. He is on the editorial boards of Haymarket Books and the International Socialist Review, and is the founder of Roam Agency.
OTHER TITLES BY THIS AUTHOR
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)
Indispensable Zinn: The Essential Writings of the “People’s Historian” (ed. Timothy Patrick McCarthy)
Original Zinn: Conversations on History and Politics (with David Barsamian)
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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