YOU CAN’T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN
A Personal History of Our Times
Second edition, with a new preface
Beacon (September 2002)
Paper • ISBN-13: 9781608463053 • US $16.00 • 224 pgs.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A new edition of the classic memoir by one of our most lively, influential, and engaged teachers and activists. Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, tells his personal stories about more than thirty years of fighting for social change, from teaching during the civil rights movement at Spelman College to protests against the war in Iraq.
A former bombardier in WWII, Zinn emerged in the civil rights movement as a powerful voice for justice, and for hope.
“An inspiring autobiography…in the tradition of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, National Public Radio
“A history and a history maker to give us hope.”
“A powerful, politically electric book from one of the most engaging social critics in the nation.:
“A personal favorite. This autobiography by the great activist and historian…provides an eloquent, personal account of the struggles for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, and a universal paean to protest and resistance.”
Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive
“Zinn explains his involvement in the struggle for civil rights, against war, and in support of organized labor by citing his ‘abhorrence of any kind of bullying.’ These are lively tales.”
Patricia O’Connell, The New York Times
“Pick up this book! Start reading it! I guarantee you won’t stop. The most influential teacher I’ve ever had continues to teach us about life and humanity and hope.”
Marian Wright Edelman
“A teacher who committed his politically engaged life to the belief that love is a command to action.”
Colman McCarthy, The Washington Post
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 African American 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 over forty books.
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)
Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches, 1963–2009 (ed. Anthony Arnove)
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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