Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A to Z: A People's History of the United States

P for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

P is for A People's History

Howard Zinn, an absolute delight in my eyes, who was revered and loved by many, passed away two years ago. Articulate and earnest, he left behind volumes of language, reflections, and messages intended to stimulate critical thought and to promote autonomous ideas and analysis.

As a historian, for the people, an activist, an author, an intellect, and an Air Force bombardier in World War II, he was an advocate for civil rights and a voice for labor unions. In his time he gave much thought to the injustices of the legal system and helped organize anti-war efforts. His accomplishments exposed the true struggles of Native Americans against European defeat and expansion. He explored the accounts of slaves, women, and unionist. All of which he included in his influential and widely-acclaimed book, A People's History of the United States. With this history textbook, he allowed readers to recognize the flaws in historical narrative and he inched open a doorway to thought-provoking departures from the common history books. His messages provoked many to question a superior history of omission.

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civilobedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”
— Howard Zinn

A warm memory of a man that devoted his life to acknowledging the whole of our social structure, to representing true accounts of life and action, and to recognizing submission as our greatest weakness. Thank you, Mr. Zinn, for your message and your greatest feat: fostering individual inquiry and activism.


  1. yes, but what are you going to write about when you get to Z? Just kidding. I love Howard Zinn. I haven't seen his documentary yet, have you? Maybe we'll watch it tonight.

    1. Hello...zombies!! :)

      We have. Please watch it! It's romanticism for me so I always have tears when I read him or see him.

      Love you!!

  2. Namaste! Glad to see you out and about. So you like zombies I see. I will be back for that post. Howard Zinn, I have never heard of but what an interesting life. One worth blogging about.

  3. The trouble is we aspire to have more, and are swayed by inducements to spend, to conform, to toe the line, to believe something because it is good for the country or even for the world when this is patently not true. We must continue to rattle our cages.

  4. We watched it by the way, and Shane is finally reading the people's history for the first time! You're right, the movie is fantastic, because I knew he was a great writer and historian, but I never knew before how sweetly likable he is.