The acclaimed historian and author of the classic A People’s History of the United States offers a deeply personal look at the events, issues, and people that matter to us all
Based on Howard Zinn's interviews on public radio with host David Barsamian, Original Zinn brings into focus a wide range of foreign policy and domestic issues central to our lives today and showcases Zinn 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.
Zinn's newest book (of more than 20 published) collects eight radio interviews conducted with the Boston University history professor emeritus between August 2002 and February 2005 by Barsamian, founder of Alternative Radio, in Boulder, Colo. Barsamian, who is clearly sympathetic to Zinn's radical views on such subjects as the war in Iraq, art and civil disobedience as political tools, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Kennedy brothers, largely poses softball questions. The octogenarian Zinn thrives on them, explaining cogently and forcefully why world peace must predominate, rather than American military might, or how artists challenge established social boundaries. In discussing domestic politics, Zinn continues his decades-long advocacy of pulling up the poor through social engineering rather than failed programs already in place. The book closes with the text of a speech by Zinn, "Against Discouragement," which he presented at Spelman College in 2005, where he had been fired in 1963 because of his crusading for civil rights. Enthusiasts who hang on Zinn's every word will enjoy this slim paperback original; newcomers may be better off starting with his more substantial work.