Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Howard Zinn, In Memoriam

Damn, we're losing the good ones- first Robert B Parker, and now Howard Zinn has passed away. Zinn was a political activist, a humanitarian, a speaker, writer, and great, much-needed man in this country (or any other).

He wrote "A People's History of the United States," which should be required reading in all schools. It tells the story most "history" books leave out, of those who strove for freedom and workers rights and fair dealings. If you have not yet read it, consider yourself uneducated until you do. Yes, it is simply far and away a tremendous book that gives us the story we so seldom hear.

Catch the documentary film "You Can't Be Neutral On a Moving Train," which tells about his life and work.

I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Zinn several years back, as part of an interview for Liberty News TV. He was gracious, articulate, kind, and eloquent, as he spoke for about half an hour on a subject: without notes, teleprompter, or word-fumbling. Having read about his life and work, I was in awe, but he always came across as a man of the people. The real people. Those who toil for a living, and those who fight for better conditions for people who aren't rich or powerful.

There are some people in the world, that when you meet them, you want to be a better person. Howard Zinn was one such. He fought the good fight without anger, or rancor, or bitterness, just a gentle, determined insistence that individual human beings matter.

Our world is truly poorer for his loss, but his life is one to make us think the human race might be worthy of survival.

For a "news" appreciation, here's one source. May there be many more, but much better.

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