Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches 1963 to 2009

Overview

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 ...

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Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches 1963-2009

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Overview

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.”
—NOAM CHOMSKY

“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.”
—NAOMI KLEIN

“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.”
—MICHAEL MOORE

“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 wrote the classic A People's History of the United States. The book, which has sold more than two million copies, has been featured in the film Good Will Hunting, and has appeared multiple times on The New York Times best-seller list.

Anthony Arnove wrote, directed, and produced The People Speak with Howard Zinn, Chris Moore, Josh Brolin, and Matt Damon, and co-edited, with Howard Zinn, Voices of a People's History of the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Reading Howard’s spoken words I feel that I am almost hearing his voice again. Even in writing its unique appeal comes through — 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. I’ve heard Howard speak to tens of thousands at demonstrations, to small groups of homeless people, to activists enduring brutal treatment, and at many other times and places. Always just the right tone and message, always inspiring, a gift to all of us to be treasured.”
—Noam Chomsky

“Few people changed more lives than Howard Zinn. He changed them as an author, as a play write and as a filmmaker. But he also changed them face-to-face, as a speaker. With ferocious moral clarity and mischievous humor, Howard turned routine anti-war rallies into profound explorations of state violence and he turned 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.”
—Naomi Klein, author The Shock Doctrine

“Howard Zinn — there was no one like him. And to hear him speak was like listening to music that you loved — lyrical, uplifting, honest. If you never got to hear him speak, this book will move you in profound ways. Although Howard’s ‘voice’ is no longer with us, his true voice will live on forever. And I know he would love it for each of you to find your voice, too, and to be heard. Perhaps this book will provide you with some inspiration.”
—Michael Moore

“Howard Zinn was one of us, the best part of us. Enjoy these speeches. Hear his voice. Then hear your own, hear it closely.”
—Josh Brolin

“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.”
—Eve Ensler

“Howard Zinn’s speeches, beautifully gathered together here by Anthony Arnove, are a joy and an inspiration.”
—Marisa Tomei

“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.”
—Dave Zirin

"The first time I heard Howard Zinn speak I was a student in the deep South, and amazed that anyone could stay alive long enough to say such things. He was completely fearless, totally relaxed, making joking asides as he went straight to the bloody heart of Empire. How much time it has saved me, having him as a teacher my second year in college. Reading this book brings back memories of those times when Howie spoke to sometimes shocked crowds of people who, before hearing him, had thought historians should be silent about current affairs or, at most, write quiet books. Howard Zinn was a free man. Delightful because of this. Howard Zinn Speaks is a book to savor. It is wise, humorous, serious, without one moment of hesitation in tackling the basic notions about who we are as a people, a country, and a world. Elder brother, great teacher. Presente."
–Alice Walker

"I hesitate to comment on Howard Zinn Speaks because of my unshakable and overt bias for anything Zinn. I don't think it'd be fair honestly to gloat about his work in such a way. But then again having a Zinn bias just means you favor truth and justice over lies and oppression."
–Lupe Fiasco

"These speeches make great reading for students and teachers—especially when read aloud."
—Rethinking Schools

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608462599
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books
  • Publication date: 11/20/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 937,125
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


HOWARD ZINN (August 24, 1922 — January 27, 2010) was a historian, playwright, and activist. He wrote the classic A People’s History of the United States, The book, which has sold more than two million copies, has been featured on The Sopranos and Simpsons, and in the film Good Will Hunting. The book has appeared multiple times on the New York Times best-seller list.

Zinn was the author of many books, including an autobiography, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, and the plays Marx in Soho, Emma, and Daughter of Venus. He received the Lannan Foundation Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Eugene V. Debs award for his writing and political activism.

*
ANTHONY ARNOVE wrote, directed, and produced The People Speak with Howard Zinn, Chris Moore, Josh Brolin, and Matt Damon. This critically acclaimed documentary is the film companion to Howard Zinn’s best selling book A People’s History of the United States and its primary source companion, Voices of a People’s History, which Arnove co-edited with Zinn.

Arnove’s writing has appeared in O Magazine, The Financial Times, The Nation, Monthly Review, In These Times, L’Humanite, Le Nouvel Observateur, Mother Jones, and other publications. He has appeared on BBC, Democracy Now!, Sky News, ABC Radio in Australia, Alternative Radio, CounterSpin, Air America, and public radio programs across the country.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Anthony Arnove vii

Note on the text xiii

1 Southern Influence in National Politics 1

2 Speech against the Vietnam War on Boston Common 15

3 Thinking about Vietnam: Political Theory and Human Life 21

4 Academic Freedom: Collaboration and Resistance 41

5 Second Thoughts on the First Amendment 59

6 1492-1992: The Legacy of Columbus 77

7 A People's History of the United States 91

8 A Call to Action: Abolish the Death Penalty 115

9 The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti 121

10 Emma Goldman, Anarchism, and War Resistance 133

11 Confronting Government Lies 145

12 History Matters 161

13 The Myth of American Exceptionalism 175

14 Just War 185

15 Overcoming Obstacles 207

16 Civil Disobedience in the Twenty-First Century 225

17 The State of the Union 241

18 Standing Up for Justice in the Age of Obama 255

19 Talk on Democracy and Citizenship in Greece 265

20 Three Holy Wars 283

Acknowledgment 301

Index 303

Books by Howard Zinn 310

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