Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zinn: An American for the ages

Howard Zinn died yesterday. He was 87 years old. He was one of the most transformative historians in American culture. You are not the same person after you read even part of "The People's History of the United States." Once you read the book--I wish more would read it all and not just part--you begin to understand how many threads of unsung people were truly the ones who gave our nation the gifts we cherish, and how the struggle for greatness in our nation is one where we have moments to act, and little more.

3 Quarks Daily has rounded up commentaries about Zinn and interviews with Zinn that give us a sense of the man. See here, here, here, here, here and here.

Yes, I realize some smart banker, as opposed to a dumb banker, gave a speech last night. I understand some said it was a pretty speech. One guy on t.v. temporarily forgot he was a racist while the smart banker spoke. Still, I see the speech as not much different than the emails I get about transferring $2 million into my bank account. Obama is (a) Herbert Hoover; (b) Jimmy Carter; (c) Bill Clinton; or (d) JFK (let's remember JFK was a largely ineffectual president who made pretty speeches and was glamorous and cool in that television medium sorta way...). Take your pick.

Buying and reading Zinn's "People's History" is a better use of one's time than listening to a pretty speech from a banker's handmaiden.


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