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Howard Zinn was an author, a history professor, and a political activist whose writings changed the lives of BU students and readers around the world. Zinn taught in the College of Arts & Sciences’ political science department for 24 years, from 1964 to 1988. He was a hero of the political left, a consistent and cogent critic of American policies, both domestic and international. He is best known for his 1980 book A People’s History of the United States, which countered the premise that history must be written by and for society’s “winners.” A television documentary released in 2009, The People Speak, translated Zinn’s work to the screen for yet another generation of progressive thinkers.
The Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series is made possible by a generous gift from Alex MacDonald, Esq. (CAS’72) and Maureen A. Strafford, MD (MED’76).
The 2011 Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series was given by Bob Herbert, former New York Times columnist.
The first Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture is delivered by veteran journalist Bill Moyers. Citing Zinn as his inspiration, Moyers focuses on the challenges facing our democracy. He decried what he says has been a 30-year trend toward plutocracy, where the rich get richer at the expense of the average citizen.
Howard Zinn, a College of Arts & Sciences professor emeritus of political science, shares the stage with novelist Mary Gordon, author James Carroll, and Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman during Alumni Weekend 2009 for a discussion of the Obama administration’s policy successes and disappointments thus far.
Howard Zinn discusses the wartime failings of American democracy in the first annual Howard Zinn Lecture in 2006.
Howard Zinn calls for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. Zinn accuses the Bush administration of starting a “war of aggression” against Iraq and the American public. He argues that the government and its “warmongering” organs—the mass media and the congress—are not to be relied on for information and exhorts Americans to stop believing that government has the interest of the people in mind.