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There are 47 comments on Howard Zinn Dies

  1. Oh, that’s sad! I took his course at BU back in the 60s and I guess he was part of the reason that I got involved in the anti-war protests in ’69.
    And he lived near us in Auburndale so I saw him for many years. He had a gentle manner yet he had a lot of fire!

  2. Is it possible to get the Howard Zinn video captioned so the Deaf and hard of hearing community may know what Prof. Zinn is saying here? He was and will continue to be an important figure to all of us.

  3. It was only this Sunday that I watched the Howard Zinn Lecture Series 2009 on the internet. I can hardly believe this outstanding professor of political science and activist of social justice has gone. But what a colourful and remarkable life he had and has left this world with a legacy that will continue in his absence. RIP Professor Zinn.

  4. Ever since I saw his play Marx in Soho when I was an undergrad, I was in love. I was very saddened to hear of Zinn’s passing today. He will be sorely missed.

  5. Howard Zinn was also at the school post October when he came on November 5 to speak about his TV special The People Speak which was to play shown on the History Channel in December. He was there with David Strathairn and Chris Moore. I had heard of him before but going to this event really opened my eyes as to what an amazing person he really was. It was a wonderful experience being able to see him speak live about what he has done with history, and it is a shame that he has left us but as many have said his legacy will live on!

  6. If not the best, one of the best professors of all time at Boston University. I took two courses with him and found them to be truly thought provoking and interesting.

    In a strange way, Zinn and Silber together did more to make BU the great institution it is today than any other BU personalities.

  7. What a great human being we have lost as a global community. Truly saddening. Chomsky’s comment on Zinn’s passing:

    “His writings have changed the consciousness of a generation, and helped open new paths to understanding and its crucial meaning for our lives. When action has been called for, one could always be confident that he would be on the front lines, an example and trustworthy guide.”

  8. I had Zinn as a teacher. He loved students and made them think (even if you thought he was wrong). He was also a wonderfully decent human being who always championed the underdog.

  9. RIP Howard Zinn. I had Zinn as a teacher. He loved students and made them think (even if you thought he was wrong). He was also a wonderfully decent human being who always championed the underdog.

  10. Read you, met you, even waited on you !
    Thank you for your simplicity.
    Thank you for always saying like it is.
    Thank you for letting the little children know the truth.

  11. I took a course co-taught Dr. Zinn and a Dr. Robert Cohen at Boston University way, way back in 1970 which was about radical movements of that time during which the war in Viet Nam was raging, while there was much ferment both on and off of college campuses. Dr. Zinn had different guest speakers from movements and groups come in for almost every class.

    Thanks to Dr. Zinn, our often naive middle class eyes were opened wide to real American history, about those to whom great suffering was caused. He increased our scholarship, and inspired our activism.

    Along with his humility, personal warmth and friendliness, his lessons will always remain with me.

  12. Howard Zinn was a truly great thinker and activist who changed my perspective on government and America in the 1970’s. A wonderful professor and extraordinary human being.

  13. I went to BU in the early 70’s when the Vietnam War and Professor Zinn were at their height. Unfortunately, I was never able to get into one of his always filled political science classes. However, I did hear him lecture many times around campus. And, yes, I did participate in more than one of the anti-war rallies he led. He embodied what few teachers possess –the passion, knowledge, and drive to have everyone around him thrive. For me, he helped to shape the University and my college experience. I know many people feel this way. He will be missed.

  14. For those acolytes of Mr. Zinn, I ask this: Where was the wonderful humanitarian voice of Mr. Zinn(the self-accaimed world citizen), while his friends, the Communists, were slaughtering a hundred million innocent people? If you have a decade or so on your hands, see if you can dig up a few syllables. (I won’t hold my breath) I spoke with Mr. Zinn on several occasions. After one B.U. lecture, I confronted him about Daniel Ellsberg, who Zinn described as a courageous individual for his law-breaking exploits with the Pentagon Papers. I reminded Mr. Zinn that Daniel Ellsberg was a military adviser to the Kennedy Administration; Ellsberg was so gung ho about prosecuting the Vietnam War that he volunteered to go into the field with an M-16, even though field battle was not allowed for his administrative rank. So, while the war looked winnable with the unparalled hardware advantage of the U.S., Ellsberg was gung ho warhawk extraordinaire promoting the war. But oops, when the war became a gruesome slog(Was Ellsberg aware of Korea?)–but more importantly–politically untenable for his party–Ellsberg reversed gears 180 degrees, joining the anti-war activists, and with his high security clearance, gathered thousands of pages of classified military documents and leaked them to the lefty New York Times which couldn’t fall over itself fast enough to publish them, weaking the U.S. position to work behind the scenes with allies. (What head of state would deal with a country whose secrets are being sold to the N.Y. Times by the bucketload?) I said, “Mr. Zinn, if this is your idea of a courageous man, I’d love to see who your cowards are?” Ellsberg is with you while you’re winning; and against you when you’re losing–this is Howard Zinn’s idea of a paragon of virtue?

  15. I had the pleasure of having Howard Zinn’s as a professor at BU in the late ’70s. His lectures were riveting. His passion was electric. His students loved him and he loved them back. Many years later, I revisited Howard Zinn by reading his beautifully written and researched “People’s History of the United States” and “Voices of a People’s History.” Then he was back again, with the documentary “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.” It was truly amazing how much this brilliant man produced in his lifetime. He’s continues to be an inspiration.

  16. I attended one of Howard’s fascinating, crowded classes in the 1980s. I just went to the BU website out of curiosity to see if Howard Zinn would even be mentioned given John Silber’s antagonism toward him.

    It makes me feel better about BU to see this — to not suppress information, or laudatory statements, about Howard Zinn, say as a function of directives from active or emeritus leadership.

    I’d like to think that Silber, even, appreciated Howard Zinn at least for dialectical value.

    On a related topic, BU in the 1980s was on the main a hostile, unwelcoming place for someone struggling with being gay, in great part due to the attitude of its leadership.

    I hope the editors of this website will have the courage, honesty, and openness — in the spirit Howard Zinn — to print my comments in full.

  17. Howard Zinn was a real American Patriot,
    As a young man, he volunteered for war, and later thought about what that meant. He realized that even in the “good war” bombs dropped from on high killed innocent people below. It made him think about what it all meant.. and he tried to pass that along to his students… Stopping and thikning about what you are doing when you are given an order rather than just following it.. that is courageous.

  18. Howard Zinn was one of the greatest Americans who ever lived. He was filled with love for humanity and he took what has always been the best about American ideas and thought and made sure the rest of the country not only knew about those ideas, but understood them and how to apply them in their own lives in order to improve the world and make it a better, more peaceful, more humane place. I was his student in the late 70’s. I loved and respected this man as so many others did and still do. God bless him and may his work continue to touch every new generation until finally we put an end to war and racism and poverty.

  19. Ironically, the day before Howard Zinn died, I had used him and his writing as an example in my class of how insurgent scholarship can and must be used to change things in our society. The principles he stood for and emulated – justice, equality, freedom, truth, fearlessness, governmental, corporate and institutional accountability to the people – are timeless. Now we must use his life and work to teach a whole nation and the world to stand in solidarity with him.

  20. I guess I qualify among those “readers around the world” whose mind and life Howard Zinn has changed.

    I first ran into this Great Man in my early twenties as I happened to find “A Peoples History of the United States” in a public library here in Stockholm. A truly life-changing experience that has had a crucial impact in defining me as a human, as a thinking person and as a free individual, as well as a person with a strong moral obligation and as a history-maker in motion. I consider my “meeting” with Mr Zinn as a true revelation and intellectual awakening which I will always have Mr Zinn to thank for. I therefore naturally took the news of his death with sadness, but also with joy, since few men deserved their final rest more than Howard Zinn did.

    To me, Mr Zinn will always be present and and inspiration and represents the best of America.

  21. Howard Zinn was my professor at Boston University. He was a kind man with a gentle manner.
    Like Mona Lisa, he always seemed to be smiling. As he grew older, he appeared to become more confident. Psychologists believe that as we age there are four tenets necessary to bring us fulfillment, represented by four words that begin with the letter L. LIFE (to live it to the fullest), LOVE, LEARNING, and LEGACY.
    Dr. Zinn’s life clearly had an abundance of all of these L’s. However his legacy reminds us to add one more L word to the vernacular: LIBERTY.

  22. All peace and justice loving people have lost a great American hero with the passing of Howard Zinn. Howard helped us all to see through the empty power of the ruling class and their frequent use of the machinery of war externally, and the machinery of oppression of minorities and the working class internally. His words inspired common people not to kill others or to despair, but to organize and fight for their rights and appreciate the power of their potential. He was not a Marxist idealogue but an American patriot speaking truth to power – a defender of the US Constitution and a defender of American freedoms. Howard “walked the talk” putting his body on the line so many times over his long life. Amazingly, after witnessing these many decades with so many wars and so many struggles for justice; he was still an optimist who perpetually saw the glass half full – even after 8 years of Bush/Cheney crimes. A teacher in so many ways, a voice for those that others would silence, a courageous and honorable man who will be sorely missed but not forgotten.

  23. I worked with Howard at BU during his tenure. We always met on Commonweath Ave on the way to his classroom in the basement of 602. One day he had a tall gentleman with him by the name of Dan. He would say come join us. I watched him from the sidelines and often sat with his wife Roz and enjoyed his presentations in manner of Rabbe with secular overtones. My sister met him at a dinner at the University of Bridgeport. The two of them had their heads together and as I neared the intimate discussion it was of the details of the Algerian Civil War.
    I have other rememberances which I shall always keep as fond memories of Boston University and of Howard. I hope the Chapel will have some posted event to his memory.

  24. This is so sad, I think he was a very intelligent character worth remembering and honouring. In a time where people are obsessed with celebrities and empty opinions rendered in mainstream media, it is important to remind ourselves that there are people worth listening to who can help us become better critical thinkers. online casino

  25. I read “A People’s History of the United States”when I was on college he inspired me to see things in another way. His method of teaching brought freshness to the history classes. Zinn was an admirable man and a pacifist, he was also one of the first ones to start the debate about the green manufacturing . Great man, great life. Zinn’s legacy will live on.

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