With the passing of J.D. Salinger this week, it would be easy to fail to note the death of Howard Zinn. His book, A People's History of the United States, was and is enormously important. I was thrilled that my son was assigned the book in high school a few years ago.After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Zinn published a little piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education, entitled "Compassion, Not Vengeance." Here is the last paragraph of the piece:"Our security can only come by using our national wealth, not for guns, planes, and bombs, but for the health and welfare of our people, and for people suffering in other countries. Our first thoughts should be not of vengeance, but of compassion, not of violence, but of healing."Such was the spirit of the man.