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Howard Zinn, RIP

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.

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I can't say I know the man, but from listening to others I've heard that he was very gracious in person, but fostered a hatred of America that seemed to corrupt his innards.Personally, I hope the line quoted in the opening of the thread was not his best. It sounds like something that might come from a high school student, and in a first draft.

Thank you for posting this, I was hoping someone would. Bob Herbert in the NY Times also wrote a nice recollection of Zinn. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/opinion/30herbert.html

I think "A People's History" should be required reading for all Americans. Zinn was a visionary with the courage of his convictions. There's a wonderful documentary about him called: "You Can Be Neutral On A Moving Train". Netflix has it. May he rest in peace.

He truly was a remarkable figure whose love of the United States was bound up in his concern for everyone anywhere suffering from want or injustice. His history chops are also pretty darned good. Certainly much one can argue over, but such is always the way with History. Which is why it's so much fun.

A few days ago I came across a video of a talk he gave last Novermber called Three Holy Wars, not about religious wars but the three wars in American history that are considered by most to be almost sacred - the revolutionary war, the Civil War, and WWII. Very interesting .....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUBYI97cUgU

Mark, Your words are a cross between the Sons of Zebedee and "my country right or wrong." If such are the words of high school student in a first draft, may we never grow up.

Howard - Blame America First - ZinnRIP indeed.