promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

Activist’s death loss for ‘the people’

In foreign policy, liberty and rights, protest, war and peace on February 1, 2010 at 5:05 am

“The power ultimately rests in people themselves and that they can use it and at certain points in history they have used it,” — Howard Zinn.

Howard Zinn is a name I’d never heard until a few weeks ago. I discovered Zinn and his work while home for Christmas break at my parents’ house watching Bill Moyers. Impressed with the aging activist and feeling like somewhat of an intellectual for watching Bill Moyers, I jotted down Zinn’s name and the title of his bestseller, “A Peoples’ History of the United States.”

I wasn’t until yesterday while searching YouTube for interviews of Zinn that I learned of his death on Wednesday.

Perhaps many people knew who Howard Zinn was. I had never heard of the man until recently. I suppose I feel sad I did not learn of him sooner.

What impressed me about Zinn was his philosophical transformation. As a young fighter pilot serving in World War II, he was responsible for dropping napalm on a village in France — a task that changed him forever.

Later, Zinn became one of the leading voices of opposition against the Vietnam War. He was also an author, playwright, historian, speaker and teacher. Most importantly, Zinn became a voice of hope and empowerment for all people.

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