Beloved Activist Howard Zinn dies at 87 but before he goes he says a few words about Obama

Filed in Gather News Channel by on January 28, 2010 0 Comments

Howard Zinn was a popular political activist and author who wrote the best-selling book, “A People’s History of the United States” died of a heart attack today while visiting in Santa Monica, California. He died at the age of 87 years old.

In 2003, his book reached one million sales and was even used a part of the curriculum for high schools and colleges throughout the United States. It was later published as a book for youth under the name of “Voices of a People’s History”. (AP)

In his book, he scrutinized U.S. leaders and Presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson. He widely supported the movements and efforts of workers, feminists and war resisters.


He called his book a response to traditional works, the first chapter, not the last, of a new kind of history. His book drew the interest of many well-known actors and celebrities such as Ben Affleck and Matt Damon who were family friends of his.


Oliver Stone was a huge fan of his and Bruce Spingsteen even used the book as the inspiration and foundation of his “Nebraska” album.(AP)

The book was also used as the basis of a 2007 documentary called “Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind,” and was even highlighted on an episode of “The Sopranos,” when it was found in the hands of Tony’s son, A.J.


The New York Times describes Howard Zinn as, “an impressive-looking man, tall and rugged with wavy hair. An experienced public speaker, he was modest and engaging in person, more interested in persuasion than in confrontation.”


Joseph Palermo of the Huffington Post says, “his talks were always so emotionally powerful and sensitive to human suffering and injustice. But he could also be hilariously funny with a comedian’s sense of timing. And he had the most developed sense of irony — and the ability to convey irony — as anyone I’ve ever seen or read.”

The last known writing from Professor Zinn’s was an essay that was published last week in The Nation. It discussed the first year of the Obama administration and he describes who he thinks Obama is.

“I’ve been searching hard for a highlight,” he wrote, adding that he wasn’t disappointed because he never expected a lot from President Obama.

“I think people are dazzled by Obama’s rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president — which means, in our time, a dangerous president — unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.”


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