Howard Zinn inspired me. Reading his People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present was eye-opening for me. It was the first book that I had read that challenged the conventional history that you learn in high school. It told me that history was not cut-and-dry. It was not boring. History was fascinating as long as you got the real story.
Howard Zinn pasted away into his own history on January 27, 2010. He was traveling in Santa Monica when he suffered a fatal heart attack. He was 87 years old. You can find a list of some great articles on Dr. Zinn from HNN. To learn more about this amazing historian read his autobiography You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times. I have yet to read it, but it is going on my reading list right now. For those of you who have a Netflix subscription you can view his Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train [or buy it on Amazon.com] on watch instantly.
In 1997, Dr. Zinn slipped into popular culture when his writing made a cameo appearance in the film “Good Will Hunting.” The title character, played by Matt Damon, lauds “A People’s History” and urges Robin Williams’s character to read it. Damon, who co-wrote the script, was a neighbor of the Zinns growing up. -Boston Globe
There is a good short history of Dr. Zinn about half way through the Boston Globe article that I quoted above. If you want more, read his autobiography (and his other books) and there is always Wikipedia.
Image credit: spleeney