Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn was a historian, author, professor, playwright, and activist. His life’s work focused on a wide range of issues including race, class, war, and history, and touched the lives of countless people.

Zinn grew up in Brooklyn in a working-class, immigrant household. At 18 he became a shipyard worker and then joined the Air Force and flew bombing missions during World War II. These experiences helped shape his opposition to war and his strong belief in the importance of knowing history.

After attending college under the G.I. Bill, he worked as a warehouse loader while earning a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. From 1956 to 1963, he taught at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, where he became active in the Civil Rights Movement. After being fired by Spelman for his support for student protesters, Zinn became a professor of political science at Boston University, where he taught until his retirement in 1988.

Zinn was the author of dozens of books, including A People’s History of the United States, the play Marx in SohoVietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal, and SNCC: The New Abolitionists. He received many awards including the Lannan Foundation Literary Award for Nonfiction, the Eugene V. Debs award for his writing and political activism, and the Ridenhour Courage Prize.

List of Audio and Video with Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn’s Experiences in the South and How Racial Prejudice Can Change: An Interview with Patricia Marx
WNYC Radio • 1960s

Lovejoy’s Nuclear War: Interview with Howard Zinn (Video)
Lovejoy’s Nuclear War • 1975

Howard Zinn’s Testimony in the Cruise Missile and Missile X Factory Trial (Video)
Trial of the AVCO Plowshares • 11/26/85

Howard Zinn on Indigenous People’s Day (Audio)
Democracy Now! • 10/14/96

Historian Howard Zinn on History and Politics (Audio)
Democracy Now! • 6/10/97

Historian Zinn Addresses Nation’s Censored Reports (Audio)
Democracy Now! • 5/13/98

Mergers, Lying Presidents, Activism and Noam Chomsky (Audio)
Democracy Now! • 2/7/98

A People’s History of the United States (Audio)
Democracy Now! • 5/18/99

American History Review of the 20th Century: Manning Marable and Howard Zinn (Audio)
Democracy Now! • 12/27/99

The Electoral College and Election 2000: A Historical Perspective from Howard Zinn (Audio)
Democracy Now! • 12/8/00

Radical History: A Conversation with Howard Zinn (Video)
Conversations with History • 4/20/01

Manning Marable, Howard Zinn and Grace Paley Speak Out Against the March to War (Audio)
Democracy Now! • 9/13/01

Afghanistan, U.S. Wars Gone By, and the Prospects for a Humane U.S. Foreign Policy (Video)
Democracy Now! • 10/22/01

‘Where Are We Heading: Terrorism, Global Security, and the Peace Movement’ (Video)
Democracy Now! • 2/22/02

Reflections On 9/11 and Beyond (Video)
Democracy Now! • 03/11/02

The Camden 28 Retrospective: Zinn Recounts His Testimony (Video)
Anthony Giacchino • 05/04/02

The People’s Historian: Howard Zinn (Video)
Democracy Now! • 6/21/02

Arundhati Roy in Conversation with Howard Zinn (Video)
Lannan Foundation • 9/18/02

Saying “No” to War (Video)
Democracy Now! • 10/29/02

The History of the U.S. Government and CIA ‘Changing Regimes’ Around the World (Video)
Democracy Now! • 11/28/02

Over 600 Gather for the Funeral of Legendary Anti-War Activist Philip Berrigan (Video)
Democracy Now! • 12/10/02

The History of Government and Media Lies in Time of War (Video)
Democracy Now! • 2/13/03

‘Don’t Depend On the Authorities, the People in Power to Solve Problems’ (Video)
Democracy Now! • 2/25/03

A People’s History of the United States, 1,000,000 Copies and Counting (Video)
Democracy Now! • 2/25/03

Labor Day Special: Occupied Iraq, the Role of Resistance Movements, Government Lies, and the Media (Video)
Democracy Now! • 09/01/03

A Conversation: Howard Zinn and Woody Harrelson
Deep Dish TV • 10/03

Howard Zinn – You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train (Video)
Books of Our Time •  11/11/03

Noam Chomsky & Howard Zinn “Is There Hope in This Desperate Time?” (Video)
Spare Change street paper and the Homeless Empowerment Project Fundraiser • 9/27/04

Candidates Not Addressing “Fundamental Issues of American Policy in the World” (Video)
Democracy Now! • 10/14/04

“Bush Represents Everything That Martin Luther King Opposed” (Video)
Democracy Now! • 01/20/05

“To Be Neutral, To Be Passive In A Situation Is To Collaborate With Whatever Is Going On” (Video)
Democracy Now! • 4/27/05

Bringing Democracy Alive (Video)
Boston University Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series • 11/22/06

The Wartime Failings of American Democracy (Video)
Boston University Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series • 11/22/06

The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism (Video)
Democracy Now! • 11/24/06

A Power Governments Cannot Suppress (Video)
BookTV • 1/18/07

Howard Zinn’s Personal Philosophy (Video)
BigThink • 5/8/08

Howard Zinn on U.S. Presidential Candidates (Video)
BigThink • 5/8/08

Howard Zinn on Race in America (Video)
BigThink • 5/8/08

Learning From World War II (Video)
BigThink • 5/8/08

Howard Zinn on Iraq: Advice for the Next U.S. President (Video)
BigThink • 5/8/08

Howard Zinn on the Limitations of American History Books (Video)
BigThink • 5/8/08

Howard Zinn on the World Today (Video)
BigThink • 5/8/08

Howard Zinn on Democracy in America (Video)
BigThink • 7/5/08

The Legacy of Howard Zinn (Video)
BigThink • 7/5/08

Howard Zinn Describes Work in the Navy Yards (Video)
Brooklyn Navy Yard Archive • 12/8/08

Three Holy Wars: The Progressive’s 100th Anniversary Conference (Video)
On the Earth Productions • 5/2/09

‘You have to go beyond capitalism’ (Video)
Interview by Dave Zirin • International Socialist Review • 05/02/09

‘I Wish Obama Would Listen to MLK’ (Video)
Democracy Now! • 5/13/09

Howard Zinn on Obama (Video)
TV Without Borders (TVXS) • 5/30/09

Howard Zinn: Interview by Bill Moyers (Video)
PBS – Bill Moyer’s Journal • 12/11/09

‘One Long Struggle for Justice’ (Audio)
Author on Air • 1/19/10

ReGENERATION Documentary (Video)
Anonymous Content and Engine 7 Films • 5/24/10

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