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The Back Seat Interviews

Program #ZINH028. Recorded in Santa Fe, NM on September 18, 2002.

2 CDs

Get a front seat and join David Barsamian as he talks with Howard Zinn in the back seat of a car on a drive in New Mexico. These interviews are a must for Zinn fans. For those of you who don't know him, they are an excellent introduction to the wit and wisdom of one of our foremost elders. In these wide-ranging and informative interviews, he shows his mastery of disparate topics. Zinn is no boring academic. His inspiring optimism is present throughout. Among the subjects are: How history is constructed, the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, remembering Albany, GA., the FBI, RFK, Gandhi, Malcolm X, the value of books, "The Sopranos," movies, "A People's History" on HBO, Orwell's "1984" and its relevance to today.

Speaker(s):

Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn, professor emeritus at Boston University, was perhaps this country's premier radical historian. He was born in Brooklyn in 1922. His parents, poor immigrants, were constantly moving to stay, as he once told me, "one step ahead of the landlord." After high school, he went to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. During World War II, he saw combat duty as an air force bombardier. After the war, he went to Columbia University on the GI Bill. He taught at Spelman, the all black women's college in Atlanta. He was an active figure in the civil rights movement and served on the board of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was fired by Spelman for his activism. He was among the first to oppose U.S. aggression in Indochina. His book Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal was an instant classic. A principled opponent of imperialism and militarism, he was an advocate of non-violent civil disobedience. He spoke and marched against the U.S. wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. His masterwork, A People's History of the United States, continues to sell in huge numbers. Among his many books are A Power Governments Cannot Suppress and Original Zinn with David Barsamian. Just before his death he completed his last great project, the documentary The People Speak. Always ready to lend a hand, he believed in and practiced solidarity. Witty, erudite, generous and loved, Howard Zinn, friend and teacher, passed away on January 27, 2010. His words inspire many the world over, "We don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. To live now, as human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."

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