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Rethinking Schools, co-coordinator of the Zinn Education Project

One Long Struggle for Justice: An Interview with Howard Zinn

Published on April 1, 2010 in

In 2008 Rethinking Schools and the Washington, D.C.-based education nonprofit Teaching for Change joined together to form the Zinn Education Project, dedicated to promoting the teaching of a people's history in middle and high schools throughout the United States. The Zinn Education Project recently launched a new website,, that features over 75 downloadable teaching articles, drawn mostly from the archives of Rethinking Schools magazine, and hundreds of teaching resource recommendations: books, curricula, and audiovisual materials.

In early January, the Zinn Education Project joined with HarperCollins, publisher of Howard Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States, to sponsor an "Ask Howard" online radio interview, and invited teachers from around the country participate. Sixty teachers and students submitted written questions to Professor Zinn. The Jan. 19 interview was conducted by Rethinking Schools Curriculum Editor Bill Bigelow. This turned out to be Howard Zinn's last broadcast interview. He died in California just eight days later.

We are honored to present these excerpts from that interview, edited for length and clarity. The full audio version can be accessed in the news section at -the editors

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Zinn Education Project

Published on March 31, 2010 in
From ZINN EDUCATION PROJECT The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the use of Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States and other materials for teaching a people’s history in middle and high school classrooms across the country. The Zinn Education Project is coordinated by two non-profit organizations, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. Its goal is to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. The empowering potential of studying U.S. history is often lost in a textbook-driven trivial pursuit of names and dates. Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States emphasizes the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in shaping history. Students learn that history is made not by a few heroic individuals, but instead by people’s choices and actions, thereby also learning that their own choices and actions matter.
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Zinn Education Project

Published on March 16, 2010 in
By Susan Gaissert I’ve read many articles written by Howard Zinn. I’m ashamed to say that I have never read his entire book, A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present, but I plan to. Howard Zinn, who died on January 27,  2010 at age 87, told a different story about America, one that exposed its flaws but also one that celebrated its common people, instead of just its leaders. The Zinn Education Project is a great way to explore his vision and expand your own vision of America. The Zinn Education Project allows you to discover history by time period or by theme. It contains wonderful resources, including web sites and even posters in addition to books and films. Warning: these resources include things like a poster entitled “Lies My Teacher Told Me About Christopher Columbus”, so don’t go here if you want your American history served up the way I learned it in the 1960s.
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Howard Zinn, My Courageous Friend

Published on January 30, 2010 in
by William Holtzman
What can I say about my friend Howard Zinn? I met Howard at Boston University, where I attended his classes in the mid-1970s. To this day, I can quote chapter and verse from his lectures. The man could be spellbinding in a gentle, whimsical way. One lecture stands out because it says so much about Howard. It was the last lecture of the semester, and he said, "Enough of me; let's turn it over to you. Let's talk about whatever you want to talk about." His lecture attracted 500-plus students, so I was quick to hold up my hand. I liked to challenge Howard, so I gave it my best shot: "Howard, we just finished an entire semester on American politics, but we've never talked about compromise, and compromise is fundamental to the American system. Could you talk about the fine art of compromise and tenure?" With his Buddha-like manner, he nodded and said: "So, you want to know what I compromised for tenure? Is that the question?" Essentially, that was the question.
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Howard Zinn, US historian and activist, dies aged 87

Published on January 28, 2010 in

Howard Zinn, US historian and activist, dies aged 87

The American historian, playwright and author of the bestseller A People's History of the United States, which presents a leftist view of US history, has died

By Alison Flood

American historian, playwright and social activist Howard Zinn died yesterday, aged 87.

The author of the million-plus bestseller A People's History of the United States, which gave a leftist view of American history, died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California, his daughter Myla Kabat-Zinn told the Associated Press today.

Zinn wrote more than 20 books and his plays have been produced around the world, but it is for A People's History, first published in 1980 with a print run of just 5,000 copies, which the historian is best known. Told from the perspective of America's women, Native Americans and workers, the book provides a revisionist view of American history from the arrival of Christopher Columbus – who Zinn charges with genocide – to president Bill Clinton's first term.

"My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality," wrote the author in the bestselling book. "But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all) – that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth."

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Howard Zinn on A People’s History of the United States

Published on January 19, 2010 in

Harper Perennial and The Zinn Education Project are pleased to present a conversation with Howard Zinn on A People's History of the United States. The Zinn Education Project has solicited questions from teachers through their website, Bill Bigelow, a teacher and writer, will present these questions to Professor Zinn for discussion. During the last twenty minutes of the show, the chat room and phone lines will be open for live participation in the discussion and for listeners to present their own questions to Professor Zinn.

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