Howard Zinn, a Boston University professor who was among the earliest to speak out against US involvement in Vietnam, died today at age 87 after suffering a heart attack. Zinn is perhaps best known for his 1980 book, A People’s History of the United States, in which he eschewed the customary enthronement of the Founding Fathers and instead focused on 1930s union organizers, among others, as national heroes.
“From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history,” Zinn wrote in his 1994 autobiography. “I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it.”
(Read more Howard Zinn stories.)