Thursday, January 28, 2010

Howard Zinn, 1922-2010. R.I.P.

Howard Zinn, the Marxist historian best known for the book A People's History of the United States died of a heart attack today while traveling in California. He was 87.

Most people remember Matt Damon (a family friend of Zinn's) make reference to the book in the movie Good Will Hunting. Last month, the book was adapted into a History Channel special called The People Speak.

As a resident of Boston, I can tell you that Zinn rivaled Noam Chomsky as the biggest local left-wing icon.

Naturally, I disagreed with nearly everything that Zinn said or wrote. But I do not wish to speak ill of the deceased.

Here is what Zinn wrote about President Obama but a fortnight ago concerning his first anniversary in office in a symposium conducted by The Nation:

I think people are dazzle by Obama's rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president - which means, in our time, a dangerous president - unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.

I think a lot of conservatives would agree with Zinn's conclusion. But conservatives would also point out there is such a national movement to push Obama in a better direction - The Tea Party.

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