Today, we bring you a conversation with historian and playwright Howard Zinn. He’s been active in civil rights and anti-war movements in America. But Zinn may be best known for writing A People’s History of the United States. The book strives to reveal the stories of those he feels have been left out of the established American narrative. Tomorrow night, Zinn will be the keynote speaker on an issue he’s taken on in recent years. The 9th annual Campaign to End the Death Penalty convention takes place tomorrow on the University of Chicago campus.
The People’s Historian Speaks!
By Ben Corbett
October 5, 2009
Tonic: Has effecting social change always been a challenge in this country?
Zinn: Yeah, always. It was a long struggle for the anti-slavery movement. They started out in the 1830s with a handful of people and they struggled for 30 years to build a national movement against slavery. If not for that national movement, we wouldn’t have had the Emancipation Proclamation or the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. And of course it was a long struggle for working people to get the eight-hour day. Workers have always had to struggle and go on strike to better their conditions.
Tonic: And the struggle is still going on. It’s a continuous process.
Zinn: It’s still going on. Immigrant workers very often face the same kind of sweatshop conditions in factories that people faced in New York at the beginning of the 20th Century. And of course, it’s still true of migrant farm laborers that have to deal with very low wages and difficult conditions. It’s not far from The Grapes of Wrath of the 1930s.
via The People’s Historian Speaks! – Tonic (article has been removed)