tinkll1 (tinkll1) wrote,

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Howward Zinn: "You Can't Be Neutral On a Moving Train"

Netflix provided the DVD, and for the last week, Lin and I have been falling asleep to it. It was not our intention, but there is a price for being a morning person, and we pay it, beginning about 9:00 P.M. So good intention or not, unless it's something as adrenalin-generating as 24, or the Sopranos, we tend to fall asleep a bit after the sun goes down.

Stayiing awake through this documentary, narrated by Matt Damon, but featuring the words and deeds of Zinn, is very worthwhile. He is now enshrined in my pantheon of heroes, along with Arthur Ashe, John Wooden, my Dad, of course, my Wife, Lin.... absolutely, Dr. Thomas Brem and Belding Scribner, M.D., and Paul Wellstone.... well, I guess, its a large pantheon, and ever changing.

Zinn belongs! Wikipedia has a nice entry, and this photo is from there courtesy of the U.S.A.A.F., when Zinn was a Second Lieutenant and Bombardier.

From Wiki: "Zinn's anti-war stance was, in part, informed by his own experiences in the military. In April, 1945, he participated in the first military use of napalm, which took place in Royan, France. The bombings were aimed at German soldiers who were, in Zinn's words, hiding and waiting out the closing days of the war. The attacks killed not only the German soldiers but also French civilians. Nine years later, Zinn visited Royan to examine documents and interview residents. In his books, The Politics of History and The Zinn Reader, he described how the bombing was ordered at the war's end by decision-makers most probably motivated by the desire for career advancement rather than for legitimate military objectives.
Zinn said his experience as a bombardier, combined with his research into the reasons for and effects of the bombing of Royan, sensitized him to the ethical dilemmas faced by G.I.s during wartime.[6] Zinn questioned the justifications for military operations inflicting civilian casualties in the Allied bombing of cities such as Dresden, Royan, Tokyo, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, Hanoi during the U.S. war in Vietnam, and Baghdad during the U.S. war in Iraq. In his pamphlet "Hiroshima: Breaking the Silence", Zinn laid out the case against targeting civilians.[7]"

This is just a teaser. He has lived a most meaningful life from testimony as an expert witness at the Daniel Ellsberg trial, to the Civil Rights movement, to writing his acclaimed, "A Peoples' History of the United States." The DVD is a wonderful introduction and his works will be added to the books that I would absolutely love to read.

Anyone familiar with Zinn? Or have opinions? I will check under interests in LJ.
Tags: history, howard zinn
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