Monday, August 24, 2009

the people speak

If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.
Howard Zinn (b. 24 august 1922) historian, author, professor and activist

today is the 87th birthday of the brilliant sage howard zinn. I have admired professor zinn since the early 1980s when I picked up a copy of his groundbreaking book a people's history of the united states - from 1492-present. as soon as I finished the book, I immediately felt it should be read by everyone. a belief shared by others.
It is difficult to describe why it (the book) is so great because it both teaches and inspires. You really just have to read it. We think it is so good that it demands to be as accessible as possible. Once you've finished it, we're sure you'll agree. In fact, years ago, we would offer people twenty dollars if they read the book and didn't think it was completely worth their time. Of all the people who took us up on it, no one collected.

...A People's History Of The United States is available in regular form, read aloud on audio, on posters, in a teaching edition, and .... now here.
a new documentary, the people speak, will be coming out quite soon. the film is inspired by the book a people's history and weaves together narrative, music and archival photos and videos to highlight key moments in our nation's history. the film debuted last year at the toronto film festival and according to zinn's website, there was a pre-release screening of the movie saturday in wellfleet, massachusetts. zinn and other "special guests" were to be in attendance - wow, that would have been one fantastic event.

zinn has written scores of books and hundreds of essays and articles over the years. along with the must read people's history, the other book I recommend is his 1994 memoir you can't be neutral on a moving train. zinn's personal history is as remarkable and inspiring as the hidden (and often repressed) history that he has devoted his life unearthing and sharing ....he is a man of moral courage and unflagging conviction.

instead of a song, today I present the trailer for the people speak

happy birthday professor zinn - thank your for your courage, your tenacity, your optimism and idealism, and for always working toward helping us open our eyes and by doing so help open our hearts.

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.
Howard Zinn

photo: detail from carl b. stokes federal courthouse, cleveland


tut-tut said...

Hello, Mouse! L was assigned that book last year. She had a GREAT history teacher. I didn't know Zinn had a website! Cheers to you this cool Monday morning.

Angella Lister said...

Kimy, thank you so much for bringing Howard Zinn to the attention of more people! He is amazing and courageous and deeply compassionate. I love his work and him. I didn't know about the docu, so thanks for sharing that, too.

ArtSparker said...

The legend on the building reminds me of the Ursula LeGuinn story, which I'm sire you must know, The ones who walk away from Omelas.

Here is a link just in case

Anonymous said...

Hi mouse! Interesting chap this Professor Zinn; will have to look for this one( jots down note to library ). Orson Welles over-narrated a movie called "Earth", way back when and this quote and vid kinda reminded me of that. Too, the media ain't controlling my ideas, wot? HA! (goes off to site link...)

willow said...

Great spotlight on Zinn. Excellent post, Ms. Mouse.

Anonymous said...

kimy, I just watched the vid on prof.Zinn's site about Obama...very eye-opening( and things I was not aware of--'tis no wonder I don't follow the media )...he definitely has no fear of voicing his opinions! I like this guy, already!

Baino said...

Wow I hope we get that doco here. I think many decent Americans are tarred by the few and their international image less than perfect. Such a shame, the ones I know are liberal, sensitive and pretty damn descent human beings.

Roy said...

Interesting. That's a movie I'll have to make sure to see. Thanks for bringing it up!

Sandra Leigh said...

That looks fascinating. Thank you - I've requested the book from the library.

Maggie's garden said...

Thank you for posting on Zinn today. And for direction to Zinn site. As always...very much enjoy visiting mouse medicine. Time to revisit my Zinn Reader.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Kim, thanks for catching this important marker. I hope the documentary comes local - maybe to W. 65 theater. Thanks be to the universal spirit of life for Howard Zinn and to Zinn himself for his persistence and insight.

These old guys/people are passing. Did you hear that Mike Seeger died on Aug 7th? May he RIP
Susan G

Coffee Messiah said...

When I saw "train" I was blown away, which led me to read Peoples History.

If only we read such books when we were in school.

And now, even though probably no one will be held responsible, at least the BS gw and co pulled is finally coming to light and has been proven true.

Although it doesn't help those that have died in the mean time because of it all ; (

Harnett-Hargrove said...

This book is now on my library-Saturday list. Thanks for the vicarious introduction. -Jayne