Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One of History's Innovative Chroniclers Falls Silent

Reports have emerged that today, at the age of 87 years, American historian Howard Zinn has passed away.

Zinn reached international acclaim with his book A People's History of the United States, in which he attempted to assess American history from the perspective of various oppressed groups.

He was also an active leader during the Vietnam War, in which he led a campaign of civil disobedience. He also established seven indispensible guidelines for campaigns of civil disobedience -- an invaluable contribution to the art of the peaceful protest.

Zinn never pretended that his works were meant to be politically neutral in any way. But, contrary to the work of some modern politically-motivated historians, he at the very least relied upon facts, as opposed to relying on an ability to twist, distort, or manufacture facts of their own.

The discipline of history will sorely miss Howard Zinn. Regardless of one's views on the political nature of Zinn's work, history has lost one of its glittering stars today.

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