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A People’s Historian

January 27, 2010

“He’s made an amazing contribution to American intellectual and moral culture. He’s changed the conscience of America in a highly constructive way. I really can’t think of anyone I can compare him to in this respect.” – Noam Chomsky on Howard Zinn

I was saddened to learn today about the passing of Howard Zinn. Most people will remember him for A People’s History of the United States. His legacy doesn’t simply begin or end there though.

He will be revered for his courage to protest wars or inviting his students to join him in protesting unfair treatment of minorities. He dared to write about history from the perspective of the lower-class; not the elite. Who would have thought that Christopher Columbus was capable of raping and enslaving the people of Hispaniola, all in the name of gold?

While I cannot summon up enough words to pay a fitting tribute to someone I truly admired, I did feel compelled to acknowledge the impact he made on my life. And with that, I bid you adieu, Mr. Zinn. Even though you are not with us anymore, your legacy still flourishes.

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