You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train

“What struck me as I began to study history was how nationalist fervor—inculcated from childhood on by pledges of allegiance, national anthems, flags waving and rhetoric blowing— permeated the educational systems of all countries, including our own. I wonder now how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own. Then we could never drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or napalm on Vietnam, or wage war anywhere, because wars, especially in our time, are always wars against children, indeed our children.” - Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States.

“History is important. If you don't know history it is as if you were born yesterday. And if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in a position of power can tell you anything, and you have no way of checking up on it.” - Howard Zinn

Who is Howard Zinn?

Howard Zinn was an outspoken antiwar activist, spirited protestor, champion of civil disobedience, historian and author. He is most known for writing the must-read, A People’s History of the United States. When asked what this book contributes to a greater understanding of American history, Zinn responded, "I felt I brought the point of view of those who have been overlooked in American history. I wanted to look at the wars not from the standpoint of the political leaders, but from the point of view of the ordinary soldier, or the enemy, or the working people."

As noted on his Wikipedia page, Zinn described himself as "something of an anarchist, something of a socialist. Maybe a democratic socialist." Zinn wrote over twenty books and all should be included among required reading. 

Library Resources

You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

A People's History of the United States

The People Speak

Howard Zinn on War

Truth Has a Power of Its Own

Howard Zinn on Race

Disobedience and Democracy

Artists in Times of War

The Bomb

A Young People's History of the United States

A Power Governments Cannot Suppress