Friday, January 29, 2010

Howard Zinn: 1922-2010

"I'm worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel - let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they're doing. I'm concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that's handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.”

Writer and activist Howard Zinn passed away on Wednesday from what seems to be a heart attack. Known for his activism in the 1960s and on, Zinn was a teacher and writer who had a profound effect on education.

His book, A People's History of the United States, went against U.S. textbooks to give accurate accounts of historical events that have been altered to make the U.S. appear correct in all decisions (especially foreign policy).

For myself, this is another huge loss. A People's History of the United States was a monumental book for me when I decided I wanted to earn my history degree and teach history. It helped me decide to never just follow a textbook, but to expose my students to the other side of history that is often covered up.

If you have never read it, you need to go buy a copy now. It will challenge the way you think about U.S. history, and how it was taught to you.

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