The Indispensable Zinn
The Essential Writings of the "People's Historian"
Publication Date: May 2012
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When the historian Howard Zinn died in early 2010, millions mourned the loss of one of our foremost intellectual and political guides: a historian, activist, and truth-teller who, in the words of the New York Times’s Bob Herbert, peel[ed] back the rosy veneer of much of American history.”
Designed to highlight Zinn’s most important writings, The Indispensable Zinn includes excerpts from Zinn’s bestselling A People’s History of the United States; his memoir, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train; his inspiring writings on the civil rights movement; and the full text of his celebrated play Marx in Soho. Noted historian and activist Timothy Patrick McCarthy provides essential historical and biographical context for each selection.
With an introduction from Zinn’s former Spellman College student and longtime friend Alice Walker and an afterword by Zinn’s friend and colleague Noam Chomsky, The Indispensable Zinn is both a fitting tribute to the legacy of a man whose work changed the way millions of people saw the past” (Noam Chomsky) and a powerful and accessible introduction for anyone discovering Zinn for the first time.
Timothy Patrick McCarthy is Lecturer on History and Literature and on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. He is co-editor, with John McMillian, of "The Radical Reader" (The New Press). John Stauffer teaches English and American civilization, also at Harvard. His first book, "The Black Hearts of Men", won the 2002 Frederick Douglass Prize for the Best Book on Slavery. They both live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Michael Fellman is Professor of Liberal Studies at Simon Fraser University and author of "Twisting the Cross". Martin Duberman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at CUNY and the author of some twenty books, including "Paul Robeson" (The New Press).
Alice Walker (b. 1944), one of the United States preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel "The Color Purple", which also won the National Book Award. Her other novels include "The Third Life of Grange Copeland", "Meridian", "The Temple of My Familiar", and "Possessing the Secret of Joy". In her public life, Walker has worked to address problems of injustice, inequality, and poverty as an activist, teacher, and public intellectual.