[Howard Zinn raw #71]

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Interview with Howard Zinn in his office.

00:07 Camera opens on footage of a high school football game. Raw footage of them playing. 

12:00 Cut to Howard Zinn sitting in his office. Zinn chats with the interviewers before they start asking questions. 

17:20 The interview begins. The interviewer, Denis Mueller, asks him to talk about his time as a bombardier in WWII. He speaks about several of the cities he bombed and the disconnect between dropping bombs and seeing the destruction. He says that he did not really consider the horror of what had been done until after the war. Deb Ellis, the other interviewer, asks Zinn to clarify some of what he said, and he repeats his answer in more clear terms. 

23:30 Mueller asks about how he become involved in labor movements. Zinn talks about organizing people in the shipyard where he worked as a young man. Mueller asks him to talk about his neighborhood in relation to labor activity. He talks about poverty in his life and neighborhood. Ellis asks him to reflect on raising kids alongside all of the social activism he was involved with, particularly at Spellman College. They pause for a moment of technical adjustment. 

32:45 Mueller asks him to speak about being fired from Spellman College. Zinn explains that his firing was technically against the policies of the schools, and talks a bit about why the president of the college decided to fire him. He talks about larger, external forces that were at work in the South at the same time he left Spellman. 

39:36 Mueller asks how Zinn’s parents would have looked at his successes, particularly the success of The People’s History of the United States. Zinn says that he thinks they’d be impressed and maybe proud. He talks a bit more about the success of the book and why he decided to write the book. He speaks about his wife editing his books. 

46:00 Mueller asks how it feels to have some fame, and how it feels to be an elder statesman. He says that it is an amusing feeling. He mentions being written into the script of “Good Will Hunting” as an odd but positive experience. 

50:43 Mueller asks how he became interested in writing plays. Zinn says that he has always understood art to add passion to movements for social change. He talks about going to the theater with his wife and his appreciation for theater. He talks about the plays he has written, specifically “Emma” and “Marx in Soho.”

55:48 Mueller asks about fear in “shaping the populace.” Zinn talks about the social and political climate in the United States after 9/11. He talks about the limiting of democracy and liberty when a war is announced. He talks about the absurdity of trying to end terrorism through warfare. 

1:02:09 Tape ends. 



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