[Howard Zinn raw #74: Zinn speaks with students about his books and life]

Howard Zinn speaking at Campos High School.

00:05Copy video clip URL Camera opens on Howard Zinn arriving at Campos High School. A woman welcomes him and explains the schedule for his visit. The woman introduces Zinn to the students. 

2:25Copy video clip URL Zinn begins to speak first about his book, The People’s History of the United States. He gives a short biography of his life. He speaks about the workers and anti-war movements he was involved in and some of the problems he cares about. He speaks a bit about war and the unjust motivations for many American wars throughout history as they relate to the war in Iraq. He then moves to speak a bit about the Civil Rights Movement and the South. 

19:20Copy video clip URL A teacher opens up the room to questions after mentioning what part of The People’s History they read. A student asks about the American occupation of Puerto Rico. Zinn speaks about the unfairness of Puerto Rico as a colony, ending with saying that he does not believe in the American occupation. Another student mentions how The People’s History did not speak about Puerto Rico much, and Zinn apologizes. Audience laughs.

23:56Copy video clip URL A student asks about the reception of The People’s History from a historian audience. He says that they “look with suspicion” on him and his book. He says the book was never reviewed by the professional historical review. He mentions reviewers that both liked and did not like his book, depending on their personal point of view. Another student asks about the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement. Zinn talks about the end of the war. He calls out Denis Mueller, the filmmaker, about his documentary on the anti-war movement. Zinn then moves on to talk about motivations for the war.

34:15Copy video clip URL A student asks what kind of government he believes in. Zinn says that he believes in a kind of democratic socialism. He goes on to explain what a true socialist government would look like. A teacher talks about the history of their high school and the importance of their community. Zinn thanks him for the history of the school.

43:00Copy video clip URL An alumni that is now an administrator at the school talks about an American military base in Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican participation in the Vietnam War. She encourages students to ask questions. 

47:10Copy video clip URL A student asks if he is writing any more books. He says that he is not, but he is writing articles for newspapers and magazines and a screenplay. Another student asks how old he was when he wrote his first book. He says that he was 37. He briefly mentions the books he has written. 

51:00Copy video clip URL Someone asks why many people do not vote in elections. Zinn says that he feels many people feel like there is “nobody to vote for.” He explains that there are not many candidates that people feel like they can really believe in, or that people feel as though voting won’t make a difference. He says that most changes in the United States have been made through activist movements, not through voting. He talks about American foreign policy.

56:23Copy video clip URL Someone asks how people can become involved in activism when they feel there are not any activists working in their area. Zinn says that the news media often doesn’t report activist demonstrations. 

57:11Copy video clip URL Tape ends. 



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