Friday, February 10, 2017

Learn about Howard Zinn and “What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me About the American Empire.”

Howard Zinn died in 2010. A few years ago, when I tried listing the most influential books in my life, Zinn's A People's History of the United States was not among them, and this was an unfortunate omission, to be rectified in a future update.

Now more than ever, you need to know these things.

Howard Zinn’s “What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me About the American Empire”: An Illustrated Video Narrated by Viggo Mortensen (Open Culture)

“Throughout U.S. history, our military has been used not for moral purposes but to expand economic, political, and military power,” says a cartoon Howard Zinn in Mike Konopacki’s 273-page comic book A People’s History of American Empire. Written with Zinn and historian Paul Buhle, the book adapts Zinn’s pathbreaking history from below, A People’s History of the United States, and his autobiography You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train in a direct examination of the U.S. Imperium. Konopacki calls the book his “answer” to the textbooks of “the power structure.” (Explore highlights from the comic history here.)
Above, you can see a short video adaptation of some key text from A People’s History of American Empire. Narrated by Viggo Mortensen, the video gives us a nutshell version of Zinn’s cultural, political, and moral education—what the Germans used to call bildung—as he grows from a somewhat naive WWII bomber pilot, to a college student on the G.I. Bill, to a graduate student, then professor, of history.

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