Howard Zinn was born in a family of Jewish immigrant workers in Brooklyn. Poverty of Zinn’s parents did not allow him to get a good education before World War II, but he was able to attend literature courses in the School of Thomas Jefferson. At the age of 17 he was invited by his friends to his first political rally of communists. At that day, the cruelty of horse police manifested during dispersal of the demonstration shocked him.
During the Second World War antifascist Zinn volunteered. He served in the US Air Force bomber aircraft. A personal experience of military service contributed to the formation of anti-war views of Howard Zinn. Returning home from the war, he placed all his combat medals and awards in the folder with the inscription Never Again.
Later, he proved the illegitimacy and illegality of the bombing of such cities as Dresden, Rouen, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He sharply condemned napalm bombing during the Vietnam War and the airstrike at Amiriyah.
After the war Zinn as a demobilized officer was able to get a higher education because of the Soldiers’ Bill of Rights. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from New York University, he completed his studies in the field of History and Political Science at Columbia University.
During the Cold War Zinn along with Noam Chomsky and Susan Sontag was in an academic environment, one of the most consistent critics of the US foreign policy as an aggressive and imperialistic. He opposed the war in Vietnam and Iraq.
While teaching in Atlanta he was actively involved in the civil rights movement and was a mentor to a number of activists from among the African-American students. In particular, he collaborated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, protested 30 violations of the First and Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution in Alban, and criticized the FBI and the Justice Department for ignoring violence by segregationists. Although Zinn was a tenured professor, his civil position was the reason for his dismissal in 1963. The following year, 1964, he wrote two books dedicated to the struggle of African Americans for equal rights, SNCC: The New Abolitionists and The Southern Mystique.
In 1980, he published his book, The People’s History of the United States, which hit all records of popularity in the tradition of critical pedagogy. In the book Zinn drew attention such aspects as the class struggle, American expansionism, the genocide of the Indians, Negro rebellion against slavery, the workers, women and African Americans.
Howard Zinn was born in a family of Jewish immigrant workers in Brooklyn. Poverty of Zinn’s parents did not allow him to get a good education before World War II, but he was able to attend literature courses in the School of Thomas Jefferson. At the age of 17 he was invited by his friends to his first political rally of communists.