Friday, January 29, 2010

howard zinn 1922-2010

"TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." — Howard Zinn

*I feel fortunate to have been able to hear him speak a few years ago and in a small group setting a couple blocks from my home. He wrote an important book called A People's History of the United States and if you are not familiar with it I encourage you to check it out.

4 comments:

Elissa said...

I think the history channel recently had a special based on this book. Matt Damon and others read various passages from the book. It was really good, I hope they play it again.

littlebyrd said...

Liane, you are a wealth of information. It amazes me!! (and makes me feel sort of stupid but that's ok :) I enjoy all that you find.

Debra said...

I agree with littlebyrd. How do you find all this wonderful and worthwhile info? I'm going to buy this book now. Have a great weekend!

_Deb

Jessica - Domestic PDX said...

People's History changed my life. Thank you, Mr. Zinn.