The legendary Howard Zinn passed away on January 27, 2010, and this program sheds light on the extraordinary life of this champion of civil rights and the antiwar movement. Zinn was a man who took many paths in life. A shipyard worker. A playwright. A rabble rouser. A historian. His radical alternative to the official textbooks, A People's History of the United States, tells America's story through the voices of factory workers, immigrants, women, African Americans, and the poor. In the 60s, he began inspiring a generation to seek peace and justice, and 40 years later, Zinn's legacy remains a catalyst for change.
About Howard Zinn - You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train
This rousing documentary uses Howard Zinn's life to tell the story of political activism in the 20th century and beyond, from the anti-Fascist protests of the late 30s and early 40s, through WWII and post-war unionism, to the civil rights movement in the South, the Vietnam War, and Iraq. Zinn was an active participant in all of these movements, giving a white, academic, radical voice to people fighting for respect and justice around the world, often risking his own life and livelihood.
A shipyard worker when WWII broke out, Zinn saw first-hand the damage of war when he signed up for the US Air Force. Amazing color footage of the first rough, hand-made WWII napalm bombs lend a startling vividness to Zinn's description of his understanding, post-war, of the deadly reality of a soldier's job.
With narration taken entirely from Zinn's own writing, read by actor Matt Damon, filmmakers Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller skillfully capture the spirit of Zinn's life work.
"I start from the supposition that the world is topsy turvy. That things are all wrong. That the wrong people are in jail, and the wrong people are out of jail. That the wrong people are in power, and the wrong people are out of power. I start with the supposition that we don't have to say too much about this because all we have to do is think about the state of the world today and realize that things are all upside down." The Zinn Reader, 1997
LEARN MORE:Read Link TV's obituary of Howard Zinn