HOWARD ZINN Biography - Writers


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Howard Zinn is a historian, playwright, and social       
activist. He was a shipyard worker and Air Force         
bombardier before he went to college under the GI Bill   
and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He       
has taught at Spelman College and Boston University,     
and has been a visiting professor at the University of   
Paris and the University of Bologna. He has received     
the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the   
Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award.     
He lives in Auburndale, Massachusetts.                   
Zinn was raised in a working-class family in Brooklyn,   
and flew bombing missions for the United States in       
World War II, an experience he now points to in           
shaping his opposition to war. In 1956, he became a       
professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, a school for     
black women, where he soon became involved in the         
Civil rights movement, which he participated in as an     
adviser to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating           
Committee (SNCC) and chronicled, in his book SNCC: The   
New Abolitionists. Zinn collaborated with historian       
Staughton Lynd and mentored a young student named         
Alice Walker. When he was fired in 1963 for               
insubordination related to his protest work, he moved     
to Boston University, where he became a leading critic   
of the Vietnam War.                                       
He is perhaps best known for A People's History of the   
United States, which presents American history through   
the eyes of those he feels are outside of the             
political and economic establishment.