Howard Zinn was born in Brooklyn, New York, into a working-class family and, though he had few formal educational opportunities, he developed a strong social consciousness while working as a shipfitter and avidly reading the novels of Charles Dickens. Flying bombing missions in World War II shaped his opposition to war. After military service he earned a doctorate in history at Columbia University and taught at Spelman College in Georgia where he was active in the Civil Rights movement. 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.
Best known for his A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present, a history of America through the perspective of “those outside of the political and economic establishment,” Zinn remains an active advocate for the underclass, a proponent of world peace and an articulate critic of corporate power and greed supported by governmental collusion.
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