I still haven’t gotten through Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, partly because my attention has been diverted to early medieval history and partly because I bought the iBook version that doesn’t work on my Kindle, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read and I’m determined to get through it some day.
Especially when I read stuff like this about him, written by Thaddeus Russell:
Zinn was deeply influenced by anarchists, and this anti-statism kept him from doing what most of the left has been doing of late—identifying with the holders of state power. Some of Zinn’s friends, Duberman writes, resented his “never speaking well of any politician.” When many considered John F. Kennedy to be a champion of black civil rights, Zinn declared that the president had done only enough for the movement “to keep his image from collapsing in the eyes of twenty million Negroes.” Going farther, Zinn argued that African Americans should eschew involvement with any state power, and even counseled against a campaign for voting rights. “When Negroes vote, they will achieve as much power as the rest of us have—which is very little.” Instead, they should create “centers of power” outside government agencies from which to pressure authorities.
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