Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010) was an American historian, playwright, and social activist. He was chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College, and a political science professor at Boston University. Zinn wrote over twenty books, including his best-selling and influential A People's History of the United States. In 2007, he published a version of it for younger readers, A Young People's History of the United States.Zinn described himself as "something of an anarchist, something of a socialist. Maybe a democratic socialist." He wrote extensively about the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement, and labor history of the United States. His memoir, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, was also the title of a 2004 documentary about Zinn's life and work. Zinn died of a heart attack in 2010, age 87.
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It is supposed to be part of the American tradition that if we want to step out of line, we step out of line. Democracy isn't falling in line behind the president. Democracy is for people to think independently, be skeptical of government, look around and try to find out what's going on. And if they find out that government is deceiving them, to speak out as loudly as they can.