Harry Kreisler, the executive director of the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, has interviewed a multitude of artists and activists over the past quarter-century, and The New Press has anthologized 20 of them in a splendid collection entitled Political Awakenings: Conversations with History. Participants include Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Elizabeth Warren, Shirin Ebadi, Michael Pollan, Daniel Ellsberg, Ron Dellums, Howard Zinn, and others.
Speaking of Howard Zinn, I was privileged to attend a private (private in this case filling Boston’s Arlington Street Church) memorial hosted by Howard’s family. Though it was a bittersweet moment, I came away uplifted, as I had when I attended the Zinn family memorial for Rosalyn Zinn, a year or so ago. I would list who was there and who spoke but I feel it would violate the spirit of that celebration to make what now passes for news. It should suffice for you to know that emotions were eloquently presented and well-received. The over-arching feeling I came away with was that Howie, as his children and grandchildren referred to him, was the best evidence and example of his politics and values. Here’s one of the gems from the Political Awakenings collection: Howard Zinn’s expressed belief:
If you are engaged in a movement, even if the objective looks very far away, you don’t have to look for some victory in the future. The very engagement with other people in a common struggle for something you believe inthat is a victory in itself.And this idea of 36 just people, the lamed vovniks, when I think of Howard Zinn, it does gain some credence.