Howard Zinn on The Power of Ordinary People

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Howard Zinn‘s groundbreaking work, The People’s History Of The United States, turned history on its head — concentrating on the power of the people to effect change, not just the deeds of “great men” and those in political power. In this conversation from Bill Moyers Journal — filmed just weeks before Zinn’s death — the historian and activist encourages people to think for themselves, to push and prod their governments, and not to rely on leaders to “do what needs to be done.” Zinn tells Moyers, “Democracy is not the three branches of government.”

Watch the entire conversation between Bill Moyers and Howard Zinn.

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  • Billwilson1804

    Use to spend hours at Northwester law library reading the wonderful ideas and written laws for protecting our environment.  For over 40 years the same Republican arguments are used.  Today the KeystoneXL is pushed with commercials and politicians and now the President seems to bend to the same old ideas.  Primary one has always been Jobs or the environment.  Jobs almost always wins the public over as practicality kicks better environmental laws/solutions down the road or just out of the way.  I firmly believe that Zinn is correct about prodding and pushing and thinking for ourselves.  We also need to take the great body of thought that already exist for environmental protection and add to it while confronting the practical endless ways like we see in Chicago. In chgo they pride themselves on the saying it is the CITY THAT WORKS  or at least they use to.  That is the essence of pragmatism and the drift we see written about by Rachel Madow and the drift for protecting our world from the endless carbon bombs.  So we need more than two parties and enough to really bring debate and more ideas to confront and change our country from one based on practicality to one where the best ideas win out for short and long term.  The hope of President Obama seems to be fading as he now must work for reelection and a move to the right that denies progress. jmo

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  • Djessy1234

    I love Howard Zinn’s ability to get to the truth. It is no wonder the media constantly portrays him as a “traitor”, a “terorist”, a “subversive”, whenever his name comes up. It says more about the media than it does about this great historian.