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The Myth of American Exceptionalism

By Howard Zinn

Today, says Zinn, we have a president, who more than any before him, claims a special relationship with God. Zinn worries about an administration that deploys Christian zealotry to justify a war against terrorism, a war that in reality seems more about establishing a new beachhead in the oil-rich Middle East. He also sees great danger in Bush’s doctrines of unilateralism and pre-emptive war, which mark a great leap away from international standards of morality.

Lecture and Questions and Answer session. MIT - March 14, 2005
 


Video length is 1:32:02.  

ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Howard Zinn, a decorated war veteran, was brought up in a blue-collar immigrant family in Brooklyn, and flew bombing missions in Europe during World War II, an experience that shaped his opposition to war. He attended New York University on the GI bill, graduating with a B.A. in 1951, and Columbia University, where he earned an M.A. (1952) and Ph.D. (1958) in political science.

In 1956, he became chair of history and social science at Spelman College in Atlanta, a school for black women, where he soon became involved in the Civil Rights movement, advising the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)-- chronicled, in his book SNCC: The New Abolitionists. 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.

Zinn is best known for A People's History of the United States, a detailed work which presents American history through the eyes of ordinary people outside of the political and economic establishment: workers, Native Americans, slaves, women, blacks, Populists, and other minorities. Since its publication in 1980, the book has been assigned reading as a high school and college textbook and has sold over a million copies

Update - Howard Zinn, historian who challenged status quo, dies at 87: - January 27, 2010

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