“For nearly a quarter of a century, I have found solace in the above quote whenever someone close to me dies. I first invoked it as a hopeful mantra when my father died when I was fifteen and now I turn to it once again upon learning of the sad news of Howard Zinn’s passing.
Like many, I was lucky enough to learn from Zinn by discovering his work at a time in life where it served as an antidote to the harmful illness that makes it seem that “America is a day,” a way of living in the world where there is no sense of history or hope for the future. This anti-history took on new shape and meaning for those of us with the misfortune of attending grade school during the Reagan years. I’m sure more than a few of you remember those old world maps where the U.S. was placed squarely in the center and was seemingly five times larger than it actually is. Or that Russia was the “Evil Empire” and the U.S. the “shining city of the hill.””