Howard Zinn and "A People's History of the United States"
Podcast on Howard Zinn
This week in History Club we talked about the best-selling book, A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.
A People's History of the United States is arguably the most influential history book of the past 40 years. It’s sold more than 2 million copies and inspired the Zinn Education Project, which has shaped history curricula in high schools and colleges across the U.S.
Zinn’s work and ideas have also been at the heart of the American culture wars, lauded by Progressives activists and Hollywood icons (such as Matt Damon), and criticized by Conservative pundits and politicians (including former President Donald Trump).
Who was Howard Zinn? Why did his book and ideas become so popular? What influence has Zinn had on American education?
On Clubhouse we talked about how Zinn’s visibility during the anti-Vietnam protests; his personal connections with Matt Damon’s family; and the Progressive opposition to George W. Bush and the Iraq War in the 2000s contributed to making Zinn a larger-than-life figure.
Zinn’s work challenged us to think about why some people are included in the story and why others are forgotten. We can also ask those questions about Zinn; why has Zinn’s legacy endured while so many other historians of his generation remain unknown?
Listen to the conversation exclusively in this newsletter.
The History Club meets Thursdays at 10 PM ET only on Clubhouse.
Crypto for History
History Club follower Bill Thomason asked me this week, why do you have your own cryptocurrency?
I’ve been asked this several times, and here’s what I told Bill:
The current funding models for public history are under severe strain, if not broken. State budgets have been cut for years, history departments face reduced enrollments and budget shortages, and salaries for public historians remain low—if full-time work is even available.
It’s time to build a new economy to support public history, and I think cryptocurrency can be one solution.
My plan is to use my cryptocurrency to offer grants and fellowships to public historians doing public-facing history work. Through cryptocurrencies we can support museum educators, curators, archivists, park rangers, tour guides, historic preservationists and others who bring history to life for public audiences.
I’ll be writing more about this in the weeks ahead, as well as hosting a Clubhouse room about it. In the meantime, check out my cryptocurrency, $JASON coin, on the Rally network, and if you agree that accessible history matters to our communities, consider buying some coins.
No History Club this coming week, Thursday, April 29. I’ll be getting my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Be on the lookout for a special midweek blog post in lieu of an event, and we’ll reconnect on Clubhouse on Thursday, May 6.
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