You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States, tells his personal stories about more than thirty years of fighting for social change, from teaching at Spelman College to recent protests against war.
A former bombardier in WWII, Zinn emerged in the civil rights movement as a powerful voice for justice. Although he's a fierce critic, he gives us reason to hope that by learning from history and engaging politically, we can make a difference in the world.
given us theirs. The woman made breakfast, a feast—eggs and grits and bacon and hot biscuits and coffee. She told us her husband drove down to the Gulf every morning to work on the fishing docks. She was soon to be picked up in a truck and taken off to work as a maid. As we prepared to leave, Avery Williams looked outside: “It’s raining!” When we arrived at the county courthouse, a picket line was already formed. Two lines of policemen came down the street; a police car swung to the curb, a
of the victims, Allison Krause, barely able to control his grief, pointing to the fact that President Nixon had referred to student protesters as “bums.” He cried out, “My daughter was not a bum!” A few years later, when some visiting parents were sitting in on the introductory session of my course “Law and Justice in America,” I handed out the syllabus, which included as one of the course topics the shootings at Kent State. At the end of the session, one of the new students came up and
medical care. In Laos, the U.S. ambassador arrived and hustled them onto a military plane. We would never see or hear from them again. Later, back in the States, we read that Overly was speaking around the country, telling of maltreatment and torture in prison. I was surprised, because on that plane to Vientiane there had been no reason for him to lie to me about his experience. Nevertheless, whatever the truth about Overly’s own treatment, I cannot doubt the stories of torture and maltreatment
decided on it. My talk began like this: “I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvy.… Daniel Berrigan is in jail—a Catholic priest, a poet who opposes the war—and J. Edgar Hoover is free. David Dellinger, who has opposed war ever since he was this high … is in danger of going to jail. And the men who are responsible for the My Lai massacre are not on trial; they are in Washington serving various functions, primary and subordinate, that have to do with the unleashing of massacres,
the value of impropriety in a democracy) and asked, in a voice loud enough for everybody in the court to hear, “Why can’t I say something important? Why can’t the jury hear something important?” The judge was angry. He said, “You are not permitted to speak out like that. If you do that once more I will have you put in jail for contempt of court.” I responded, “An IBM machine could make this decision if the question is only did they do this.” The judge rapped his gavel again, more forcefully. I