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May 2011

Dear Zinn Education Project friends,


Bill Moyers JournalRecently, we were sent a new book featuring interviews from Bill Moyers' excellent PBS program, Bill Moyers Journal. Moyers includes an interview with Howard Zinn, conducted shortly before the release of Zinn's film, The People Speak, based on the book Zinn edited with Anthony Arnove, Voices of A People's History of the United States. The publisher of Bill Moyers Journal, The New Press, has graciously allowed us to post a PDF of this interview at the Zinn Education Project website: http://zinnedproject.org/posts/10752.



 Bill Moyers and Howard Zinn 

The Zinn Education Project's goal is to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula. 
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The conversation between Bill Moyers and Howard Zinn is filled with Zinn's plain-spoken wisdom and sings with his confidence in the power and potential of human beings working together. Zinn insisted that the more we know our history, the more hopeful we should be about the future:


I have confidence in the future. You know why? You have to be patient. Farmworkers were at one point in as helpless a position as the labor movement is today. But as Cesar Chavez said, we learned that you have to organize. And it takes time, it takes patience, it takes persistence.


In the interview, Zinn shows his concern about what is taught ---- and what should be taught ---- in school:


Democracy doesn't come from the top. It comes from the bottom. Democracy is not what governments do. It's what people do. Too often, we go to junior high school and they sort of teach us that democracy is three branches of government. You know, it's not the three branches of government.


Take a moment to remind yourself about Howard Zinn's warmth, humor, and commitment to social justice. And remember to take to heart Zinn's insistence that, ultimately, change comes from the people, not the leaders:


Don't depend on our leaders to do what needs to be done, because whenever the government has done anything to bring about change, it's done so only because it's been pushed and prodded by social movements, by ordinary people organizing.



Thanks for your support of the Zinn Education Project, and our campaign to help teachers teach outside the textbook. We just topped 11,000 registrations. Please urge your colleagues to register and help us reach our target of 20,000 registrations by the end of the year.




Bill Bigelow


The Zinn Education Project