Supper Party: This Week’s Guest’Howard Zinn

The election is over and the country may now collectively exhale and get ready for a new administration. Inaugural preparations will become the new news now. Who will speak and who will perform? Who will attend the inaugural ball and what will they be wearing? These topics and news of cabinet appointments will now take the place of all the campaign ads that we’ve been inundated with up until now.

On to the next big story, that’s the American way. Like a [large] colony of ants we all have our tasks. Scurrying about here and there, producing, providing, consuming and surviving. We are the fabric that keeps Washington warm. Without us, ’We the people’ Washington would be a tourist’s stop on a map, known for its cherry tree blossoms and rather high crime rate.

When was the last time you watched Good Will Hunting (1997), starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Mini Driver and the multi-talented Robin Williams? What a great movie. Recall the scene where Damon’s character makes the following statement to Robin Williams: ’If you want to read a real history book, read Howard Zinn’s ’A People’s History of the United States.’ That book will knock you on your . . .’

It was while pondering who to invite that this movie came to my mind. Gazing toward my bookcase, Howard Zinn’s book (’A People’s History . . .’) caught my attention’precisely appropriate for the occasion I’d say. We are all witnessing a dynamic time in history, so, what better choice for a dinner guest than a noted historian, activist and author of numerous books, who has long been a favorite of mine.

If you are per chance not familiar with Howard Zinn, then it is my pleasure to introduce you. If you are a fellow fan of his work, then you share my enthusiasm for this incredible man.

How do you begin to describe Zinn? He is a man of many talents, best known for what is called his landmark book, ’A People’s History of the United States,’ which tells a version of history from the exploited and disenfranchised perspective, covering 1492 to the present in our nation’s history; it is a must read. Also, his highly praised autobiography, ’You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A personal History of Our Times,’ is available on DVD (narrated by Matt Damon, featuring music by Pearl Jam and Woody Guthrie).

A strong voice of reason, Howard Zinn has sought to educate and inform. In an era of documentaries, expos’s and eruptions of erroneous information, Mr. Zinn’s work is not to be compared with the work of those overzealous individuals with microphones and video cameras or poison pens who seek to inform us at the box office. No, his work has a quiet strength to it’truth.

Mr. Zinn, it is my pleasure to extend a dinner invitation to you. What an honor to sit and speak with someone who is deemed a visionary of our times. Although my schedule is not as busy as yours, it might be a good idea to call before you come, I wouldn’t want to miss you.


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