The Indispensable Zinn

The Essential Writings of the “People’s Historian”

A concise and accessible volume of the seminal writings of the late Howard Zinn, “the historian who made history” (The Nation)

“We need to engage in whatever nonviolent actions appeal to us. . . . The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at critical points to create a power that governments cannot suppress.” —Howard Zinn

When the historian Howard Zinn died in early 2010, millions mourned the loss of one of our foremost intellectual and political guides: a historian, activist, and truth-teller who, in the words of Bob Herbert, “peel[ed] back the rosy veneer of much of American history.”

Designed to highlight Zinn’s most important writings, The Indispensable Zinn includes excerpts from Zinn’s bestselling A People’s History of the United States; his memoir, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train; his inspiring writings on the civil rights movement; and the full text of his celebrated play Marx in Soho. Noted historian and activist Timothy Patrick McCarthy provides essential historical and biographical context for each selection.

With an introduction from Zinn’s former Spelman College student and longtime friend Alice Walker and an afterword by Zinn’s friend and colleague Noam Chomsky, The Indispensable Zinn is both a fitting tribute to the legacy of a man whose “work changed the way millions of people saw the past” (Noam Chomsky) and a powerful and accessible introduction for anyone discovering Zinn for the first time.

Books by these authors

The Radical Reader
A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition

Timothy Patrick McCarthy, John McMillian

Protest Nation
Words That Inspired a Century of American Radicalism

Timothy Patrick McCarthy, John McMillian

Prophets of Protest
Reconsidering the History of American Abolitionism

Timothy Patrick McCarthy, John Stauffer