Howard Zinn (1922 - 2010) was an historian, author, professor, playwright, and activist. He grew up in Brooklyn in a working-class, immigrant household. After landing a job as a shipyard worker, he joined the Air Force where he flew bombing missions during World War II. These experiences gave him a keen eye for the inequities suffered by the poor and victims of wars.

While teaching at Spelman College in Georgia, Zinn became active in the civil rights movement. Fired from that job for supporting student protesters, he became a professor of political science at Boston University.

Over the years, Zinn spoke at many political rallies forums. This sturdy and engaging collection of speeches, ably edited by Anthony Arnove, covers the period 1963 – 2009. The speeches cover protest movements, racism, war, and U.S. history. Zinn's A People's History of the United States has sold over two million copies; his take on it is here in a speech "On the Joy of Struggle."

As an open-minded, creative historian, Zinn showcases his radical purview in pieces on academic freedom, protest against the Vietnam War, the legacy of Columbus, a call to action against the death penalty, and why history matters.