Friday, August 1, 2014

A People's Theatrical History of Howard Zinn –

Howard Zinn
When I was in college at Holy Cross in 1966 I read Howard Zinn's essay "Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal".  A couple of years later as I tried to figure out my post-Peace Corps path I wrote a now embarrassing letter to him.  Styling myself after Norman Mailer's self-description as a Left Conservative in Armies of the Night - the novelist's account of the Pentagon march of 1967 - I asked Howard if he would accept me as a graduate student.  the answer was yes, and I enrolled at Boston University in the fall of 1969. Though religion and ethnicity never came up, looking back I can see that Howard, then a pacifist former WW II bombardier, was inspired by the Jewish social gospel. - gwc
A People's Theatrical History of Howard Zinn –

"Is the bard mightier than the sword? As war rages around the globe, playwright Bianca Bagatourian ponders this question as she brings “The Times of Our Lies, A Play about the Life and Times of Howard Zinn” to debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Brooklyn-born and raised son of Jewish immigrants, Zinn, who died in 2010, was a Boston University political science professor and activist-author known as the “People’s Historian,” who chronicled America from the bottom up, looking at the role played by ordinary people in shaping the course of human events. In 1997’s “Good Will Hunting,” Matt Damon’s character says of Zinn’s perennial bestseller since 1980: “If you wanna read a real history book, read Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States.’ That book’ll f**kin’ knock you on your ass.”
 Bagatourian, who first encountered Zinn around 2005, shares similar sentiments. Her sensibility was greatly informed by her experiences as a descendant of Armenian genocide survivors. She grew up in a middle-class family in Iran in the 1960s and writes politically-minded plays that eschew theatrical conventions. “Remnants of a Liquid World” looks at the Iranian Revolution from a child’s point of view. Written in Shakespearean verse, “Living an Explorer’s Desire” is about immigrants. “March” is based on oral histories of eyewitness accounts of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Bagatourian, whose constant obsession is man’s inhumanity to man, encountered a soul mate in Zinn, the bombardier who turned his back on war and became an avatar exposing atrocities and crimes against humanity. Zinn was also a playwright who wrote “Marx in Soho” and a bio-play about anarchist Emma Goldman."

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