Thursday, January 28, 2010

Howard Zinn (1922-2010)

Howard Zinn, historian and author of The People's History of the United States, passed away yesterday.

In his honor, I am linking to one of his speeches, "Secrecy, Archives, and the Public Interest."

An excerpt:

I have only two proposals for archivists: One, that they engage in a campaign to open all government documents to the public. If there are rare exceptions, let the burden of proof be on those who claim them, not as now on the citizen who wants information. And two, that they take the trouble to compile a whole new world of documentary material, about the lives, desires, needs, of ordinary people. Both of these proposals are in keeping with the spirit of democracy, which demands that the population know what the government is doing, and that the condition, the grievances, the will of the underclasses become a force in the nation.

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