Howard Zinn and George Zinn
Howard Zinn was an iconic historian whose works profoundly affected generations of Americans. His insights on power and history continue to shape how people view these topics today.
His influential book, A People’s History of the United States, remains a staple in college classrooms today. However, many have criticized him for being an overly partisan historian.
Early Life and Education
Zinn was raised in working-class Brooklyn as a left-wing activist. He later went on to become an historian and philosopher, publishing over 20 books that uphold the power of ordinary people to effect change in their society through direct action.
Zinn’s iconic work, A People’s History of the United States, has sold more than two million copies and continues to draw in new readers. This book became so popular because it presented a straightforward message that resonated with so many.
Zinn’s version of America’s past is an embellished and false one that ignores many legitimate social movements that sought to improve people’s lives. He contends that all wars and conflicts in our country were motivated by greed and the need for profit.
Zinn’s professional career has been diverse. He began in the communications field, specializing in legal matters related to media and technology companies. Later on, he worked for several of these firms providing them with regulatory compliance advice and negotiating deals to expand their businesses.
He returned to law school in 1989, earning his juris doctorate and interning with legal departments at National Public Radio and the Federal Communications Commission. Subsequently, he built a career as a lawyer within the digital media space by working for TiVo and other tech companies in Washington, D.C.
Zinn’s most lasting legacy will be his groundbreaking, multi-million copy history book A People’s History of the United States. This work has rocketed to the top of bestseller lists and been translated into multiple languages.
Achievements and Honors
Zinn received numerous honors throughout his career. One such award, the Morrison Award from the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), is given annually to those who have made a noteworthy contribution to research related to livestock production research.
Another distinction is the Walter H. Zinn Medal from the American Nuclear Society, awarded to someone who has made an exceptional and sustained contribution to nuclear technology. Nominations are reviewed by ANS personnel before being selected based solely on merit.
Zinn’s scholarship aside, he also worked to promote peace and social justice through labor unions and worker organizing initiatives.
George Zinn was a staunch champion for civil rights and an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. His most renowned work, A People’s History of the United States (1980), remains widely read today.
His personal life was just as captivating and intricate as his writing. He was married to Roslyn Shechter, a progressive who shared many of his views.
After earning his doctorate, he worked in the public sector for some time before teaching at Spelman College – a black women’s college located in Atlanta.
George Zinn has an estimated net worth of $7.85 million as of 17 October 2022, according to our calculations. He currently serves as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Privacy Officer at 8×8 Inc. He also founded Continental Cablevision and MediaOne Group Inc. and held other senior legal positions with Cole Raywid & Braverman and Fisher Wayland Cooper & Leader law firms. According to his Form 4 filed with the SEC in 2005, Zinn owns 780 shares of 8×8 stock and has made 86 trades since 2005.
He has a background in music, having played trumpet and flugelhorn for his high school jazz band and college jazz ensemble. Growing up with parents who were avid musicians, Andy Williams, Jack Jones, Frank Sinatra, Herb Alpert and Chicago were all influences on him.