Friday, January 29, 2010

Howard Zinn is Dead; Long Live Howard Zinn! (Oh Yeah, & Salinger)

The passing of J.D. Salinger and Howard Zinn in a couple days led me through a confusing set of emotions. For Zinn, I felt a keen grief at the loss, but a strong sense that his legacy and vision will live on--though we won't have someone quite like him--a popular leftist historian, ex-bomber pilot pacifist radical, always willing to let the dissenters take the center stage. Salinger meant something to me when I was 17, but his rapid and complete withdrawal from the world--his death before his actual death--leaves me feeling that he failed, somehow. Compare the size of the obits of Zinn and Salinger; I'd gladly take Zinn over Salinger, despite Zinn's obvious flaws. Zen J.D. went gentle into that good night. Pacifist Zinn fought until the end.
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