The Bomb

The Bomb

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Darkness in August

"As I believe that we ignore history at our peril, I am reminding you that this week marks yet another anniversary of the United States's atomic bombings of Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. City Lights has posthumously published a slim volume, The Bomb by Howard Zinn, in which the World War II bombardier turned historian argues against the use of nuclear weapons."

-Robert Birnbaum, The Morning News Aug 5, 2010

Howard Zinn on the 65th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima

"Zinn delves into the evolution of wartime psychology that allowed the United States public to support the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Putting the events of 65 years ago into context, Zinn writes, 'If the word 'terrorism' has a useful meaning (and I believe it does, because it marks off an act as intolerable, since it involves the indiscriminate use of violence against human beings for some political purpose), then it applies exactly to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.'"

An old recording of Howard Zinn talking about the bombing of Hiroshima and its effects.

-Howard Zinn, Uprising Radio Aug 6, 2010

The Universal Meaning of Nagasaki

"Today is the 65th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki—one of the largest single-day atrocities ever committed by a war power.

The bomb instantly killed about 70,000 people, mostly civilians, and thousands more died painful deaths later from radiation.

The Nagasaki bombing, even more than Hiroshima, was inexcusable."

Matthew Rothschild quotes Howard Zinn in his article about the bombing of Nagasaki.

-Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive Aug 9, 2010

Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn

"Zinn, who died in January at the age of 87, did not advocate violence or support the overthrow of the government, something he told FBI interrogators on several occasions. He was rather an example of how genuine intellectual thought is always subversive. It always challenges prevailing assumptions as well as political and economic structures. It is based on a fierce moral autonomy and personal courage and it is uniformly branded by the power elite as 'political.' Zinn was a threat not because he was a violent revolutionary or a communist but because he was fearless and told the truth."

-Chris Hedges, Truthdig Aug 1, 2010

Catastrophization and the Politics of Memory

"Excessive and enduring violence, indiscriminate and extensive use of destructive technologies, disintegration, fragmentation, domination and control of the human and natural world - have we entered the age of the normalization of catastrophe and the passive acceptance of catastrophizing acts? Can we summon both the long-term and short-term collective memory necessary to reshape and rehabilitate our degraded body politic?"

David Occhiuto reviews of Howard Zinn's The Bomb as part of his monthly radio show.

-David Occhiuto, WBAI-NYC Jul 27, 2010

Hiroshima: Breaking the Silence

"Napalm bombs were first used experimentally in Europe towards the end of World War II, before being widely employed in aerial attacks against Japanese civilians. One such initial experiment with these new bombs containing "jellied gasoline," was conducted by more than 1,200 bombers of the U.S. Eighth Air Force, for which Zinn was a bombardier, over a beautiful beach town called Royan near Bordeaux in mid-April 1945, three weeks before Germany's surrender. The target of this bombing mission was some 30,000 to 40,000 Nazi soldiers who were ready to surrender, and were merely awaiting the end of the war, as their commander, Vice-Admiral Ernst Schirlitz, negotiated an accommodation with Admiral Hubert Meyer, French commander in the region, preparatory to surrender. The result was the total destruction not only of the German base but also of this charming seaside resort town and its ancient chateaux. The Germans lost several hundred men, but the number of civilian deaths resulting from this attack is unknown. In the forthcoming book, The Bomb, Zinn describes this mission in the following words: 'I remember distinctly seeing the bombs explode in the town, flaring like matches struck in fog. I was completely unaware of the human chaos below.'"

-Yuki Tanaka, The Asia-Pacific Journal Jul 22, 2010

The Return of Howard Zinn, and Company

"In the video [included in article], Howard Zinn answers a question from the audience: what would he urge Barack Obama to do?

With the Tsai Performance Center filled to its 500-seat capacity, many in the audience remembered when that hall was named Hayden, the University was in turmoil, and Howard Zinn was both lightning rod and radical catalyst...

The topic was The Promise of Change: Vision and Realty in Obama's Presidency. And the analysis came hard from the left, with Zinn staking out the far post."

-Seth Rolbein, BU Today Oct 29, 2009

War and Peace Prizes

"I was dismayed when I heard Barack Obama was given the Nobel peace prize. A shock, really, to think that a president carrying on two wars would be given a peace prize. Until I recalled that Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Henry Kissinger had all received Nobel peace prizes. The Nobel committee is famous for its superficial estimates, won over by rhetoric and by empty gestures, and ignoring blatant violations of world peace."

-Howard Zinn, The Guardian Oct 10, 2009