The Bomb

The Bomb


"His writings and speeches, coupled with the example of his brave activism, have inspired and changed the lives of countless people, young and old. Certainly much of his power lies in the seeming contradiction between his unflinching criticism of almost every established idea and his unflinching optimism--what he himself called his 'absurdly cheerful approach to a violent and unjust world.' " -- Douglas Lummis

Darkness in August
Aug 5, 2010

"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

The Midwest Book Review

"A bomb is highly impersonal. The dropper can kill hundreds, and never see any of them. 'The Bomb' is the memoir of Howard Zinn, a bomber in World War II who dropped bombs along the French countryside while campaigning against Germany. After learning of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Zinn now speaks out against the use of bombs and what it can do to warfare. Thoughtful and full of stories of an old soldier who regrets what he has done, ‘The Bomb’ is a fine posthumous release that shares much of the lost wisdom of World War II." —James A. Cox

Howard Zinn on the 65th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima
Aug 6, 2010

"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

The Universal Meaning of Nagasaki
Aug 9, 2010

"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

Morning Star

"Throughout his academic career, his popular writings and work as an activist Zinn consistently, and often successfully, threw a wrench in the works of the US war machine. He may be gone, but through his powerful and passionate body of work – of which The Bomb is an excellent introduction – thousands of others will be educated and inspired to work for a more humane and peaceful world."
—Ian Sinclair

Foreign Policy in Focus

"Zinn, the people's historian, leaves us with words that bring  together thought, action, and passion. His experience during World  War II left him unpersuaded by the arguments of military necessity and the appeals to nationalism. We must refuse 'to be transfixed by the actions of other people, the truths of other times,' he writes in The Bomb. This 'means acting on what we feel and think, here, now, for human flesh and sense, against the abstractions of duty and  obedience.'" —Marcus Raskin

WIN Magazine

"The path that Howard Zinn walked—from bombardier to activist—gives hope that each of us can move from clinical detachment to ardent commitment, from violence to nonviolence." — Frida Berrigan

Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn
Aug 1, 2010

"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

In These Times

"Zinn's last book is a modest appeal to humanity: War is miserable, and we have to stop it."
—Micah Uetricht

LA Progressive

"The late Howard Zinn's new book The Bomb is a brilliant little dissection of some of the central myths of our militarized society."
—David Swanson

Catastrophization and the Politics of Memory
Jul 27, 2010

"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

Hiroshima: Breaking the Silence
Jul 22, 2010

"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

The Return of Howard Zinn, and Company
Oct 29, 2009

"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

The Rag Blog

"Part history, part memoir, part sermon, The Bomb is meant to wake up citizens, to rouse them to reject 'the abstractions of duty and obedience' and to refuse to heed the call of war."

—Jonah Raskin, The Rag Blog

Veterans for Peace

"This is in all likelihood the final original book by long-time VFP member and WWII vet Zinn. It has a publication date of August 2010 to mark the 65th anniversary of America's two atomic bombings of Japan. The much-loved, greatly admired Zinn died in January, 2010 at 88, just a month after completing this volume."

—Will Shapira


"Occasioned by the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Zinn's final work (completed just before his death in January 2010), combines a discussion of the horrors of atomic warfare with a glimpse at the carnage in Royan, which included the deaths of over 1,000 civilians in one of the first uses of napalm. . . . Zinn's call to reject disproportionate violence in war remains unalloyed and relevant to today's conflicts."—Brendan Driscoll

War and Peace Prizes
Oct 10, 2009

"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