Howard Zinn,
Terrorism & War
(Seven Stories, 2002)

Obviously published prompted by and in reaction to the terrorist acts of Sept. 11, 2001, Terrorism & War is the first full-length work by Howard Zinn in a number of years. Acutely observant, this sage historian presents the facets of America's War on Terrorism not covered on CNN or in White House press meetings.

The book is in the format of a lengthy interview chunked out in chapters. This approach directs the discussions directly to the mechanics and motivations of America's situation and response. However, this also interrupts the fluid narrative and detailed contextualization found in Zinn's other works, such as A People's History of the United States. It is fairly widely known that irony that the U.S. directly supported the Taliban, et al, against Russia as part of the Cold War, but Zinn goes further to reveal more. Zinn disconnects the World Trade Center event from Pearl Harbor comparisons. (This is not a military attack between nations.)

Zinn also unveils the duplicity in America's previous war initiatives. Not only does Zinn recall such recent engagements as Grenada, but the able historian summons up such remote affairs as the USS Maine in Havana harbor (vis--vis the USS Cole in Yemen) and the Mayaguez affair that nearly led to out-and-out war with Cambodia. Among the appendices are relevant extractions from the Geneva Protocol on civilian safety during engagements.

[ by Tom Schulte ]
Rambles: 5 October 2002



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