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Notable Historians, Posters & Prints “X...-Y...-Z...-”
educational posters for social studies classrooms, home schools, and theme decor for office.

history > Notable Historians List | a | b | c | d-e | f | g | h | i-j-k | l | m-o | p | r | s | t | u-v | w | X-Y-Z < social studies

Notable Historians ~

Heinrich Zimmer

Howard Zinn


You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times, Howard Zinn
Heinrich Zimmer

Heinrich Zimmer
b. 12-6-1890; Greifswald, Germany
d. 3-20-1943; New York

Historian and professor Heinrich Zimmer was an Indologist specializing in South Asian art. He is most known for his works, Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization and Philosophies of India, that were edited for posthumous publication by Joseph Campbell.

Heinrich Zimmer quotes ~
• “With the compelling convincingness of dreams, which are vague yet exact, the ghost voice draws us (to ourselves and all of our component selves), lifts them casually out of the well of the past – the well wherein nothing is lost, the deep well of forgetfulness, and remembrance – and tosses them mockingly on the glassy table surface of our consciousness. There we are forced to consider them. There we are forced to regard, analyze, and re-understand.” The King and the Corpse
• “The best things cannot be told.”
• “Truth appears differently in different lands and ages according to the living materials out of which its symbols are hewn.” Philosophies of India

You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times, Howard Zinn
You Can't Be Neutral
on a Moving Train:
A Personal History
of Our Times,
Howard Zinn

(no commercially available image)

Howard Zinn
b. 8-24-1922; Brooklyn, NY
d. 1-27-2010; California

Professor Howard Zinn taught political science at Boston University from 1964 to 1988. Among his more than 20 books was the influential “A People's History of the United States”.

Howard Zinn quotes ~
• “History is instructive. And what it suggests to people is that even if they do little things, if they walk on the picket line, if they join a vigil, if they write a letter to their local newspaper. Anything they do, however small, becomes part of a much, much larger sort of flow of energy. And when enough people do enough things, however small they are, then change takes place.”
• “We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
• “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
• “You can't be neutral on a moving train.”
• “Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”
• “If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.”
• “I'm worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel - let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they're doing. I'm concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that's handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.”
• “(Nationalism is) a set of beliefs taught to each generation in which the Motherland or the Fatherland is an object of veneration and becomes a burning cause for which one becomes willing to kill the children of other Motherlands or Fatherlands.”
• “I am not an absolute pacifist, because I can't rule out the possibility that under some, carefully defined circumstances, some degree of violence may be justified, if it is focused directly at a great evil. Slave revolts are justified, and if John Brown had really succeeded in arousing such revolts throughout the South, it would have been much preferable to losing 600,000 lives in the Civil War, where the makers of the war — unlike slave rebels — would not have as their first priority the plight of the black slaves, as shown by the betrayal of black interests after the war. Again, the Zapatista uprising seems justified to me, but some armed struggles that start for a good cause get out of hand and the ensuing violence becomes indiscriminate. Each situation has to be evaluated separately, for all are different. In general, I believe in non-violent direct action, which involve organizing large numbers of people, whereas too often violent uprisings are the product of a small group. If enough people are organized, violence can be minimized in bringing about social change.”
• “We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.”
• “One certain effect of war is to diminish freedom of expression. Patriotism becomes the order of the day, and those who question the war are seen as traitors, to be silenced and imprisoned. ”
• “What most of us must be involved in – whether we teach or write, make films, write films, direct films, play music, act, whatever we do – has to not only make people feel good and inspired and at one with other people around them, but also has to educate a new generation to do this very modest thing: change the world.”
• “The term “just war” contains an internal contradiction. War is inherently unjust, and the great challenge of our time is how to deal with evil, tyranny, and oppression without killing huge numbers of people.”
• “Why should we accept that the “talent” of someone who writes jingles for an advertising agency advertising dog food and gets $100,000 a year is superior to the talent of an auto mechanic who makes $40,000 a year? Who is to say that Bill Gates works harder than the dishwasher in the restaurant he frequents, or that the CEO of a hospital who makes $400,000 a year works harder than the nurse or the orderly in that hospital who makes $30,000 a year? The president of Boston University makes $300,000 a year. Does he work harder than the man who cleans the offices of the university? Talent and hard work are qualitative factors which cannot be measured quantitatively.”
• “While some multimillionaires started in poverty, most did not. A study of the origins of 303 textile, railroad and steel executives of the 1870s showed that 90 percent came from middle- or upper-class families. The Horatio Alger stories of “rags to riches” were true for a few men, but mostly a myth, and a useful myth for control.”
• “Whenever I become discouraged (which is on alternate Tuesdays, between three and four) I lift my spirits by remembering: The artists are on our side! I mean those poets and painters, singers and musicians, novelists and playwrights who speak to the world in a way that is impervious to assault because they wage the battle for justice in a sphere which is unreachable by the dullness of ordinary political discourse.”

Peace Education posters

Xenophon, Greek Soldier and Historian, Giclee Print
Greek Soldier
& Historian,
Giclee Print

Xenophon of Athens
b. c. 427 BC; Greece
d. c. 355 BC

Xenophon is known for saving the sayings of Socrates, and recording the life of ancient Greece.

His work Anabasis, a narration of his journey with the army of Greek mercenares known as the Ten Thousand, describes an expedition from the Ionian coast to the interior of Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, and the Black Sea.

He is also called the original “horse whisperer” based on his On Horsemanship.

Xenophon quotes ~
• “A horse is a thing of beauty. . . none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor.”
• “The sweetest of all sounds is praise.”

A History of My Times

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