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Carpentersville students chat with renowned historian
By Jameel Naqvi | Daily Herald Staff

Howard Zinn


Associated Press

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Published: 12/2/2009 12:00 AM

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Between preparing for the premiere of his documentary and promoting it with the likes of Matt Damon and Viggo Mortensen, historian and activist Howard Zinn found some time to speak with students at Dundee-Crown High School on Tuesday.

After school let out, Zinn fielded questions via teleconference from about 30 students gathered in the school's music wing.

The question-and-answer session with the renowned author of "A People's History of the United States" was part of an ongoing series of talks with major scholars at the Carpentersville high school.

Zinn answered students' questions on topics ranging from the impact of religion on feminism and the role of big business in American domestic and foreign policy.

Taking aim at mainstream media, Zinn said, "The media has badly influenced the thinking of America because the media ignores real people. They go along with what the powerful economic interests are. That miseducates the public. In general, the media is not be trusted."

The 87-year-old historian also addressed the federal stimulus package.

"Both the Bush and the Obama administrations have been giving handouts to big corporations," he said. "The Obama administration is dominated by (business interests), and they're the ones more than anyone else who have benefited from these bailouts."

A handful of local residents who attended the talk said the Dundee-Crown students were getting a chance they never had as teenagers.

"The opportunity for these kids to be able to hear these thoughts expressed is very good for them," said Kathleen Holmes of Algonquin. "You can watch the History Channel, but how great that he takes their questions."