Article Title

Artists in Times of War


In his article, "Artists in Times of War," Howard Zinn examines the role of the artist during war time and finds that the transcendent nature of art not only shows us the beauty of everyday life, but can also go beyond everyday politics and media hype to critically address the problems of the day. In fact, Zinn suggests that it is the job of artists to "to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare to say things that no one else will say." For Zinn, this is especially important given the intensity of the events of 9/11 where the media has consistently failed in their responsibility to serve as investigators who are charged to "think for yourself." By way of example Zinn reflects on the work of Twain, e.e. cummings, Langston Hughes, Bob Dylan, and others. These writers all exemplify ways that art can respond to the atrocities of war. In the end, however, it is Zinn who transcends the conventional wisdom and challenges the reader to do the same.