HZBF 2017 Call For Proposals: The World We Want.

If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, occasionally to win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past’s fugitive movements of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare.”
-Howard Zinn

The Howard Zinn Book Fair is an annual celebration of People’s History, Past Present and Future. This November 19, 2017, in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’ll hold our fourth fair bringing together authors, activists, ‘zinesters, bloggers, publishers and community groups for a day of readings, discussions and workshops and we’ll have a big room full of booksellers with radical books and grassroots community groups.

The theme of this year’s book fair is The World We Want. The authoritarians who just took power in DC are simply the latest symptom of governments and economic systems that do not serve the needs and aspirations of the vast majority of people of the United States and the world. Since day one of the Trump Administration, bold and creative movements have taken to the streets to protest the extreme right-wing shift his election signifies. At this year’s Fair, we’ll ask What is the world we want to live in? How do we connect survival and reform fights to this revolutionary vision? What alliances need to be built in order to fight for a better world? What lessons can be learned from the People’s History to build contemporary movementsThe Howard Zinn Book Fair is a non-sectarian left space to ask these questions and explore the answers together.

We’re looking for panels, workshops and talks that engage these questions rather than continue to try to plead, coerce and reason for nominal reforms. Here and all over the globe, movements are creating alternatives to the existing structures of government and economy. So at the Howard Zinn Book Fair 2017 we’ll focus on people, groups and ideas which can help us create our own vision of a better world, with more responsive, radically democratic institutions and economic systems to bring about The World We Want.


Guidelines for proposals:

1) Proposals which engage with the theme will be given preference.

2) All sessions are 60 minutes.

3) The Book Fair takes place in a Community College, in low-tech classrooms. We do not provide audio or visual equipment under any circumstances. Presenters are responsible for for bringing their own equipment if needed. (Screens are in every classroom and are available for use.)

4) There must be a contact person on every proposal who is also appearing in the session. Publishers and agents :Please do not send in proposals for batches of your authors. Instead ask your authors to submit their own proposals.

5) We welcome back speakers who have presented in the past, but please do not repeat what you have previously presented.

6) Book talks, panels, workshops and performances will all be considered.



November 29th Film Night With Alex Cox!

14907593_1236353546386372_3268135082912431868_nThe Howard Zinn Book Fair welcomes legendary film director and writer Alex Cox (El Patrullero, Repo Man, Sid and Nancy) to San Francisco for a special screening and discussion at Piano Fight in San Francisco on November 29th, 7:30 144 Taylor Street.
Cox will present his 1987 film Walker, a neo-Western biopic about William Walker, an American mercenary who made himself president of Nicaragua in 1856. Walker is almost unknown today but at the time he was wildly popular, and U.S. newspapers wrote about him more than they did about the sitting U.S. presidents during that period.

Alex Cox decided to make a film about William Walker, on location in Nicaragua, during the height of the Cold War in Central America, when Ronald Reagan’s government was pouring millions of dollars into supporting sociopathic dictators and paramilitary death-squads across the region. Cox, Joe Strummer of The Clash (who recorded the soundtrack and who appears briefly in the film), and a band of determined producers, crew and cast worked with the brand new revolutionary Sandinista government of Nicaragua’s film ministry, to produce what has been described as an “Acid Western” and what Cox himself says is his best work.

Please join us for an evening of cinema and discussion at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29th at Piano Fight, located at 144 Taylor Street in San Francisco between Eddy and Turk. The nearest BART Station is Powell Street.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT https://www.eventbrite.com/e/howard-zinn-book-fair-presents-film-director-alex-cox-tickets-28879395048.

Congratulations Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor!

cover_0Be sure to catch Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s talk at this year’s Fair!

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, written by Princeton University scholar and activist Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and published by independent press Haymarket Books has won the 2016 Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book.

Established in 2014, the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for An Especially Notable Book honors nonfiction works of particular relevance to the current historical moment. The award recognizes writers whose work is of particular scholarly or journalistic quality, and also has purpose in providing ideological tools to inform and support struggles for cultural freedom and social, economic, and racial justice.

Dr. Cornel West writes that “Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has emerged as the most sophisticated and courageous radical intellectual of her generation” and that her “brilliant” book “is the best analysis we have of the #BlackLivesMatter moment of the long struggle for freedom in America.”

View Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s extended biography here.

Cleve Jones at the Zinn Book Fair!

when-we-riseWe are very pleased to welcome the legendary Cleve Jones to the Third Annual Howard Zinn Book Fair. His new book, When We Rise: My Life in the Movement  comes to us at a time when remembering San Francisco social movement history is more important than ever.

Born in 1954, Cleve Jones was among the last generation of gay Americans who grew up wondering if there were others out there like himself. There were. As did thousands of young gay people, Jones moved to San Francisco in the early ’70s, nearly penniless, finding a city electrified by progressive politics and sexual liberation. Jones met lovers, developed intense friendships, and found his calling in “the movement.” Jones dove into politics and activism, taking an internship in the office of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, who became Jones’ mentor before his murder in 1978. With the advent of the AIDS crisis in the early ’80s, Jones emerged as one of the gay community’s most outspoken leaders. He co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and, later, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, one of the largest public art projects in history.

Beyond the Ballots: First Program Announcements of 2016



Howard Zinn always reminded his readers that everyday people can build a better world together. We chose the theme of this year’s Book Fair  “Beyond the Ballot Box” as a way to remind ourselves that social change has rarely come only from elections. In that spirit, we make our first program announcements for 2016!.There’s much more to come, so be sure to check back soon as we roll out more panels, discussions and readings. 

Just some of the fantastic authors speaking at the Fair will be:  Walidah Imarisha (Angels With Dirty Faces, Octavia’s Brood);  David Zirin (Nation Magazine Sports Columnist, Brazil’s Dance With the Devil: The World Cup, The Olympics and the Struggle for Democracy); Tamara Draut (Demos editor, Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America); Peter Linebaugh (The Incomplete, True, Authentic and Wonderful History of May Day); Michelle Gonzales (The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Hardcore Band)  Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (From #blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation) AK Thompson (Keywords For Radicals) and TJ English (The Savage City, Havana Nocturne).


  • We are still accepting applications for publishers and exhibitors to table  at the Howard Zinn Book Fair 2016. Apply here.
  • The application process for readers and presenters is now closed. We have received some excellent proposals and will be making initial program announcements in the first week of August.
  • If you missed the deadline, but still want to be considered, please email us directly at zinnbookfair@gmail.com.