His professional persona reminded me of something someone once said about the great British historian A.P.J. Taylor, who was a northerner, and like so many northerners, he was an "aginner." You said whatever you wanted to say and he was "agin" it. Zinn had some of that temperament. He did not naturally agree with anything. He was a kind of temperamental contrarian. In the great collective enterprise, I think that was a healthy thing.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Presidential historian, "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln"
I knew him, and I thought he was an extraordinary person. I met him when I was just starting to teach at Harvard in 1969. It was so exhilarating; he was so passionate about history. I had just come back from working in the White House and then on the ranch with Lyndon Johnson. We had tons of things to talk about.