Howard Zinn, the popular leftist author and historian who died earlier this year, was quite the target of anti-communist surveillance in his heyday! The FBI accumulated a file of 423 pages on him over the years, which it released today.

The author of the beloved A People's History of the United States was a member of various leftist and labor organizations during the Second Red Scare that followed the World War II. This meant that the FBI had to place surveillance on him and his wife, constantly.

Here's part of an agent's report — addressed to no less than FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover — of a meeting with Zinn in November 1953, after he'd been placed under "discreet surveillance" and confronted on the street regarding his ties to the Communist Party (click to enlarge):

It continues (page 25), but the point is: he was not going to side with the Soviet Union in the event of war. Hooray!

[Photo via Getty Images]