Howard Zinn’s Greatest Hits

, Deborah Lambert, Leave a comment

Although the air temperature may be falling, the leftist rhetoric is heating up on our college campuses again. Jennifer Kabbany of The College Fix noted that some Purdue profs have even reached out to their peers to take part in a Howard Zinn Read-In this November.

They say the event is supposed to raise public awareness about the evils of “privatization of public education,” and the “attacks on teachers and teachers unions.” And of course, it is also designed as a massive defense of Zinn’s anti-American, Marxist tome, A People’s History of the United States, “which protestors call ‘an important text for understanding the history of underrepresented populations.’”

Admittedly, the leftist faculty at Purdue is still smarting from comments made by Purdue University president Mitch Daniels, “who called Zinn’s textbook A People’s History of the United States ‘a truly execrable, anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page.’”  Although the comments were made by Daniels in an email while he was governor, they weren’t published until recently, “prompting an uproar among leftist scholars.”

The reason for the Left’s outrage is that Daniels’ opinions were aired in order to prevent the use of the Zinn textbook as a K-12 teaching tool in the classroom. While the anti-Zinn side has stated its case, the pro-Zinn side remains unmoved, despite observations in Zinn’s “history” book that include the following:

“Behind the English invasion of North America, behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was that special powerful drive born in civilizations based on private profit.”

“I refuse to celebrate ‘the greatest generation’ because in so doing we are celebrating courage and sacrifice in the cause of war. And we are miseducating the young to believe that military heroism is the noblest form of heroism, when it should be remembered only as the tragic accompaniment of horrendous policies driven by power and profit.”

“The Constitution. . . illustrates the complexity of the American system: that it serves the interests of a wealthy elite, but also does enough for small property owners, for middle-income mechanics and farmers, to build a broad base of support.”

“Professors, on their pro-Zinn Facebook page, say: ‘In honor of historian Howard Zinn and all the ordinary people he celebrated in his work, on Tuesday November 5, scholars and activists from across the country will take part in a Read-In of Zinn’s work on the campus of Purdue University and on campuses across the nation. …The Zinn Read-in Committee envisions the event to be a commemoration of academic freedom and a declaration of anti-censorship.’”

“It’s unclear how large the read-in will be. SocialistWorker.org has come out in support of the endeavor, for one. A story on the read-in has yet to be published in Purdue’s campus newspaper, The Exponent.”

“An image on the Howard Zinn Read-In Facebook page, created Sept. 8, states ‘during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.’”

 

Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia.
If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.

 

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