Howard Zinn’s revisionist history of America


Editor’s note: This letter is a response to Rob Swindell’s Dec. 3 column, “War and terrorism breed war and terrorism.”

To the editor:

The FBI has numerous informant reports that Howard Zinn was an active member of the Communist Party of the United States. Zinn once remarked that “objectivity is impossible and it is also undesirable.” Zinn perhaps says his most honest words in the conclusion of his 1995 edition of “A People’s History of the United States,” conceding that his work is “a biased account.” and “I am not troubled by that.” According to Zinn, history serves “a social aim.”

Daniel Flynn, executive director of Accuracy in Academia and author of “Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation’s Greatness,” submits that if you’ve read Karl Marx, there is really no reason to read Howard Zinn. Flynn believes Zinn distorts or simply ignores the truth to make the facts, or the alleged facts, or the invented facts, fit the theory that justifies Zinn’s “social aims.”

Stanford University professor Sam Wineburg says, “Zinn’s desire to cast a light on what he saw as historic injustice was a crusade built on secondary sources of questionable provenance, omission of exculpatory evidence, leading questions and shaky connections between evidence and conclusions.”

Michael Kazin, professor of history at Georgetown University, and a well-known left-leaning historian, in his book, “America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s,” has questioned Zinn’s scholarship.

Zinn’s book does not include Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Washington’s Farewell Address, or Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate speech. He doesn’t mention the Wright Brothers, Jonas Salk, or Alexander Graham Bell, nor the first person, an American, to land on the moon.

George Mason University’s History News Network asked readers to vote for the least credible history book in print. Coming in second as least credible, by only a few votes, was the late Howard Zinn’s uber-left book.

Zinn’s book inspires guilt, and forces the reader to feel that success must come only through exploitation of disadvantaged people. Thus, his ideological-narrative plot belittles the ideas of American exceptionalism and patriotism to accomplish his “social aim.”

Dennis Michaels, Ph.D.

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