Many public schools in the United States have been putting Howard Zinn’s Marxist view of the history of the United States on reading lists and on bookshelves. Most recently, Zinn’s tome, A Peoples’ History of the United States, has been added to supplementary reading lists for AP U.S. history. There is even A Young Peoples’ History of the United States.
How teachers in the classroom use it does matter, however, it reads more like Soviet propaganda than U.S. history and it’s about as accurate.
Howard Zinn was a Marxist whose book presents a dreary, cynical history of a dystopian United States. It is filled with inaccuracies because, for him, it was not about the truth, it was about spreading the ideology. He used second-hand sources for his “factual US history – statements of alleged facts without footnotes, clip jobs, and interviews substituted for real research.
Zinn came out the New Left and the 1960’s leftism extremism. His book reflects their views.
Left-wing radicals are more dangerous to U.S. culture than any extremists on the right. As Dinesh D’Souza recently said on Megyn Kelly’s show, when a KKK group or a NAZI tries to attach themselves to the Republican Party, they are quickly dismissed. Not so with communists and socialists. They are embraced by liberal Democrats, enabling them to infiltrate and further their America-hating ideology.
Zinn’s book is a tale about demonic elites from the Founding Fathers on. He relentlessly attacks U.S. policy while ignoring Soviets. The far left, according to Zinn, made no errors; the Communist Party’s praise of Stalin is ignored; and radical leftists only failed because they didn’t muster enough troops.
Zinn was a dissident who defended injustice in the name of socialism, communism, and, in the case of Imperial Japan, anti-Americanism. He was a lazy, conventional theorist, with an undeveloped political philosophy, according to David Greenberg a professor of journalism and media studies and of history at Rutgers .
Zinn’s book is a deeply pessimistic version of U.S. history. No one believing it is an actual history tome would want to consider themselves an American after reading it.
The United States was founded on Judeo-Christian values yet Zinn barely mentions Christians or conservatives.
He denied Gaddafi’s Libya planned the 1986 bombing of La Belle Discotheque in Berlin though it is established fact. At the same time he says that the American government’s funding of the Afghan mujahideen and the training of bin Laden are a myth concocted by Washington Post correspondent Steve Coll, which is patently false.
His admiration for Communist dictator Fidel Castro is boundless as he praises Castro’s setting up of a nationwide system of education, housing and land distribution (redistribution) to the peasants. The inconvenient truth he ignores is that Castro set up a nationwide network of gulags for those who disagreed with him. In Cuba, Zinn saw hope for the future of mankind.
Zinn’s Maoist China, site of history’s bloodiest state-sponsored killings, is “the closest thing, in the long history of that ancient country, to a people’s government, independent of outside control.” The authoritarian Nicaraguan Sandinistas were “welcomed” by their own people, while the opposition Contras, who backed the candidate that triumphed when free elections were finally held, were a “terrorist group” that “seemed to have no popular support inside Nicaragua,” according to history news network.
Right-wingers are bullies according to Zinn. They only care about keeping power and wealth to themselves.
Reviewing A People’s History in The American Scholar, Harvard University professor Oscar Handlin denounced “the deranged quality of his fairy tale, in which the incidents are made to fit the legend, no matter how intractable the evidence of American history.”
His history ignores the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot and describes the revolutionary regime in Cambodia as one that treated American prisoners well.
He is an apologist for poor forgotten communists like Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson who were Stalin lovers.
Atom bomb spies Morton Sobel and Julius Rosenberg were railroaded according to him. Sobel confessed but Zinn later said that their guilt never mattered to him.
He was an anti-Vietnam activist. He was Bill Ayers without the bombs.
His book begins with an assault on Columbus who never even made it to our continent. He bloviates about violent colonists. He delves right into slavery and remains obsessed by it and U.S. cruelty towards Native-Americans because, to him, that is all the United States is about. He never presents another side or mitigating circumstances unless it is to support communism or socialism.
He argues that the Founding Fathers agitated for war to distract the people from their own economic problems and stop popular movements [communism for one], a strategy that he claims the country’s leaders would continually use throughout our history.
Inequality towards women and the need for redistribution are themes that run throughout several chapters.
Zinn takes our sometimes sanitized history and transforms it into a bleak one-sided portrayal. For example, Andrew Jackson the frontiersman, soldier, democrat, man of the people becomes the slaveholder, land speculator, executioner of dissident soldiers, exterminator of Indians.
No one wanted the Mexican-American War according to him, just President Polk who wanted it for imperialism. American imperialism pervades the book as the reason for the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, as well as in other lands such as Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico. World War I was only fought by America to expand its foreign markets and economic influence.
The chapter about World War II claims there was a lot of opposition to the war though he admits it was the most popular war. He said the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unnecessary because the Japanese were considering surrendering. [That, by the way, is completely false. The Japanese didn’t even surrender after Hiroshima. It took the bombing of Nagasaki to bring about surrender. The Japanese didn’t know we only had two bombs.]
The Great Depression also gets a complete makeover. Despite popular belief, the 1920s were not a time of prosperity, and the problems of the Depression were simply the chronic problems of the poor extended to the rest of the society. The Communist Party was there to help the poor during the Depression, which was hogwash.
One chapter covers socialism and anarchism as popular ideologies of the 1900’s. He describes W. E. B. Du Bois, and the Progressive Party as driven by fear of radicalism, according to Wiki.
The Cold War, according to Zinn, was used by the U.S. government to increase control over the American people (for instance, eliminating such radical elements as the Communist Party) and at the same time create a state of permanent war, which allowed for the creation of the modern movements during the 1960s and the building of the military-industrial complex. Zinn understands nothing of self-defense because a complete surrender to totalitarianism was his utopia, anything else was tyranny.
He covers the “Other Civil War” in one chapter – the Anti-Rent movement, the Dorr Rebellion, the Flour Riot of 1837, the Molly Maguires, the rise of labor unions, the Lowell girls movement, and other class struggles centered around the various depressions of the 19th century. He describes the abuse of government power by corporations and the efforts by workers to resist those abuses such as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.
He was an occupier.
Far-left movements during the 1960s are covered and glorified, such as second-wave feminism, the prison reform/prison abolition movement, the Native American rights movement, and the counterculture.
Zinn doesn’t want prisoners in jail because, according to his logic or rather lack of it, “violent crime continues to increase” despite imprisoning people.
Traditional Americans are the counterculture to Zinn.
When he covers Afghanistan, he ignores the Taliban. He picks and chooses. For him, it’s ideology, not facts, that matter.
Communists are the good guys and liberals and Republicans are the bad guys who fight only for corporations.
Every left-wing cause and extremist is whitewashed and given a voice.
Rethinking Schools is the Zinn Project, which you can easily find by googling. It promulgates the Marxist version of U.S. history and promotes Marxist theories like redistribution. They are making inroads in our nations’ schools.
It has gradually infiltrated the public school system and private schools as well, particularly in poor minority areas.
Rethinking Schools teams with Teaching for Change, which publishes lesson plans that portray the U.S. as human rights abusers on a par with terrorist nations. Teaching for Change recently published a lesson plan for schools about Ferguson and the Michael Brown shooting which condemns law enforcement as brutal and unfair. It encourages students to follow the Marxist ten-point framework of the Black Panthers.
Bill Bigelow, who runs the Zinn Project today, wrote an anti-July 4 article this year, claiming that George Washington was a war criminal and Thomas Jefferson basically plagiarized The Declaration of Independence.
Zinn was an America-basher, a dangerous one. So are his followers who keep the flame alive.
Parents need to read over their children’s reading material or they might find their child growing up hating America.