The Horrible History of Howard Zinn

The Horrible History of Howard Zinn
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To be honest I never heard of Howard Zinn until the 1990s. A People’s History of the United States was not, to my knowledge, used in any of my graduate classes when I attended the University of California nor in my short time actually on campus did I ever hear it referenced. Of course, I was only there in the Ph.D. program for one year, right after Zinn’s book came out, so the influence would have been relatively small.

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The Horrible History of Howard Zinn . . .And what to do about it!

To be honest I never heard of Howard Zinn until the 1990s. A People’s History of the United States was not, to my knowledge, used in any of my graduate classes when I attended the University of California nor in my short time actually on campus did I ever hear it referenced. Of course, I was only there in the Ph.D. program for one year, right after Zinn’s book came out, so the influence would have been relatively small.

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The Horrible History of Howard Zinn 2

Who was Howard Zinn? More important, does it matter?

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The Horrible History of Howard Zinn ... and What To Do About it: 3

We have been looking at the tricks Howard Zinn uses to distort history, including his abuse of the ellipses to exclude information that would place (in this case, Columbus’s) comments in context. Another trick he uses is descriptors. Consider how he introduces People’s History in his discussion of Columbus’s landing:

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The Horrible History of Howard Zinn . . . and What to do About it: 4

We will be staying with the Indians here, as Zinn had a soft spot in his heart for Native Americans, who, in his view, could do no wrong. We’ve already looked at the “Columbian exchange,” but Zinn doesn’t stop there. When the English arrived at Jamestown, then Plymouth, Zinn renews his war on whites.

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The Horrible History of Howard Zinn ... and What To Do About it: 5

This will be our last installment on Zinn as it pertains to the Indians. Let us return one last time to the numbers of how many Indians were in North and Central America when Columbus arrived. For many years, researchers used a number of 100 million. Where did they get this? It appears out of thin air.

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The Horrible History of Howard Zinn ... and What To Do About it: 6

It seems Howard Zinn not only can’t get his facts right, he embraces others who substitute fantasy or imagination for fact. Consider the case of “Drawing the Color Line,” where Zinn tackles slavery in America.

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