Eugene Genovese Howard Zinn

Column: The poisonous rhetoric of Howard Zinn

The American Spectator recently carried the following piece by Paul Kengor that’s worth repeating about Howard Zinn, the discredited historian whose work has been exposed as fraudulent and deliberately deceptive.

Columns share an author's personal perspective and are often based on facts in the newspaper's reporting.

The American Spectator recently carried the following piece by Paul Kengor that’s worth repeating about Howard Zinn, the discredited historian whose work has been exposed as fraudulent and deliberately deceptive.


“That’s the scumbag that’s been screwing up all my friends!


So said Zach, a student who walked into my office and noticed a copy of Mary Grabar’s new book, ‘Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America’ The title reflects Zach’s complaint. Twenty years old, Zach has watched many of his generation be turned against America by the dubious history of Howard Zinn. "




Don’t look now, but Zinn’s fake history book is being used in schools right here in the Metro West and you are paying for it with your tax dollars.




Kengor goes on to note “In a way, the fault is less Zinn's than the impressionable suckers in the educational system that swallow his tripe hook, line, and sinker and then dish the swill to the masses (a word Zinn would like) in the classroom. A whole generation of educators have used Zinn's book to indoctrinate countless young people - the same youth who today speak so fondly of socialism, 'democratic socialism,' and even communism, while intoning darkly about the evils of free markets, of anti-communism, and of America. "




Zinn’s poisonous rhetoric came through with Beto O’Rourke assertions that "This country was founded on white supremacy and every single institution and structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery."




Zinn claims that there is no such thing as a pure fact, but all facts are open to interpretation, and then bends facts or leaves out key details to support his narrative. Using such deceptive methods, Zinn has succeeded in convincing a generation of Americans that the nation Abraham Lincoln called “the last best hope on Earth” is essentially a racist criminal enterprise built on murdering Indians, exploiting slaves, and oppressing the working man.




Liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger called Zinn “a polemicist, not a historian, and the historian Eugene Genovese, a Marxist himself, thought the book was so bad that he refused to review it.




Zinn paints Christopher Columbus as a greedy thief and genocidal monster who cut off the hands of little girls and boys that failed to bring him enough gold. However historical research now shows no such thing. Zinn redacted quotes, takes them out of context, and deliberately song to create false impressions. In realty, the Columbus journals express concern that the natives be treated fairly and his hope that they would convert to Christianity. "




Zinn’s chapter on the American Revolution stresses the conflict between the rich and the poor rather than between the Americans and the British.




On the Civil War, Zinn argues that the North should have just overthrown the capitalistic system, and claims Lincoln only issued the Emancipation Proclamation because of military expediency. He overlooks the thousands of white soldiers who died to end slavery.




On World War II, Zinn argues that Adolf Hitler’s Germany was no worse than the United States. Zinn also claims that Japan was the victim of American aggression. He argues that America’s goal wasn’t fighting against totalitarianism, but to maintain its capitalist system and that war was actually fueled by racial hatred towards the Japanese.


Zinn described the Cold War as nothing more than American "hysteria" about Communism. When it came to Vietnam, Zinn praises the Vietnamese communists as reformers. He conveniently leaves out the fact that they murdered tens of thousands of landlords and then turned their land into collective farms.




In summary, Howard Zinn presents a crude morality designed to destroy American patriotism and turn students into radical leftists.




School committees serve a critical role. However, now that Howard Zinn’s work has been credibly exposed as fraudulent radical propaganda, it's not too much to ask for serious review. Our children deserve a more authentic presentation of American history.


Frank Mazzaglia can be reached at [email protected]