I’m Feeling The Love

Roger Kimball shares a few thoughts about Howard Zinn. Here.

2 Comments

  1. bob koepp says

    Yeah, Zinn was a piece of work. Even if his sympathies lay on the side of angels, he had no appreciation for the value of truth. And to me, that means he was the opposite of intelligent, since a society founded on lies cannot endure.

    Posted February 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Quite right, Bob. But the man walked on water in some circles. I saw him most recently last summer in Wellfleet, where he was leaving a restaurant as I was entering; the adoring crowd was practically fanning him with palm fronds.

    Here’s a letter to the Times from a few days ago, responding to a predictably tendentious eulogy by Bob Herbert:

    To the Editor:

    Bob Herbert suggests that the fact that the late historian Howard Zinn was viewed as a dangerous radical by some people is a sad commentary on American intellectual life.

    I could not disagree more. I never met Mr. Zinn, but I have seen, as a history professor as well as in my research on French anti-Americanism, the awful effect that “A People’s History of the United States” has had on several generations of students. In Mr. Zinn’s effort to tell “the other side of the story,” he dramatically distorted events on both sides and reduced the complexities of international politics to a struggle between good and evil.

    An excellent raconteur, he was, however, determined to write history as a story of American malfeasance. The result, among students who embraced his ideas, is a sort of facile cynicism posing as sophistication, and, perhaps worse, the tragically fatalistic idea that American history is little more than a conspiracy against humanity.

    Seth Armus
    Long Beach, N.Y., Jan. 30, 2010

    The writer is an associate professor of history at St. Joseph’s College and the author of “French Anti-Americanism, 1930-1948: Critical Moments in a Complex History.”

    Posted February 4, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink