Monday, July 29, 2013

National Review - Howard Zinn Not a Good Historian

Almost two week after the Mitch Daniels first came under fire for dissing Howard Zinn, the girly-men at NR belatedly come to his defense, in a strong (for them) attack on Zinn's " A People's History of the United States":

"The book is full of errors and deliberate distortions, as Handlin noted in The American Scholar, and these are not limited to minor issues. Zinn misrepresents everything from slavery in the Chesapeake colonies to American involvement in Cuba to the Tet offensive. He reports as fact the story of Polly Baker, a woman persecuted for having an illegitimate child, when the story is in truth a work of fiction, penned by Benjamin Franklin. Zinn himself described A People’s History as “a biased account,” that bias being in favor of socialism, a political tendency that Zinn favored and thought would be popular but for the fact that “the Soviet Union gave it a bad name.” Mao Zedong and Fidel Castro didn’t help much, either, though Zinn had kind words for their revolutions. Zinn denied being a member of the Communist party, though he was identified as such by several other members and served as an officer in a CPUSA front group. Presented with evidence (including a confession) that Soviet spies Zinn had defended were in fact guilty as charged, his response was: “To me, it didn’t matter whether they were guilty or not.” Later in life, he trafficked in 9/11 conspiracy theories."

Of course, NR quotes liberal Historians Handlin and Schlesinger  as confirmation that Zinn was no good, since NR usually looks to liberals to determine what is acceptable. Weirdly, the piece is signed by "The Editors"; probably since no one at NR had the guts to sign his name to it.

And I look forward to usual Goldberg/Lowery backtracking.

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