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The Right’s Long War On Howard Zinn Reaches The White House

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/23/rights-long-war-howard-zinn-reaches-white-house


I cannot think of a more validating tribute to Dr. Zinn than to be attacked by the most dangerous terrorist on the face of the planet.


Zinn’s book stripped bare the “fundamental nationalist glorification of country” (his words), to reveal our historical warts.


Indeed. Trump may unwittingly vault Zinn’s book back on to the Bestseller list.


I was brain-washed, er, educated in the 50’s and 60’s, with textbooks full of American exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny. Nothing about black and Indigenous peoples, except they were inferior to more intelligent humans. The culture in that particular region remains the same, only they’ve added Muslims, Asians, and Hispanics to the “inferior race” list.
Luckily, I broke the walls of that Matrix(just call me Neo!) and read A People’s History of the United States from cover to cover. Then I moved on to An Indigenous People’s History of the United States and A Disabled People’s History of the United States. Also have the Graphic version of A People’s History of American Empire, which does not stint on the blood and gore meted out to the world by the US.
Our one hope is to educate our children in reality, about how there have been hundreds of empires in the history of homo sapiens, all of them thought they were exceptional, and all of them eventually failed because they overshot their resource supply line.


“We want our sons and daughters to know that they are the citizens of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world.”

Straight out of Hitler’s fascism playbook. Trump didn’t start this “US exceptionalism” fairytale, but he promotes it much like was done in 1930’s Germany.


“We must clear away the twisted web of lies in our schools and classrooms, and teach our children the magnificent truth about our country.”

Well, having grown up with that " twisted web of lies" in grade school in the 1950s and 60s myself, I certainly agree with the first clause. And I wouldn’t quibble with mention of such “magnificent truths” as there be–at least a few–but clearly in the context of the unsavory parts that I am STILL discovering.


Luckily, I broke the walls of that Matrix(just call me Neo!) and read A People’s History of the United States from cover to cover. Then I moved on to An Indigenous People’s History of the United States and A Disabled People’s History of the United States. Also have the Graphic version of A People’s History of American Empire, which does not stint on the blood and gore meted out to the world by the US.

Thanks for the book list –

I think every child who heard these glossed over tales of what amounted to GENOCIDE
and SLAVERY never forgot this wounding to their spirits –

Howard Zinn passed on the GUMPTION to see things as they truly are – and to fight them.

Everything Zinn has ever written is worth reading – and will wake you up.

As for Trump, his mind and spirit are dead to any true existence –


Ever since reality TV washed ashore in the US two decades ago we have confirmed that reality TV is 90-95% BS, depending on the show.

Trump is 100% reality TV with a track record of at least 95% BS if we give him the benefit of doubt.


I’ve been immersed in the surprisigly poetical works of W.E.B. DuBois, such as The Souls of Black Folk. I don’t remember Zinn writing in as profoundly personal a manner as some of DuBois’ works – Zinn saw himself as an accurate transcriber of history, perhaps, while DuBois was ever neck-deep in making history. Very moving stuff – practically foundational for anyone pursuing the tradition of radical pedagogy: DuBois’ passion that the only way out of this pit is through learning.

Jeffrey St. Clair wrote this tribute to Zinn (fawning, by Jeffrey standards):

It’s amusing to hear Trump–through the ghoulish pen of Stephen Miller–attacking Howard Zinn, who has been dead for a miserable decade. There were far better historians than Zinn, but what really scared them and scares them still is the clarity of his writing. American history isn’t all that compelling, but Zinn was able to synthesize his version of it in a style that is compulsively readable even to HS sophomores.



Really? You think it could be as low as 90 percent BS? :slight_smile: :slightly_smiling_face:

(I can never get the emogis to print, either way.)

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Maybe it should be required reading, at least prior to the end of high school. The Germans require everyone to visit a concentration camp. Owning up to truth does not run the risk of fostering leftist radicals.

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Aleph –

Thank you –
Sadly, I don’t recall ever getting closer to reading W. E. B. DuBois than simply having
had one of his books in my hand. I’ve made notes – but now there are just too many
notes of books to follow to say that I’ll absolutely get to it. I haven’t even been to our
library since they closed down – though they have now reopened!

I have wanted to read some of Angela Davis’ writings – but months have gone by and
haven’t gotten any closer to that wish.

I have 40 journals now with notes on books I’ve read and always hoped that someday
I would be able to share or at least sprinkle around some of the thoughts I found in them.

But thank you for sharing what you did today –
and PLEASE if you have a bit of time – SHARE some of DuBois thoughts with us –

PLEASE … tell us more if you can as you move along here –

I agree, probably many better historians than Zinn -

but as you can see from Trump and Elite ire about his writings …

Zinn has given his readers the confidence – gumption – to get up off their couches
and leave their TV’s to fight for justice – it’s politicized our youth – and that’s a heck
of a lot to do, imo.

This always seemed to me to be a nation cowed by the idea of politics being something
dangerous – something they shouldn’t be involved with – and they felt so sure they
were being honestly guided that they never rethought what it meant –
"We don’t discuss politics or religion in polite society."
They were made trusting – but for whose benefit?

Actually, politics effects your life every day and minute of your life –
and that of your children’s lives –

WHAT could be more important – ?

Right now, it is youth leading the way – and it is always what Elites fear –
It is AA’s and people of color showing us what needs to be done and how to do it –
and they are showing us they have the courage to do it –

Again – thank you –

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Jack –

Was just saying in another post that Zinn gave youth – and anyone reading his
book – confidence and gumption to fight for justice …
Got them up off the couch – away from the TV and into the real battle for justice.

HOWEVER … as for the adult population, we have seemingly so lacked the confidence
and courage of our convictions –

At this very moment the entire population is watching as Trump in his madness is planning
in every way he can to steal the election. And our TV press is reporting it – not as a man
who should be in jail – or a hospital – but as a president simply telling us that HE will decide
whether he losses the election and whether he might leave the White House –

All of this says to me every day that we are a nation FEARING A MAN and an administration
who is FRIGHTENING THE HELL out of us –

On a scale of what Hitler did to the German population —

Very often think of Howard Zinn’s words that …


I may shed tears for the planet and nature, but what am I doing about it.
Same for all the issues swirling around us every day –

… but I think gradually, we are being shown the way – by youth – and protesters –

"HARRIET’ once again reminds us that it isn’t just men, but women as well who can
think in terms of … “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH”
and that many amazing things can be accomplished – things we never thought we could do.

Except that, as far as I could tell, the corporate media completely edited out Trump’s mention of Zinn in their otherwise extensive coverage of this “speech”. or whatever you would call it.

The corporate media wants Zinn to be forgotten too.

Must reads on every persons list.

Howard Zinn A Peoples history of the United States.
William Blum Killing Hope.
Riane Eisler The Chalice and the Blade
Richard Drinnon Facing West The Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building
Ward Churchill Kill the Indian Save the Man The Geonocidal Impact Of American Indian Residential Schools

Evan Eisenberg The Ecology of Eden.


It figures. Texas schoolbook censors and their thuggish anti-intellectual allies
are running the nation.

P.S. Don’t forget Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States.

I am of the same age as Trump and was taught the same things about America, about it exceptionalists and spreading democracy around the world while fighting communism at every level. I was more of a 60’s protesters of our wars and militarism. I’ve read history and no better and especially from Naomi Klein book "Disaster Capitalism: Shock Doctrine.

But many of my friends from 50’s and 60’s still live in lala land by American execeptionalism, however, most are not a fan of Trump but don’t know our real history nor about our draconian policies that created this chaos were living in at the moment. I guess they don’t have curiosity about the poor, the homelessness, why the middle class decline because many have children that are successful and think their children /grandchildren will be protected even though it won’t protect them from fires, droughts, hurricanes and all the disasters climate chaos can change that.
The last ten years I thought I would be gone before the disasterous climate chaos hit, still doing what I can but believe it might prior to me/baby boomer generation leaves this planet.

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Right there without sister and overcamed the rah! rah! rah! US of A. Have to be careful though in copping to it as many of my friends would be horrified by info and would not believe it… and call me a fraud…

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I’d add Gone to Croatan: Origins of Drop Out Culture in America to this list as well. Used copies can still be found here and there (though it becomes a bit more difficult with each passing year).

It’s a collection of essays by various authors.

Thanks for reminding me about The Ecology of Eden. Think I still have a copy on one of my bookshelves.