Howard Zinn student: "He would teach the controversy" with Mitch Daniels

tags: Howard Zinn, Mitch Daniels, Indiana, Purdue University, Nadine Dolby



What would the late historian Howard Zinn have been doing in the classroom last week after being called out as a fraud, his name dragged around three years ago by a man who was then Indiana’s governor and now president of one of the state’s major research universities?

“He would teach the controversy,” said Nadine Dolby, a Purdue University professor watching as a beloved teacher from her days at Boston University was publicly upbraided by the president of her present university. “That’s just what he’d do.”...

To Dolby, a curriculum studies professor in the College of Education, her professor’s story is one of dissent. She calls Zinn a role model when it comes to professors. And she recounts several stories about her time in class and beyond with Zinn in her 2011 book, “Rethinking Multicultural Education for the Next Generation.” Here’s her take.

Dolby: One of my concerns is that in this whole conversation and the way the emails have come to light and the way it’s been represented, I’m afraid he’s become a caricature and that he’s been misrepresented. And he died a few years ago, and he’s no longer with us, so he can’t represent himself. ... When he started doing his writing in the ’70s, these were not radical ideas. To characterize him that way is just incorrect in the context of the history of the day. These were ideas that were floating around. He didn’t invent women’s history or African American history. These were movements that were well underway. What he did was pull them together and give them voice in a way, and he made them accessible to people. You can buy “People’s History” in a regular bookstore. You don’t need academic training ... to get some sense that the voices of people matter and matter to the sense of who we are as a country....



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