The Historians Named by David Horowitz as Dangerous Radicals

Historians in the News

You can tell that David Horowitz's new book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America is, as he says,"a gas," just by taking a look at who is included in it. Take George Wolfe, Professor of Musical Performance at Ball State University, for instance. His clean cut, buttoned down demeanor doesn't fool us. He plays the saxophone and we know what that means! This Pied Piper of Muncie is obviously bent on evil seduction of Hoosier innocents."Oh, we got trouble; right here in River City." And it's the Music Man who's the cause of it. Etc.

Well, for what it's worth (and that's obviously not much), here's the list of historians who made the cut for David's list:

Baylor University: Marc Ellis
Boston University: Howard Zinn
Columbia University: Hamid Dabashi
________________: Eric Foner
________________: Manning Marable
________________: Joseph Massad
Georgetown University: Yvonne Haddad

St. Xavier University: Peter N. Kirstein
Stanford University: Joel Beinin
Truman State University: Marc Becker

University of California, Berkeley: Hamid Algar
University of California, Irvine: Mark Le Vine
University of California, Los Angeles: Vinay Lal
University of California, Santa Cruz: Bettina Aptheker
University of Colorado, Boulder: Ward Churchill ________________________: Emma Perez
University of Michigan: Juan Cole
University of Pennsylvania: Mary Francis Berry
Western Washington University: Larry J. Estrada

I've used a fairly expansive definition of who is a historian to create this list. I don't think Ward Churchill, for example, deserves the honor. Indeed, the list includes people like him who received academic appointments despite being unwelcome in history departments. The list is a peculiar one, even if you excluded such people from it. How do you account for it putting a serious scholar like Eric Foner shoulder-to-shoulder with a serious fruit loop like Peter N. Kirstein? Indeed, it's remarkable how few on the list are, like Foner and Juan Cole, seriously influential among other historians.

The larger list is a mirror of the fevered brain of David Horowitz. Sociologists, gender and ethnic studies people were more likely to make the list than historians. People on the Left, certainly, but also people of Middle Eastern and Latin American descent were more likely to find themselves there than others of us. It's a hodge-podge of confused conspiratology.

Read entire article at Ralph Luker at the HNN blog, Cliopatria

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More Comments:

Lisa Kazmier - 2/17/2006

LOL. We need a committee...

Maurice Isserman - 2/17/2006

Allen Davis writes in a web-biography of Merle Curti, "Curti was often attacked, especially in the 1950s, for his liberalism, his relativism, and for his defense of unpopular causes. He was always proud that in one such attack a right-wing critic denounced the dangerous, radical ideas of "Beard, Becker, and Curti." He thought he was in excellent company. He was not afraid to speak out in defense of freedom of speech and to denounce loyalty oaths, anti-intellectualism and McCarthyism, as he did in his presidential addresses to the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (1952) and the American Historical Association (1954)."

In the spirit of Merle Curti, I'd like to know why so few historians in 2006 qualified as dangerous enough to appear on David Horowitz' list of 101 most dangerous academics in America? Most historians I know are at least twice as dangerous as the average sociologist, yet they outnumber us on Horowitz' list. I suggest the AHA appoint a commission to look in to this disparity, and see if we can't boost our numbers in any subsequent revisions of the Horowitz book.