Daniel J. Flynn
Originally published 10/16/2004
Tim Goodman, in the San Francisco Chronicle (Oct. 13, 2004):Last month, Daniel Flynn, a conservative pundit, published "Intellectual Morons," a 304-page book that rips Zinn for "America bashing" and biased writing. The tome also criticizes Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal and other intellectuals who've been critical of the United States, but it singles out Zinn for special scrutiny because of Zinn's success with "A People's History of the United States.""A People's History" has sold more than 1 million copies since its release in 1980, making it one of the most popular works on American history. Conservatives hate the book because it excoriates Ronald Reagan, gives detailed examples of U.S. imperialism, outlines practices that led to the slaughter and depopulation of Native Americans, and even questions the motives of George Washington and other Founding Fathers. (Among other things, Zinn refers to Washington as a member of the elite who personally benefited from the Constitution.)
Originally published 06/09/2003
Who is the most influential historian in America? Could it be Pulitzer Prize winners Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. or Joseph Ellis or David McCullough, whose scholarly works have reached a broad literary public? The answer is none of the above. The accolade belongs instead to the unreconstructed, anti-American Marxist Howard Zinn, whose cartoon anti-history of the United States is still selling 128,000 copies a year twenty years after its original publication. Many of those copies are assigned readings for courses in colleges and high schools taught by leftist disciples of their radical mentor.“Objectivity is impossible,” Zinn once remarked, “and it is also undesirable. That is, if it were possible it would be undesirable, because if you have any kind of a social aim, if you think history should serve society in some way; should serve the progress of the human race; should serve justice in some way, then it requires that you make your selection on the basis of what you think will advance causes of humanity.”History serving “a social aim” other than the preservation or interpretation of a historical record is precisely what we get in A People’s History of the United States. Howard Zinn’s 776 page tome, which after selling more than a million copies, has been recently re-released in a hardback edition.