Originally published 07/28/2013
Gabriel Schoenfeld is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.It seems that the ghost of Howard Zinn needs to be exorcised yet again. The most recent siting of the late historian’s visage came earlier this month at Indiana’s Purdue University. Zinn’s magnum opus, “A People’s History of the United States,” was discussed in some emails written by Indiana’s former governor, Mitch Daniels, now president of Purdue, which recently came to light thanks to the state’s freedom of information act.“A truly execrable, anti-factual piece of disinformation that misstates American history on every page” is what Daniels said of the book in a 2010 email to one of his staffers. “Can someone assure me that it is not in use anywhere in Indiana? If it is, how do we get rid of it before any more young people are force-fed a totally false version of our history?”Daniels is being pilloried for this by some on the left and in the media as an opponent of academic freedom. “Mitch Daniels looked to censor opponents” was the headline of an Associated Press story on July 16. “Astonishing and shocking,” said Cary Nelson, a professor of English at the University of Illinois, as quoted by the AP.