-By Warner Todd Huston
Howard Zinn (1922 to 2010) is the left’s favorite contemporary historian. As an historian he is a child of the Beardian revolution yet he has for decades been able to straddle that line between legitimate historical observer and anti-American leftist. America’s intellectual society, in both the social movement and universities, have looked to him as a paragon of American virtue. He’s always been held up as just the right mixture of American leftism coupled with true scholarship.
But those of us on the right that have paid attention understand that he is not American in outlook and never was. Until now, though, it’s been hard to pin down his final loyalties. Now, with the revelations made due to a recent FOIA request, Zinn’s FBI files reveal the truth that Zinn fought his whole life to hide from the public. Howard Zinn was a card carrying member of the Soviet funded Communist Party USA (CPUSA).
Above I mentioned Zinn’s having become a chief custodian of the Beardian legacy. By that I mean the legacy of historian Charles Beard (1874- 1948) whose famous 1912 book about the American Revolution changed the way American universities taught the era to students. After Beard’s work, out was a focus on the patriotism, the reason, and the high principle of America’s founding fathers and in was the assumption that the founders were simply evil white men that wanted to oppress minorities and keep all the money for themselves while setting themselves up as the ruling class. Yes, the hate for America in our universities started as early as 1912.
In any case, this is the legacy of American historical revisionism that Howard Zinn pushed and that is why he was a favorite of the hoity-toity and university pin-heads everywhere. And the fact that he was not known as a member of the American Communist Party made him all the more salable to a gullible public.
But now, that myth of Zinn’s all American demeanor is shattered forever. At The Other McCain we see detailed the long communist paper trail that belongs to the left’s favorite “American” historian, Howard Zinn. Howard Zinn was a fully participating member of the Kremlin-backed American Communist Party despite all the protestations to the opposite the left has for decades fostered.
And McCain makes a really salient point about Zinn’s history with the Communist Party. Zinn was an active member long after it became known that the Soviets started their murderous reign of terror.
You see, even I as an ardent anti-Communist, can understand why so many western leftists thought that the early communist movement(s) was a great idea. Early in the history of socialism/communism it all seemed so high-minded, such a bold experiment. This was before Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot began to murder millions. So, I can excuse someone that thought communism or socialism might be a good idea in the late 1800s when it was born. Or even right up until early 30s when it just might still have worked to better humanity. It was a dreamy dream worth dreaming at some level.
But Zinn became active long after Stalin began to murder millions and create gulags. And he continued to participate after China’s Mao murdered millions. For Howard Zinn, cloaking himself in an early, if ultimately foolish, optimism about the efficacy of socialism/communism is untenable.
Howard Zinn, the left’s favorite historian, was a commie in full support of the idea while millions were dying at the hands of his minders. This alone is enough to justify removing all his books from university coursework unless as an example of the wrong mode of thinking about the United States of America.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.
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