Columbus makes landfall in the New World, Zinn primes the reader

Zinn opens A People’s History of the United States with a re-imagining of Columbus’ voyages to the New World. Zinn’s version of events is one in which Columbus is blinded by a single minded avarice, the sailors are ruthless thugs, the rulers back in Spain are Christian looneys, and all the natives of the new world are virtuous in every sense of the word.

Continue reading

Zinn perpetuates myth of 1950s anti-Communist “book burning”

In Chapter 16 of A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn uses a string of half-truths to present a stilted portrait of legendary Cold Warrior, Sen. Joseph McCarthy. In a clear allusion to the Nazi book burnings of the early 1930s, Zinn presents McCarthy as a paranoid bully, chasing down innocent Foreign Service workers and ordering the removal and destruction of any texts he personally deemed too subversive.

Continue reading