With all the attention around CNN for finally admitting publicly what has been plainly obvious for years, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on the roots of the intelligentsia’s preference for narrative over facts.
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.
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.