Bill introduced to ban Howard Zinn books from Arkansas public schools | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bill introduced to ban Howard Zinn books from Arkansas public schools

Posted By on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge TOO DANGEROUS FOR ARKANSAS: A new bill would ban his work from public schools.
  • TOO DANGEROUS FOR ARKANSAS: A new bill would ban his work from public schools.

The deadline for new legislation is fast approaching and it can't come too soon. Just in from Sen. Rep. Kim Hendren: Legislation to prohibit any publicly supported schools (you, too, charters)  from including in curriculum or course materials any books or other material authored by Howard Zinn.

(Actually, anything Zinn wrote before 1959 is not covered.)

Zinn, who died in 2010, was a Ph.D. historian, social activist and more who wrote the best-selling "A People's History of the United States." A version for young readers came out in 2007.

His New York Times obituary probably gives you a taste of the danger Kim Hendren sees in Howard Zinn:

Proudly, unabashedly radical, with a mop of white hair and bushy eyebrows and an impish smile, Mr. Zinn, who retired from the history faculty at Boston University two decades ago, delighted in debating ideological foes, not the least his own college president, and in lancing what he considered platitudes, not the least that American history was a heroic march toward democracy.

Almost an oddity at first, with a printing of just 4,000 in 1980, “A People’s History of the United States” has sold nearly two million copies. To describe it as a revisionist account is to risk understatement. A conventional historical account held no allure; he concentrated on what he saw as the genocidal depredations of Christopher Columbus, the blood lust of Theodore Roosevelt and the racial failings of Abraham Lincoln. He also shined an insistent light on the revolutionary struggles of impoverished farmers, feminists, laborers and resisters of slavery and war.

Such stories are more often recounted in textbooks today; they were not at the time.

“Our nation had gone through an awful lot — the Vietnam War, civil rights, Watergate — yet the textbooks offered the same fundamental nationalist glorification of country,” Mr. Zinn recalled in a recent interview with The New York Times. “I got the sense that people were hungry for a different, more honest take.”

Even some on the liberal side thought Zinn's revisionism went too far.

That criticism barely raised a hair on Mr. Zinn’s neck. “It’s not an unbiased account; so what?” he said in the Times interview. “If you look at history from the perspective of the slaughtered and mutilated, it’s a different story.”
He inspired a movie, documentaries and song. Dangerous stuff for the Arkansas student in one legislator's view.

Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (45)

Showing 1-45 of 45

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-45 of 45

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Sarah Sanders' bad day on the race beat

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders was nailed again yesterday for peddling baloney in a White House press briefing. For once, she acknowledged it, grudgingly and with more spin. But that wasn't all for her on the racially fraught Trump front.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • George McGill wins Fort Smith mayor's race

    Democratic State Rep. George McGill handily won election Tuesday night as mayor of Fort Smith.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Governor responds to Medicaid work rule lawsuit

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson has responded sharply to the lawsuit challenging the legality of the state's new work requirement for Medicaid coverage and also criticizing the online-only reporting requirement. His statement:
    • Aug 14, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation