The late left-wing historian Howard Zinn was one of America's best-known public intellectuals. His 1980 opus A People's History of the United States is widely used as a high-school and college textbook, and he had plenty of fans in the entertainment world, among them Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (A People's History got a shout-out in Good Will Hunting) as well as Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder.
Not long before Zinn died in January 2010, he told The Nation, regarding President Obama's first year in office, "I've been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama's rhetoric; I don't see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies."
Already, Zinn's far-left sympathizers are poking holes, some more credibly than others, in the 430 pages of documents, and trying to draw focus away from Zinn's alleged membership in the Kremlin-controlled Communist Party USA and onto the fact that a Boston University administrator turned FBI informant once plotted to have him fired in the 1970s.
To the radical left, trying to interfere with an extremist professor as he dutifully decries his country as a police state is a far more egregious crime than belonging to a political organization allied with and controlled by the sworn enemy of the United States.
Fireworks, barbecue, parades on the Fourth of July ... but hold the flags.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Although Howard Zinn died earlier this year, that was his suggestion back in 2006. And what does The Progressive magazine do this July 4th? They trot Zinn's anti-American sentiments out for their left-of-center audience by republishing his piece, "Put away the flags."
"On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blesse[d]," Zinn wrote. "Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?"
And that disgusting sentiment comes in addition to Progressive magazine editor Matthew Rothchild's immature July 3 anti-patriotism piece saying that "between God, country, and apple pie, I'll take the apple pie" suggesting patriotism is "toxic."
The latest such effort is being undertaken by director Oliver Stone, well known for his loving portrayal of Venezuela's Marxist dictator Hugo Chavez and derisive portrayal of our previous president in "W". Now Stone has set his sights on Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. He plans to "liberalize" America's thinking regarding two of the 20th century's most murderous dictators by putting them "in context", whatever that means (h/t Hot Air headlines).
"We can't judge people as only bad or good," Stone said at the Television Critics Association's press tour, referring to two dictators who--unless this writer's understanding of history is not sufficiently "liberalized"--are responsible, in Hitler's case, for the extermination of 6 million Jews and 3 million others in killing camps during World War II, and in Stalin's, for the murders of 20 million individuals in Russia and Soviet-occupied Europe.
It seems, Stone's claims notwithstanding, that one is historically justified in classifying these two particular dictators as "bad".
Damon described the left-wing revisionism as “an honest look at – at where we’ve come from and the idea that all of these changes have been struggled for by everyday people.” Smith also spoke with the book’s author Howard Zinn and wondered: “Does it seem like this is an extra good time to be making a version of this book into a movie?” Zinn replied: “we want this history to speak to our present situation. What is our present situation? War. So in many ways the film, I think, speaks to things that are going on now.”
On Wednesday, Zinn proclaimed his anti-war views on NBC’s Today: “I believe the best way to support the troops is to bring them home. You’re not supporting them when you’re keeping them there and for not a good reason.”
Editor's Note: The following was originally published December 1, 2009 at Big Hollywood, where Nolte is editor-in-chief.
Don’t believe for a second that the History Channel — which should now be called The Revisionist History Channel — will be the end of Matt Damon and Howard Zinn’s cinematic ode to trashing America. The obvious next step for the adaptation of Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” will be taken up by nitwit, pseudo-intellectual, America-loathing teachers and professors everywhere – many of them paid by the taxpayers of GodDamnAmerica – who are no doubt panting in anticipation for their first chance to screen this toxic mix of guilt and victimization in classrooms everywhere stocked with young, captive, impressionable minds.
And the film’s producers are showing academia the way with “The People Speak College Tour,” which launched at Boston University November 4th and ends right here at UCLA this coming Friday [December 4].
NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Wednesday's Today, invited on radical leftist Howard Zinn to promote a new History Channel documentary, The People Speak (based on his revisionist book A People's History of the United States), in which the Today co-anchor pointed out Zinn makes "a very interesting point that the Declaration of Independence was a, was a statement of, you know, hope and, and positive democracy. And then the Constitution came along and sort of negated that." [audio available here]
Vieira offered Zinn and his co-producer Chris Moore a platform to toss our their left-wing version of history and even make anti-war proclamations, which was awkward considering that the Today show's Matt Lauer and Al Roker are visiting the troops in Afghanistan all this week, something that Vieira pointed out in the following exchange:
Zinn's 1980 book influenced a generation of students with its negatively-framed distortions of American history which minimized successes like WWII. It exchanged traditional history for marginal topics such as Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Joan Baez and Angela Davis while omitting Washington's Farewell Address, the Wright Brothers and the Normandy Invasion.
The December 10 Variety stated production begins in Boston this January. Ironically, it will use wealthy celebrities like Matt Damon, Danny Glover and Josh Brolin to convey the book's Marxist theory (bold mine):
Miniseries will center on the actors and musicians as they read from the books or perform music related to their themes: the struggles of women, war, class and race. (...)