Subversive Historian Howard Zinn Duped Hollywood
August 2, 2010
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to Newsmax.com
The FBI recently released a 423-page file on so-called historian Howard Zinn that confirms his radical ties.
The FBI started tracking Zinn, who died in 2009, back in 1949 during the “Red Scare” era.
It turns out that FBI suspicions about Zinn’s communist connections were well founded. He categorically denied being a member of the Communist Party, and he did so even to FBI agents. However, the file indicates that he was affiliated with many radical groups, and several informants confirmed that he was a very active Communist Party member.
Zinn wrote “A People's History of the United States,” a purported history book that Artfire Films made into a cable TV production. The movie has been shown on the History Channel under the title “The People Speak.”
Thanks in large part to intense promotion by left-wing groups, educational institutions across the nation have used Zinn’s book as a textbook, and many continue to do so. Some are using “The People Speak” DVD as a video history of America.
A host of Hollywood luminaries appear in the film, including Matt Damon, Sandra Oh, Morgan Freeman, Viggo Mortensen, Marisa Tomei, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Rosario Dawson, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Don Cheadle, and Benjamin Bratt.
The Washington Post’s left-leaning media critic Tom Shales wrote that the film was both “heavy-handed” and “agitproppy.”
In Zinn’s book, he expresses the prototypical radical left view of the country’s Founding Fathers.
Zinn asks, “Why hold up as models the 55 rich white men who drafted the Constitution as a way of establishing a government that would protect the interests of their class – slaveholders, merchants, bondholders, land speculators?”
Damon, who once was Zinn’s neighbor, and Hollywood colleague and longtime friend Ben Affleck sought funding for a film based on Zinn’s smearing of America, but ironically the History Channel bested them in achieving the goal of disseminating Zinn’s historical pornography.
Fortunately, individuals of varying political persuasions have expressed criticism of the book upon which the movie is based.
On the left side of the political aisle, writer Michael Kazin evidently saw fit to characterize Zinn’s book as dubious history. Kazin examined the author’s distortions and labeled Zinn’s description of the American Revolution as “a clever device to defeat potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership.”
Even the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress acknowledged that Zinn’s book was “neither good history nor good politics,” and further determined that it offered “basically nothing” for those seeking solutions to the problems of the world.
In Zinn’s twisted, trumped-up world, our noble and magnanimous country is reduced to an evil regime, a racist, imperialist, war mongering empire.
But Zinn was neither historically accurate nor philosophically honest in his literary musings. Rather, he was driven to propagandize.
Even though he denied being a member of the Communist Party when the FBI interviewed him in the 1950s, he was, as we now know, a member of the Soviet-funded American branch of the Communist Party (CPUSA).
He was no casual communist, either. He went to CPUSA meetings as many as five times a week, informants say. He appeared in a photograph that depicted him providing instruction on “Basic Marxism” for would-be subversives at the CPUSA headquarters in Brooklyn.
In addition, he supported a host of radical organizations including Students for a Democratic Society, Progressive Labor Party, Socialist Workers Party, and Black Panther Party.
The distribution of Zinn’s materials to our schools should be immediately halted.
And then maybe we can begin to take a closer look at the rancid collection of other America bashing materials that are polluting the minds of our young people.