Legal Insurrection has covered the replacement of serious historical scholarship with anti-American and anti-capitalist revisionism since its inception.
The bible for this toxic distortion is A People’s History of the United States by radical professor Howard Zinn. Sadly, the book still holds a place in the 100 bestselling historical teaching and books on Amazon.
In the early days of College Insurrection, Mary Grabar, a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization and the founder of the Dissident Prof Education Project, wrote a post focusing on why the progressive academic elites loved Zinn’s work.
Now Grabar has written a compelling book that offers the scholarship lacking in A People’s History of the United States: Debunking Howard Zinn – Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America. Not only is Grabar’s book a thoroughly researched and exquisitely compiled refutation of Zinn’s book, but she covers the historical analysis in an approachable, flowing style that keeps you fully engaged with her discussion.
Grabar demonstrates through her research that Marxism clearly influenced Zinn’s portrayal of this nation’s history and its free market system. For example, every era had its oppressors (i.e., white men) and victims (i.e., people of color and women). Grabar tracks down Zinn’s sources and demonstrates how he essentially lifted large swaths of leftists’ criticisms of America while blatantly ignoring credible scholarship that negated his points. She also shows how Zinn uses selective quotation of sources to convey the exact opposite message intended by the various authors.
There are so many great sections in this book, it was hard to pick one to share. However, as I have an interest in World War II history and the development and use of the atomic bomb, I chose one that shows how Grabar deftly addresses Zinn’s assertions that the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was racist.
“If only,” Zinn wails, “the Americans had not insisted on unconditional surrender—that is, if they were willing to accept one condition to he surrender, that the Emperor, a holy figure to the Japanese, remain in place—the Japanese would have agreed to stop the war.” Then Zinn launches into full conspiracy mode: “Why did the United States not take that small step to save both American and Japanese lives? Was it because too much money and effort had been invested in the atomic bomb not to drop it?”
In fact, the insistence on “unconditional surrender” was intended to prevent remilitarization of a nation that had sought “world conquest,” as the Potsdam Proclamation of July 26, 1945, stated. Zinn ignores this fact and presents U.S. unwillingness to allow a “holy figure” to remain on his throne as the only stumbling block. Germany had surrendered, but the Japanese would fight to the death, as evidenced by the increasing use of kamikaze fighters and villagers committing suicide instead of surrendering. Zinn ignores the fact that the Potsdam Proclamation, which demanded unconditional surrender, also promised “eventual establishment of a ‘peacefully inclined and responsible’ Japanese government ‘in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people.’” The Japanese rejected this offer on July 28. And in fact, when the Japanese did surrender, Hirohito was allowed to “remain on his ancestral throne as nominal Emperor.
There are many other gems of real history in the treasure trove of knowledge that is Dubunking Howard Zinn.
I give it 5 stars out of 5, and as it is already September, I will suggest that it would make a great gift for anyone who loves politics, culture, and history. I also recommend giving it to college students who are being forced to study Zinn’s work.DONATE
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