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Michael Kazin: “Howard Zinn and the Politics of History”
April 24, 2014 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is one of the most popular and influential book of American history ever written. As such, it has achieved iconic status among most leftists and been condemned by conservatives. One of the latter, Mitch Daniels, even tried to stop teachers in Indiana from assigning the book when he was governor of the state. Unfortunately, Zinn’s version of the past is grossly simplistic and factually misleading. How should someone who is broadly sympathetic to Zinn’s politics but critical of his scholarship respond to this controversy?
Michael Kazin is a historian of politics and social movements – mostly of the United States – and teaches history at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He has written five books, co-edited three, and regularly contributes to such newspapers, periodicals, and websites as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The American Prospect, Politico, and The New Republic, where he has an on-line column. He is the co-editor of Dissent, the magazine of the democratic left founded by Irving Howe in 1954.