First, a little bit about Howard Zinn from Roger Kimball, writing in National Review.
Zinn’s biography tells us that he was the author of “more than 20 books.” But only one matters: A People’s History of the United States. Published in 1980 with appropriately modest expectations — it had, I read somewhere, an initial print run of only 5,000 copies — the book went on to sell some 2 million and is still going strong. Its Amazon sales rank as of February 1, 2010, was 7. Seven.
[…]A People’s History is the textbook of choice in high schools and colleges across the country. No other account of our past comes even close in influence or ubiquity. No other, more responsible, telling of the American story had a chance. How could it? Given a choice between a book that portrayed America honestly — as an extraordinary success story — and a book that portrayed the history of America as a litany of depredations and failures, which do you suppose your average graduate of a teachers college, your average member of the National Education Association, would choose? To ask the question is to answer it. What this means is that most American students are battened on a story of their country in which Blame America First is a cardinal principle. No element of our heritage, from the derring-do of Christopher Columbus to the valor of the U.S. military in World War II, escapes the perverting alchemy of Howard Zinn’s exercise in deflationary revision.
How does Zinn defend his anti-American views against Jewish scholar Dennis Prager?
I remember hearing this live and wondering what has gone wrong with American education that a buffoon like this could write a textbook that would be the most popular history textbook used in American public schools. We need to have school choice and to avoid paying for any school other than the one we send our children to. It makes no sense to purchase education differently than the way we purchase anything else. On Amazon.com, you get what you want or your money back. Why is education different?