Howard Zinn is dead
Oliver Kamm eulogizes the man (comment thread the follows the post is very enlightening as to the kind of people Zinn inspired...):
"But more ominous, perhaps, than the occupation of Iraq is the occupation of the US. I wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, and feel that we are an occupied country, that some alien group has taken over. I wake up thinking: the US is in the grip of a president surrounded by thugs in suits who care nothing about human life abroad or here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or here, who care nothing about what happens to the earth, the water or the air, or what kind of world will be inherited by our children and grandchildren."
Whether Zinn realised this or not - and I was always inclined to the view that Zinn realised very little - this was the language of far-right conspiracists such as Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber. The notion that the world's greatest democracy is not only led by an Administration you politically disagree with but is occupied by alien forces is a fantasy that incites violent protest. It was a disgraceful remark by a man whose wasted life exemplified his character as an intellectual waster.And later adds the following:
If your heart is in the right place, so the assumption seems to be, then it doesn't matter if your scholarship is sloppy or risible. Well, it does matter, because historical truth matters for its own sake. Zinn had no conception of it. To him, an example of "admirable and painstaking research" was - seriously - a popular book claiming that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job. What a pitiful, foolish charlatan the man was.For an alternative reading of the man, try this melancholy effusion, by ISM, which places him, ironically, alongside such abominations as Norman Finkelstein and Gilad Atzmon, Jews, BTW, the only kind of Jews that members of the ISM like and accept as legitimate.