Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1 92 Professors Go After Mitch Daniels 
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    9,737
    (I'm home sick today, so I'm finding all kinds of fun stuff!)

    This article is about the controversy over Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. While he was Governor, Daniels had tried to get Indiana schools to stop using Zinn's best-selling but factually problematic book as a history text. Daniels is now president of Purdue university and the emails criticizing Zinn's book, popular with leftists, have surfaced. Weeping and gnashing of teeth has ensued.



    92 Professors Go After Mitch Daniels

    The vultures in academia are out to get Mitch Daniels Jr., the president of Purdue University and former governor of Indiana. Inside Higher Ed reported last week that in e-mails he sent out while Governor, Daniels tried to get Indiana universities to stop using the best-selling A People's History of the United States, written by the late uberleftist professor Howard Zinn. Now, the site reported on Monday, historians nationwide are demanding Daniels be called to task for his position...

    Daniels quickly posted an explanation for his position on Purdue University's website. Daniels wrote:



    My emails infringed on no one's academic freedom and proposed absolutely no censorship of any person or viewpoint. In fact, the question I asked on one day in 2010 had nothing to do with higher education at all. I merely wanted to make certain that Howard Zinn's textbook, which represents a falsified version of history, was not being foisted upon our young people in Indiana's public K-12 classrooms.


    After establishing that serious historians think little of Zinn, he added: "I want to be equally clear that if Howard Zinn had been a professor at Purdue University, I would have vigorously defended his right to publish and teach what he wanted. Academic freedom, however, does not immunize a person from criticism and certainly does not confer entitlement to have one's work inflicted upon our young people in the K-12 public school system."


    Daniels' statement was not sufficient for the historians, including 92 professors in various fields teaching at Purdue. Daniels got in touch with Inside Higher Ed's editors, and told them that he simply did not want his teachers exposed to "falsifications" of history, and that his position had no "implication for academic freedom." On that, as we learned last week from my PJ Media colleague Roger Kimball, Daniels is also correct.

    The historians offer the following arguments. Prof. Robert J. Helfenbein, who teaches something called Urban and Multicultural Education--whatever that might be--says he tries to teach future social studies teachers in high schools "multiple perspectives," and that even those who disagree with Zinn "see a worth in reading a historian take on this very different perspective."

    Let me pose a hypothetical question to Prof. Helfenbein. If he taught biology and evolution, would he assign a creationist textbook to his students, informing them that the perspective and theory had to be considered, alongside those authors who wrote from a Darwinian perspective? I think we all know the answer...

    ...Now, 92 of Daniel's own faculty have issued an open letter condemning their own University chief official. First, the professors start out with a statement which is easily proven to be completely false. They write: "Whatever their political stripe, most experts in the field of U.S. history do not take issue with Howard Zinn's facts, even when they do take issue with his conclusions."

    Let me give one major example, which as readers know, I am most familiar with. In the latest edition of his A People's History, Zinn writes:

    The Rosenbergs were charged with espionage. The major evidence was supplied by a few people who had already confessed to being spies, and were either in prison or under indictment.

    He continues to challenge the credibility of key witness Harry Gold, whom he asks: "Did Gold cooperate in return for early release from prison?" As for Ethel Rosenberg's brother David Greenglass, the other major witness, Zinn writes: "Did Greenglass...also know that his life depended on his cooperation?" His implication is clear: the key witnesses lied in order to get themselves a good deal. He also repeats the canard that Greenglass was an "ordinary-level machinist" and "not a scientist" who therefore could not give the Soviets anything of value. He suggests, without evidence, that Gold and Greenglass coordinated their testimony while awaiting trial in New York City's Tombs prison.

    First, the Rosenbergs were charged with "conspiracy to commit espionage," and not espionage. Second, it is clear that Zinn had not even read the book I co-authored, The Rosenberg File, or Allen Hornblum's The Invisible Harry Gold: The Man Who Gave the Soviets the Atom Bomb, or Steven Usdin's Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley. Had he been even slightly familiar with these books, he would have easily found that much of what he writes in his few pages on the Rosenberg case are factually wrong, as are his scenarios he so fancifully surmises about with any evidence. Indeed, the rest of his paragraphs read like the old Communist propaganda about the case he had learned in the years after the Rosenbergs' arrest when he was an active CP member. He does not even take into account any of the recent revelations available while he was still alive. His account, in simple terms, is a blatant lie.

    ...Reading the above, it is clear that Governor Daniels has very good reason to object to young students learning their "facts" and history from Howard Zinn....
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    2,679
    Having once matriculated at Purdue, I can say that unless the large majority of them were senior real professors (Not assistant profs or adjunct faculty) in Engineering or closely-related sciences, nobody gives a shit what they think. And rightly so.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    9,737
    Quote Originally Posted by DumbAss Tanker View Post
    Having once matriculated at Purdue, I can say that unless the large majority of them were senior real professors (Not assistant profs or adjunct faculty) in Engineering or closely-related sciences, nobody gives a shit what they think. And rightly so.
    Let's hope so. Have you ever read Zinn?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    Fabulous Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10,161
    I've been fighting against Howard Zinn for a long time. The "progressives" are so indoctrinated that you might as well be preaching sanity in Jonestown.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    9,737
    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    I've been fighting against Howard Zinn for a long time. The "progressives" are so indoctrinated that you might as well be preaching sanity in Jonestown.
    What made you fight against Zinn?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    FT Belvoir, VA
    Posts
    15,638
    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    What made you fight against Zinn?
    For all of his faults, Nova is a patriot, at least in his own way.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    9,737
    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    For all of his faults, Nova is a patriot, at least in his own way.
    I don't doubt that. I just wondered what, in particular, got him going. For me, it was the fact that every story that book told was the same one regardless of historical circumstances.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #8  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    2,679
    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    Let's hope so. Have you ever read Zinn?
    No; with a few rare exceptions, most modern 'Historians' put out crap that is so full of baseless conjecture, projection of their own up-to-date PC value systems, iconoclasm, and judgment that I find them to be unreadable crap. Aside from purely military histories, which are not as badly infected with these faults, the last decent modern work I read was Team of Rivals. A couple of years ago my sister gave me Imperial Cruise, which I couldn't get through because it had every one of those faults in spades...a truly horrible piece of dreck.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #9  
    Fabulous Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10,161
    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    What made you fight against Zinn?
    Years ago I was listening to WUSF (University of South Florida student radio station) and I guess Howard Zinn had just died. They went on and on about him and his remarkable work "People's History". Well naturally a warning flare went up at anything called "People's ....." The more they talked about him, the more I wanted to turn the car into the USF parking lot (I happened to be right there) and go find these idiots. It was disturbing. I knew that I needed to find out more about this man because clearly he had infected our college campus. When I got home I discovered that he has infected ALL college campuses with the possible exception of Brigham Young and Liberty. Not only that, but high school teachers were into him.

    Suddenly it all made sense. This man is the reason why young people, "progressives" and otherwise, all sound like they are reading from the same playbook on the colonial period, pre-colonial Americans, and of course the evil Europeans. These young people think that Howard Zinn has brought forth the truth where before there was a feel-good myth. Now the problem is that some of the American narrative is feel-good myth, but so it is with all cultures. There is no context to what they take away from Howard Zinn. It is not "history from the perspective of the oppressed", it's history from the perspective of failed European communists teaching in our schools and college.

    This is why when I home schooled my niece, we spent a great deal of time on Queen Elizabeth I, Jamestown, and American history from the perspective of colonial families. We talked about the Romans coming to Great Britain and how our ancestors were often brutally treated by invaders ultimately our ancestors assimilated their conquerors and the groundwork made for the British and American empires. I wasn't telling her how she had to view the world for the rest of her life, but I wanted her to hear it at least once so that she would know when someone was telling her something which needed to be critically looked at.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #10  
    Fabulous Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10,161
    Quote Originally Posted by DumbAss Tanker View Post
    No; with a few rare exceptions, most modern 'Historians' put out crap that is so full of baseless conjecture, projection of their own up-to-date PC value systems, iconoclasm, and judgment that I find them to be unreadable crap. Aside from purely military histories, which are not as badly infected with these faults, the last decent modern work I read was Team of Rivals. A couple of years ago my sister gave me Imperial Cruise, which I couldn't get through because it had every one of those faults in spades...a truly horrible piece of dreck.
    That is what is horribly missing in education: emotional detachment. If you read what young people write online especially those who identify as minority, there is almost no effort or willingness to look at history and historical people in the light of their times. And society as a whole decides to latch onto some events but not others.

    For example, they all get their panties in a knot because they believe that the possibility that Lord Jeffrey Amherst " waged biological warfare" establishes it as a fact that he did, and that that's horrible and unthinkable. This is because he is white. They have no interest in nonwhite historical figures who are actually established as having killed thousands or millions of people in the path of conquest. They will fight to the death to prove that Jesus was a negro but completely ignore that Attila the Hun was probably a mongol.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •