Looking for a Christmas present? Here’s a hint: Atlantic Review editor Sonja Bonin has translated Howard Zinn's bestseller "A People's History of the United States" into German. Her translation was presented at the Frankfurt book fair this fall and selected second-best non-fiction book on the highly esteemed recommendation list (“Bestenliste”) by NDR, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Buchjournal and Börsenblatt in October.
Howard Zinn’s classic, which was first published in English in 1980 and has reached more than one million readers so far, has become an all-time favorite of both students and the intellectual left in the US. The octogenerian author, a historian, WWII-veteran and civil rights activist, has become quite famous in the US, but (unlike his friend and occasional co-author Noam Chomsky) is not well-known outside America yet. Zinn’s German publisher, Schwarzer Freitag in Berlin, is run by German Fulbright Alumnus Andreas Freitag.
If the complete edition puts too much of a burden on your financial or time budget (700 pages, € 28.80), consider buying one or more out of nine slim volumes that comprise two to three chapters each (circa 100-150 pages, € 7,80).
The chickenhawk argument is inane. Does anyone use healthcare? How come your not a physician or nurse. Does anyone believe in education? How come your not a teacher or school bus driver. Does anyone believe in helping the poor? How come your not spending all your free time helping the poor. The chickenhawk argument is intellectually inane. Those that use it are advocating military rule but they are too intellectually simplistic to understand this.
The chickenhawk argument ceased to be valid in 1974 when the US ended the draft conscription. Today every member of the military is a voluntary professional.
Which is what entitles David to have an opinion, but not anyone who disagrees with him. Dude: I've had my neck on the line not just for the US, but the generally unappreciative Europeans too.
Have you? Do you want me to beleive that that entitles me to an opinion, but not you? Spare us your little dramas. Even if Zinn did take one for the team, it doesn't put him above criticism, especially when he write one-directional revisions of history from the perspective of an imaginary labor-union marxist sympathist of his imagination.
Like Michael Moore, he's a cretin who profitted from war and imaginary hatred (i.e. citing the US' "evils" in central America, but not really mentioning the apparartus that the KGB constructed there), by getting the young and inexperienced to buy his product.
I still get to hear people lecturing parotted tripe out of his scribbles, even though they were born in the late 1980's and counldn't possible have a clue about what they're pretending to authoritatively expond on at the top of their lungs.
If Zinn has his way, there won't be a United States for too much longer. His exhortation against flying the flag on July 4th is a perfect example of why no one in the US listens to people like him. I'm sure he'll find a ready audience abroad. At least he is an accredited historian, unlike Chomsky.
As much as I can admire the diligence of translating this work it does remind of the popularity of Father Jahn in the US during the middle of the last century until the full translations arrived and physical educators discovered that much, still arguable, of the back to nature movement of the Volk so loved by the Nazi's was drawn from these works.
Howard Zinn is popular on the left for codifying much that was already available in other social histories but if his text wasn't required in most freshman US History courses then he would be a footnote of those influenced in the US by Ferdinand Braudel's truly revolutionary approach to a broader approach to history.
Also George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party, also served during World War II but last time I checked he's considered one of the bad guys. Serving in the military makes one a veteran but not necessarily a god like figure above criticism.
I probably disagree with Zinn on just about everything, including what to have for lunch. That said, I recommend his book for anyone wanting to learn American History - with a few caveats.
Zinn's "People's History" is the equivalent of writing a history of a city by using as your sole sources, the records from its Criminal Courts. It would be a long tale of rape, murder, robbery, fraud and drunk and disorderly conduct. Of course that raises the question of why millions would be clamoring at the gate to get into this city of murder and rapine and why people aren't fleeing it in terror. Zinn uses the lame Chomskyist answer that “they were lied too.” Who you going to believe, the leftist academic or your lying eyes?
Zinn's “People's History” gets just about all of America's economic history wrong, but most historians do, so we can't blame his Marxism on that. So other than lacking any context, missing most of the political and religious movements and calling millions of immigrants idiots, Zinn's book is a good history of America's warts.
Germans will love it. It will confirm for them what a hellhole the US is.