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The war on history is about overturning America’s constitutional system.

So says Mary Grabar, a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute and author of the book “Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation Against America.”

Zinn was a radical historian whose book, “A People’s History of the United States,” has been widely influential since its first publication in 1980.

Grabar spoke at a Heritage Foundation event in late August on “The Perils of Revisionist History” as a part of an ongoing series of presentations called “The Power of Trial and Triumph.” The event’s hosts were Angela Sailor, vice president of Heritage’s Feulner Institute, and Allen C. Guelzo, a visiting fellow at Heritage’s Simon Center for American Studies.

Grabar laid out how Zinn portrayed himself as a truth-teller who was debunking myths created about American history using newly uncovered sources.

“He claimed to be revealing new evidence, everything from Christopher Columbus’ diary to a Harper’s Magazine article about Japanese internment camps published at the end of World War II to the Pentagon Papers,” she said. “But what I discovered in going through Zinn’s book is, he did no such thing.” . . .

“In terms of Columbus, he mostly copied from passages quoted in a book he plagiarized, a book for high school students written by a fellow Marxist and anti-Vietnam War organizer who was not a historian, but a novelist, by the name of Hans Koning,” Grabar said.

Columbus’ diary was quoted deceptively, she said. Zinn added ellipses to sentences while also clipping out entire sentences or pages to change their meaning, she said. This made Columbus seem ruthless and cruel, but the actual direct passages from Columbus tell a different story.

The missing passages, she said, show that Columbus tried to convert the Indians “through love, not force, and certainly was not intent on murder or genocide as is claimed.” . . .

“The top-secret documents about Indochina were also quoted deceptively,” she said. “For example, references to fears about communist imperialism were cut off at the ends of sentences by Zinn in order to make it appear that American leaders were motivated by imperialistic greed.”

Those were not just isolated distortions in Zinn’s book, she said, yet some have called his work a “moral authority” on history.

How does Zinn portray himself as a moral authority? “He does this by presenting himself as the revealer of truth, the champion of the oppressed who finally tells their story,” Grabar said. “The historians who came before him were the deceivers, he says.”

On why Zinn distorted history and his goal in creating false perceptions about America’s past, Grabar said:

For Zinn, communism is the solution. He acknowledges that Stalin was an authoritarian, but points to the day when the right people will implement communism. In fact, many times, local communist governments in Europe, Central America, and Vietnam have attempted to do so, only to be quashed by the American military, according to Zinn.

In Zinn’s telling, America is an exceptional country only if one sees it as exceptionally bad. Even the country’s greatest triumphs over undisputed evil are questioned, such as the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

“In fact, we did not defeat fascism during World War II, but had its, quote, ‘essential elements: militarism, racism, imperialism absorbed into our already poisoned bones,’” Grabar said of Zinn’s narrative. “In other words, we were no better than the Nazis.”

What Zinn’s book does is craft a narrative to fit the ideological points he was trying to make to transform society, and it’s a narrative of oppressors versus oppressed and resistance to systematic exploitation, Grabar said, adding:

This is Howard Zinn’s narrative in ‘A People’s History of the United States.’ It is fraudulent history, one that uses bad sources, such as a book by a Holocaust denier, anonymous diaries, works of fiction, and mythical speeches.

He plagiarizes and quotes deceptively. Inequality, oppression, police brutality, racism, sexism, and injustice are presented as the inevitable outcomes of the system or the establishment.

In other words, they are baked into the founding and the Constitution.

Grabar noted that Zinn constantly was railing against the “system” in his book. The word system or “systemic” appears 168 times, she said. The struggle against the system is unending until that system is overthrown.

According to Zinn, she said, “there is no such thing as pure fact innocent of interpretation. Behind all facts are judgments—that this fact is important and that other facts are not important.”

Grabar said that Zinn pretended to choose facts about the oppressed that long were overlooked by other historians in his “bottom-up” retelling of the past, but that’s off base.

The problem is, she said, many of the oppressed people used as examples by Zinn are either “anonymous mouthpieces spouting communist slogans, dupes, or famous Marxist radicals.” . . .

“In Zinn’s history, the only glimmer of hope comes from mass protest, and the more violent, the better. Martyrs are heroes. Riots define the civil rights movement,” Grabar said.

For Zinn, she said, voting and elections are not a solution to injustice. The “entire system is rotten and needs to be torn down.”

That narrative has become disturbingly relevant in 2020 as cities across the country have been hit with mass protests, violence, and unrest.

“That is what is being done this summer in Portland, in Minneapolis, Kenosha, and other cities across the country,” Grabar said. “Young people of all races, educational levels, and economic classes are in the streets. They began with statues and monuments. They have moved on to businesses and government buildings. They are harassing people in public who refuse to join them.”

That’s the unsavory result of the teaching of Zinn and those who have followed him, Grabar said.

“For those who believe Zinn’s history, revolution is the only solution,” she said. “Zinn died in 2010, but the violence in the streets today would have made him very happy.”

(Excerpt from The Daily Signal. Article by Jarrett Stepman. Photo Credit: Getty Images.)

Share your thoughts on the teachings of Zinn and how it connects with the unrest we are facing today?

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Jane Fain
September 17, 2020

This article does reveal that it DOES matter what students are reading in textbooks and being taught. I wonder how many parents tried to change things by questioning the book and were ignored by the authorities in charge of the school system. I amsl wonder how many teachers just taught and did their job so they could keep their job. I am a retired teacher.

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Cindy Bum
September 16, 2020

Lord, forgive us for allowing a generation to be turned against America! We take back what the enemy has stolen and turn it for Your good! We take back the hearts and minds of that generation for Your Kingdom! Thank You for exposing every publication and every place where wrong is seemed to be made right! We decree Truth will prevail, by the Blood of the Lamb, Redemption!

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Linda Fisher
September 16, 2020

The fact that his book was used in schools points to the surprisingly widespread acceptance of this ideology. I believe the reason so many agree with it is their rejection of God Himself. Others are deceived into believing that this is about TRUE compassion. So many are entrapped by these lies. I pray for all those who are blind, even in my own family and even Christian leaders, that God will remove the scales from their eyes and they will be overwhelmed by the light of Truth!

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Sandra Helms
September 15, 2020

Totally wonderful to have these lies spotlighted and revealed for what they are!
This is a HUGE answer to prayer re the deception of our society!

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Brinda
September 15, 2020

Lord God, we are fighting an unseen battle against principalities, powers and world forces in high places as You have told us. May truth prevail. May eyes be opened. May the hearts of many be softened and brought to repentance and faith in Christ. Strengthen your remnant, grant us opportunities and boldness to proclaim the truth of Your Word. May we be Your witnesses, may we be Your prayer warriors. May we stand firmly on the truth of Your word. In Jesus name, Amen

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Toni Kushner
September 15, 2020

My prayer is that the Word of God will renew and transform our mind with Truth. May this truth be exposed and removed from our schools and History be taught honestly even with the imperfections. Change our hearts O God.

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Darlene Estlow
September 15, 2020

Father, you expose lies and bring forth truth. You call your people to pray that your kingdom will come and we have been asleep. Thank you for awakening your church. May we be faithful to speak truth and to intercede.

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Jacquelyn Y Miller
September 15, 2020

We need more of the Bible. God’s Word is TRUTH and it will save us. Seems we put more credence in these publications which only take us away from what really matters. Our problem in America is SIN. The answer is there. We claim ‘ONE NATION UNDER GOD’, but we blend in everything else. God’s Word is complete in itself.
“Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people”. (Proverbs 14:34). God is the One who made America great. We have forgotten that and are thanking man. He will not have any other gods before Him. We just need to READ THE BOOK.

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Frankie
September 15, 2020

There is no wasting time on what Zinn did or find not say: it’s irrelevant in the great scheme of what has been occurring since 1760. Sadly, Satan himself, has been manipulating the members of The Illuminati (Deep State/shadow Government), the organization behind every man-made disaster and war in which the United States participated. This was all begun in the minds of the disastrous Rockefellers whose riches will only choke them and buy their tickets to eternity in hell for all the evil they caused and participated in the United States and elsewhere. They could have done so much good for mankind for being so blessed; however, they used it for evil. Shame on all of them.

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    Lois Taritas
    September 16, 2020

    Amen I totally agree God has shown me back to the roots of all wealthy families from generations ago. Evil pure evil!

Rolanda Shrader
September 15, 2020

Lord God teach your children how to war in the heavenly’s and speak the word of God out loud because it will not return void. Lord you have given us all authority in Your Name. JESUS! Help us to use it daily to fight the demons that are waging war against us and this Nation. Amen

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Judy
September 15, 2020

This is the first time I have heard of this author and book (I am not a young person). Has this book been used as a text in secondary schools and universities? Exposing this is very important and I thank you for doing so.

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