Howard Zinn was a Communist…

…and not just the intellectual type. He was a card carrying active member of the CPUSA and many of its front organizations.

I am not that surprised.

The Other McCain has all of the important links and citations.

His summary:

What is important to note here is that Zinn evidently joined the Kremlin-controlled CPUSA not during the “Popular Front” era of the 1930s — when many idealists were seduced — but after the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in which Stalin cruelly and cynically sacrificed Poland to the Nazis. Zinn was a card-carrying Commie who advocated Marxism-Leninism after the Red Army’s ”Iron Curtain” occupation of Eastern Europe, after the treachery of the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss had been revealed, and even during the height of Stalin’s anti-Semitic “Doctors’ Plot” purge!

UPDATE: Going through the PDFs and — wow! — Zinn’s file from the 1940s and ’50s makes for fascinating reading to anyone familiar with Communist Party history. Any innocent liberal might have unwittingly joined a CPUSA front group or two. But only a card-carrying Commie would have joined every front group that came along, as Zinn evidently did:

Just keep reading it.


Final thought: Will this revelation hurt or help his reputation in the media and on campuses?
Update: I tried to add the word “Communist” to his Wikipedia entry earlier this evening. Before I could even view my change, a member of the Wikipedia Thought Police had already reverted it. Don’t try fucking telling me that there is not an American 5GW civil war going on. The left is winning it too.
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5 Responses

  1. People will use it to discredit his scholarship, which is sad b/c while his views are heinous and his “analysis” often shoddy, he did a damn fine job of chronicling the non-elites in America throughout its history, especially those of color and women who lacked any agency in most historical analyses.

    Still… the guy was a dirtbag. If it hurts his rep, it would be all for the better since others with far less baggage have used Zinn’s research and organization of that “other” history, so they’ll become the face of that narrative and do a better and often more even-handed job of writing and speaking about it.

  2. Conservative Rick Moran said it far better than I could:

    “But since we knew Zinn was a radical, a determinist, and a devotee of historical materialism, does it lessen the respect we rightly feel for those who were previously left voiceless and invisible in our national narrative now that we know what we long suspected; that Zinn was a Communist?

    I don’t see how it makes any difference except as it adds another strange footnote to the life of an American original who hated the very idea of America, despised her origins, dismissed her accomplishments, and spent his adult life apparently working to bring her to her knees.”
    http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2010/08/01/stop-the-presses-howard-zinn-was-a-commie/

  3. It is a matter of FALSE “common knowledge” that:

    – people stating that there were communist in the USGOV or…
    – people stating that communists infiltrating institutions of educations or…
    – people stating that American communists and the CPUSA were under orders partially by the USSR or…
    – that the USSR really even did espionage or conducted active measures against the USA and its interests…

    …are really just McCarthy-ites, crazies, conspiracy-mongersl, JOhn-Bircher, idiots, etc.

    These defensive mean is re-enforced in K-12schools and Universities, the American press, and frankly by most political types sympathetic to the leftists causes. You can also see this over the internet on Wikipedia, DIGG, REDDIT, etc.

    It is important to beat back on this meme and expose the connections and speak the truth.

    Those promoting leftists policies must not be allowed to divorce the consequences of the policies from their historical fore-bearers and models – e.g. the USSR, Communist China, Communist Cambodia, East Germany – in order to reduce the chance of those historical horrible outcomes occurring again.

  4. I agree. For that he should be discredited and exposed.

    I had the pleasure of being in a class two years ago where the professor (a young black male) eviscerated Zinn, Chomsky, and others promoted by several leftist students for their patronizing, elitist attitudes.
    He then went on a most enjoyable tirade about everyone remembering the Holocaust but no one wanting to mention the hundred million victims of Communism in the USSR, China, Ethiopia, etc. Apparently he was an East Africa specialist/enthusiast.

    The need to counter the false narrative withstanding, we should not be remiss in remembering that there was a lot of overkill in the McCarthy era and there are plenty enough people who have no problem trying to act as if no extremism was enough in defense of liberty (as the modern rehabilitation of the JBS shows sadly).

  5. It is important to point out and emphasize Zinn’s political affiliation so that people have an accurate understanding of the larger context for his work and his era. His work cannot be accurately understood except within the context of the political operations waged by the Soviet Union against liberal democracy.

    In the same way that Zinn tried to point out the history of people usually ignored by historians (a legitimate goal even though he did it as a tool of propaganda) so too is the hidden history of communists in America ignored and deserves to be brought into the light.

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