[Marxism] Gitlin's chitlins

DLVinvest at cs.com DLVinvest at cs.com
Mon May 31 22:30:21 MDT 2004

In a message dated 5/31/04 4:36:23 PM Mountain Daylight Time, Cnyadp at aol.com 
> Todd Gitlin  considers Zinn a bad historian..Gitlin likes historians like 
> Hobsbawm,E.P.Thompson, Gerda Lerner,C.R.James, and C.Vann Woodward...
> If you are familiar with the historians Gitlin prefers to Zinn, you will 
> understand where Gitlin is coming from. Gitlin would divert you away from 
> the 
> class  consciousness of Zinn. He would try to direct you toward  historians 
> who have no sense of class, but    would rather   eliminate the overwhelming  
> impact   of class throughout  all of human history. 

whoa! I'm not that familair with Lerner but that's not my reading of 
Hobsbawm's Industry & Empire or his work on the revolutionary upsurges of 1848, nor 
Thompson's history of the development of the English workingclass, nor James's 
studies of Caribbean political struggles that emerged from slavery into 
neo-colonialism, nor even, for all its faults, Woodward's studies of the "peculiar 

And I wonder if Gitlin has read these historians or he's just name-dropping. 
If Gitlin prefers them to Zinn, the real issue is why so little of them sunk 
in. They might have a case for suing Todd for "damning with faint praise", 
considering the source, but given his supposed expertise in the popular culture of 
TV he should recall the maxim of Fred Allen, who defined imitation as "the 
sincerest form of television." Maybe TG, who seems to fancy himself a 
contemporary Cicero trying to salvage the virtues of civilization from barbarians, is 
angling for his own talk-show cum Iron Chef: Invite the neo-cons babes and Chris 
Hitchens and call it....Or as Roseann Rosannadanna used to say, "oh, never 

(Shaw was asked what he thought of American civilization and replied he 
didn't know there was such an oxymoronic beast: "America is the only country to 
have passed from barbarism to a decadence without going through a stage of 
civilization." And when pressed as to his opinion of British imperial culture, 
Gandhi said he thought "it would be a good idea."

Douglas L. Vaughan, Jr.
for Print, Film & Electronic Media
3140 W. 32nd Ave. 
Denver CO 80211

More information about the Marxism mailing list