[Marxism] left-progressive historians under attack

Jesse Lemisch jesse.lemisch at verizon.net
Sun Feb 10 12:12:43 MST 2013

good, Mark.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Lause" <markalause at gmail.com>
To: "Jesse Lemisch" <jesse.lemisch at verizon.net>
Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 10:41 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] left-progressive historians under attack

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
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> I sent these comments to H-Labor on the AFT's publication of the
> attack on Zinn earlier today but not posted there yet.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mark A. Lause" <MLause at zoomtown.com>
> To: "H-Net Labor History Discussion List" <H-LABOR at H-NET.MSU.EDU>.
> Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 8:30 AM
> Subject: Re: The Assassination of a Dead Man: Howard Zinn PLEASE HELP
> Sniping at Zinn's _People's History of the United States_ has been going 
> on
> since it first appeared.  In the late 1970s, I assigned it for a survey
> course, and faced a noisy lobby by a clique of right-wing suburban white
> kids who insisted that he had written nothing worth reading about race
> because he had mistakenly located Fort Pillow in Kentucky rather than
> Tennessee.
> I'm not sure that the relative standing of Zinn and Wineberg in a Google
> search tells us much definitive, but it does indicate some things.  If I
> have the correct Sam Wineberg, he does not object to Zinn because his
> training was not that of a professional historian since Wineberg himself 
> is
> in Education.  For some years he has simultaneously had his efforts funded
> by the Teaching American History program of the Department of Education,
> while raising questions whether such spending has really made a 
> difference.
> http://hnn.us/articles/76806.html
> Go figure.
> The real question seems to be why the AFT is showcasing the issue the way 
> it
> is.  For a public sector union facing repeated demands to tighten the belt
> by the very politicians it helped to elect, the union seems to be 
> responding
> with the kind of institutional brand of solidarity that has made the
> American labor movement what it is.  That is, it's identifying where it is
> most willing for management to focus the attacks.  It's not hard to
> understand this, if we have the historical sense that the system that has
> rewarded those labor organizations for their pragmatic acceptance of the
> divide-and-rule strategies.  That kind of understanding shouldn't be
> restricted to those with scholarly training but as accessible to any who
> seek it.
> And they can get it in Howard Zinn.
> Solidaritet,
> Mark Lause
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