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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Communist History Books Used In American Classrooms

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. November 25, 2019

Two highly popular textbooks for several decades are responsible for a generation of anti-Americans – Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" and Thomas Bailey's "American Pageant." With such left wing slanted textbooks, it’s virtually impossible for students who have been fed this steady diet of radical mush not to turn into card-carrying members of the woke, intersectional, nutty left.

Marxist Howard Zinn was an American historian, university professor, playwright, and social activist.  Zinn believed that objectivity in history was both impossible and undesirable; therefore, history should be used to achieve a “social aim” to “advance causes of humanity.”

The outsize popularity of a textbook authored by a university professor is rare. Zinn became a millionaire from the sale of more than a million copies which were used by high school and college students for instruction by radical left faculty. A course description at Evergreen State decreed: “This is an advanced class and all students should have read Howard Zinn’s "A People’s History of the United States" before the first day of class, to give us a common background to begin the class.”

Not only has Zinn’s book been found in American history courses, but in economics, political science, literature, and women’s studies as well.

Book sales were certainly aided by fawning Hollywood celebrities, Matt Damon and costar Ben Affleck who both grew up near Zinn outside of Harvard Square. Damon as “Will Hunting” In Good Will Hunting, tells his psychiatrist that "A People’s History of the United States" will “knock you on your ass.” 

Damon swallowed Zinn's propaganda hook, line, and sinker.  You will prob- ably remember the glowing remarks made by Damon about ruthless Communist dictator and president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, a few years ago.

More sales were promoted by the The New York Times review which pronounced the book to be “required reading” for students.

Thanks to Zinn, many American youth have been indoctrinated to believe that Thanksgiving is not a celebration of our heritage but of the genocide of Indians by greedy Europeans.   School districts foster that belief. Rather than the celebration of Thanksgiving, the Portland, Oregon school district celebrates November as the Native American Heritage Month,

“...celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people…to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges." - National Congress of American Indians

Eighth graders in the Portland school district study "A Young People’s History of the United States," a simplified version of the original book.

Zinn portrays Columbus, not as a heroic explorer, but as a greedy European whose landing was “the start of the history of the Europeans in the Americas. It was a history of conquest, slavery, and death.” Passages from Columbus’ diary are taken out of context, casting him in a highly negative light while other passages about his kindness toward the natives are not mentioned.

The Portland district’s Zinn Education Project also includes lessons for the fifth grade. Students must role play about a murder trial, “People v. Columbus” with defendants Columbus, Columbus’ men, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, the Taínos, and the System of Empire.

Because Communists stigmatize those who celebrate Columbus Day as “white nationalists”, many Americans are choosing not to celebrate the federal holiday.

Zinn’s propaganda permeates “teach-ins” which are sponsored by the taxpayer-funded national museum, the Smithsonian, and D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice, “a project of Teaching for Change.”

Mary Grabar, author of Debunking Howard Zinn, reminds readers about the 2002 television series, the Sopranos, a fictional family grappling with what is now known as “white privilege”. Over breakfast their young son schooled his parents with passages from Zinn’s text. In her commentary, Grabar argues that,

“Of course, neither the Soprano family nor television viewers saw the pages from which A.J. was reading. He did not note there are ellipses in that passage. And under normal circumstances there would be no need to note that because ellipses are never used to eliminate critical information. But as I discovered in writing “Debunking Howard Zinn,” Zinn’s ellipses here and in other places leave out information that indicates the opposite of his message that the United States was founded upon an unremittingly exploitative capitalist system.

There are several successors to Zinn’s book but they, too, present Zinn’s left-wing interpretation of American history.

"American Pageant," written by Thomas Bailey and published in 1956, is among those most widely used for Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) classes. The Education and Research Institute asked Burt Folsom of Hillsdale College to do a page by page review of the book and write a critique. You can find that critique on their website.

Daniel Oliver, Chairman of the Board of the Education and Research Institute, writes at the American Conservative that twice as much space is given to liberal politicians as to conservatives with demeaning rhetoric about Republican presidents. 

“New York City real estate mogul and reality-television personality Donald J. Trump bullied, belittled, and bamboozled sixteen rivals to snag-some said hi-jack-the Republican nomination.”

“His legions of critics, including many Republican grandees, considered the brash billionaire a swaggering colossus of ignorance, vanity, and vulgarity.” 

"American Pageant" describes Ronald Reagan, the “Great Communicator,” as “no intellectual” while Herbert Hoover was “standoffish” and Dwight Eisenhower was the “the bland leading the bland.”

How could students not believe that Republicans and capitalism are evil?

The Communists have been highly successful in their goal to “gain control of schools and use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda.”

Promoting communism is not how we expect our tax dollars to be used.

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