howard zinn

Purdue President Responds to Zinn Censorship, Gets a $50k Bonus

mitch daniels purdue zinn


Mitch Daniels, the current president of Purdue University, is being awarded a $58,000 incenstive bonus just days after emails were released showing that Daniels tried to censor the work of Howard Zinn as governor of Indiana.

Daniels recently responded to criticisms of censorship by claiming that he only intended to ban Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States“, in K-12 clasrooms. You know, because teaching  children about Native American genocide would ruin all those cute little turkey drawings they do with their hands on Thanksgiving.

But as the emails reveal, Daniels was also intent on removing the books from teacher training courses in Indiana’s public universities, stating “This crap should not be accepted for any credit by the state.”

Peter Wood of the National Association for Scholars defended Daniels, citing numerous left-wing criticisms of Zinn:

Or we can consult Michael Kazin, a professor of history at Georgetown University and co-editor of the left-wing journalDissent. Kazin admires Zinn for his politics (“a dedicated radical”) but not for his scholarship: “Unfortunately, Zinn’s big book is stronger on polemical passion than historical insight. For all his virtuous intentions, Zinn essentially reduced the past to a Manichean fable. …” And “to make sense of a nation’s entire history, one has to explain the weight and meaning of worldviews that are not his own and that he does not favor. Zinn had no taste for such disagreeable tasks.”

It’s only a matter of time before other conservative scholars come out of the woodwork to defend Daniels. And maybe the criticisms of Zinn harbor some truth.

But can anyone please explain why one random textbook is being scrutinized with academic rigor  for use in grade school while “real” history textbooks are as historically sound as the History Channel’s 8,000 “Aliens Did It!” specials? There’s literally a whole book about it. Has anyone caught on to the fact that, for at least 50 years and probably more, we’ve been telling kids that Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, that Europe’s most celebrated composers are white, and intentionally omitting the whole “everything the Nazis did, the Europeans did to Africa first” thing?

Guess not, so let’s keep shitting on Zinn for giving us a one-sided view of history.

What do you think of Zinn’s work, tell us in the comments below.

  • Chipmunk216

    Any article that repeats the Beethoven-was-black myth cannot be taken seriously as a commentary on historical scholarship. The linked article includes the risible claim that Beethoven’s music contains rhythmic innovations that are proof of the influence of the “intrinsic” traits of African music, which is oddly prejudicial as well as absurd.

  • AJSP Eikaiwa

    August, 2011

    four people were killed and 26 injured at the Indiana State Fair due to a wind gust toppling a music even stage and scaffolding. Weather outlets from hours to minutes before warned of potential adverse conditions. The show, however was pushed along to start… four dead. 26 injured. That is a reality.

    Among many angles of damage control, Then Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels stated the following:

    “This is the finest event of its kind in America, this is the finest one we’ve ever had, and this desperately sad, as-far-as-I-can-tell fluke event doesn’t change that,” Daniels said.

    That my friends, is your ‘president of purdue’. An event misrepresentative. A history fictionalizer.

    Get rid of Daniels, Purdue, if you wish to have any credibility left after hiring this ‘c-r-a-p’* of a person in the first place.

    *Not being crude, but the ‘word’ is what came out of Daniel’s mouth when describing Zinn’s work.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    Why can’t parents supplement their children’s K-12 education? If parents take a hands off approach to child rearing, then what’s so wrong with book censorship? The parents chose for their kids to be raised in that kind of community, the parents chose for their kids to go to a school that censors books, and the parents chose to not actively participate in their children’s learning/development. The beauty of college life is that you learn to do these things on your own. You learn that you aren’t tied to the land. You learn that you can choose your university and educational biases. You can choose to supplement your own education.

    I don’t think this article presented a strong enough case to why this book or other books ought not to be banned from schools, but instead it presents an attack with emotionally laden words. It also presented the comparison between “real” and “fake” history books. What makes, e.g., a popular McGraw Hill history book any lesser? If anything, the article raises the need for critical thinking skills that discerns different types of social commentaries.

    Imagine teaching turkeys, Pilgrims, and Columbus, but deep down you want to talk about Zinn. Then offer information through a lecture about possible leads to alternative commentary. You can have your cake and eat it! An all out ban does not necessarily mean that you cannot lead students to search for Zinn’s book. If you teach students to question their assumptions, especially in regards to teaching them ‘this’ kind of story of the founding of the Americas, they’ll look for other sources if they are inclined to do so.

    • Bob Sten


      Don’t be an idiot. Indians sided with europeans against other indians.

      Zinn says the european settlers were genocidal maniacs beating up on indians wherever they went.

      History was much more complex than that. The English sided with their indian allies against the French and their indian allies. Alliances were across races with all races fighting each other in the americas at one time or another.

      Zinn doesn’t portray this truth. He makes it out like the europeans came in and steamrolled the indians. This does NOT do american history justice.

      To pretend that the indians and europeans didn’t fight together against common foes for over a hundred years is just that, pretend, make believe.

      If you let your kid read Zinn’s hysterically anti-christian, anti-white, anti-european diatribes, please, please, please also balance that out by letting them read some well composed critiques of Zinn’s “works”.

      • rlitzen

        The underlying theme of Chomsky/Zinn is exactly what ALL children K-12 are being taught now and for the last generation. In college, professors push more of the same destructive agenda.
        BTW- Look at the 17th century boom called “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. The exact tenants in this old, allegedly fraudulent book, are the exact platform of Obama, Merkel and being enforced through their police. Even though people since the 1700s called this a forgery, it is now the official agenda of our “democracy”. Chomsky followed these protocols under the tutoring of his friends in the Tri-lateral Commission and the old USSR.

  • Bob Sten

    Zinn was a liar and a fraud,

    He said that native americans were peace loving environmentalists without any concern for material goods or social stratification.

    All lies.

    The Aztec made neighboring indian tribes pay them tribute regularly. Forcing neighbors to give them either jade, cotton, corn, or for those that didn’t have live on land with many resources, female sexual slaves and children. If their indian neighbors didn’t give them material goods, they would go to war with them, capture some, cut their hearts out and then throw them down pyramids. Not exactly peace loving or non-materialistic in my view.

    Tribes in the pacific northwest held slaves. Some chiefs, in an effort to show off their wealth to visiting chiefs would kill their own slaves so the visiting chief could bring up his canoes on the slave corpses of his host. This was so the host chief could show that loss of his material wealth (slaves) wasn’t a big deal to him. Kinda like a pimp giving up some of his “bling” to show off.

    Ever heard of head smashed in buffalo jump? This was where indians in alberta would drive buffalo over a cliff. Then they would use just a fraction of the corpses and let the rest rot. So much for “using only what they need”.

    He also stated that indians “didn’t have the harsh discipline of the europeans when it came to raising children”….or something to this effect. Yet the aztec regularly punished “bad” children by beating them and rubbing peppers into their eyes. Kinda harsh in my view..

    Zinn was a clown. Not an educator as much as a deceiver and twister of the truth.

    I read the first half of “a people’s history” and was disgusted by the lack of context and fairness. He was a far left wing zealot, not a historian. His book should be in the fiction section of the library. I would never want my son to read such blatant lies.