Radical historian Howard Zinn has died. My sympathies go to his family. I will offer some thoughts about his work as a historian at a later time. This is not the time for a critical analysis of his work as a scholar. It is worth reporting that Mr. Zinn was a World War II veteran of the US Army Air Corps. Like Senator George McGovern, another World War II veteran Mr. Zinn went to college on the GI Bill, and majored in history. He made a career out of teaching, while McGovern did not teach history, but made a career out of politics. Both Senator McGovern and Professor Zinn reached the conclusion that the United States was wrong to become involved in Viet Nam.
While it is important to honor and respect Mr. Zinn’s service to his country in the Air Corps, it is worth noting that his negative view of the U.S. use of military power was distinctly a minority view compared to that of most of his World War II comrades in arms.
UPDATE: PoliSnark has a characteristically off-beat take on this story.
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