Howard Zinn 's The Politics Of History Essay

889 Words Apr 5th, 2016 4 Pages
When reviewing the evolution of my worldview, Howard Zinn’s The Politics of History comes to mind. His book is a collection of case studies and essays that argue for a radical approach to the past. Zinn’s work changed the way I saw my purpose in life. I had originally planned to enter a field in science, despite my passion for history and the Humanities. In an age where the college degree had lost its traditional value, STEM fields seemed to me like the only practical route to success. However, Zinn inspired me to pursue a career driven by passion. He challenged me to question how the study of the past can impact change in the future. He made me realize that, “We need to dig beneath the abstractions so that our fellow citizens can make judgements on the particular realities beneath political rhetoric.” Zinn’s work allowed my worldview to evolve from accepting a passive view of the past to developing my own theory on history. As I first read The Politics of History, I began to realize that there was something fundamentally flawed in the way public schools taught history. It is often portrayed as the simple regurgitation of facts, names, and dates. Or it is indoctrinated into students as a kind of “lullaby history”. This form of historiography requires the historian to entrench into the electorate the idea that government and law can do no wrong. This means preaching American exceptionalism over American accountability, ideologies over reality, conformity over social change.…

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