Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has long been considered a classic. In it, Zinn tells the story of the U.S. from the perspective of “America’s women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers.” It ignores the usual history book tradition of relating the exploits of presidents and politicians, instead focusing on the real people, whose efforts have led to real change and advancement in this county… labor leaders, war resisters, fugitive slaves.
So why would State Representative Kim Hendren of Arkansas like to prohibit any public school or charter school from using the book in its curriculum? Could it be that the book is critical of the actions of America’s greatest heroes? Calling attention to their often white-washed bombings, massacres, cover-ups, and other misdeeds? Essentially for making politicians look bad?
It’s hard to know. His single page bill includes no reason or justification for the proposed banning.
In any event, when someone in power doesn’t want you to read a book, that’s usually a signal that you should.