January 28, 2010, - 3:48 pm

Two Birds, One Stone: Buh-Bye, Howard Zinn, J.D. Salinger

By Debbie Schlussel

If you don’t believe in G-d, how else would you explain that he took two extremist liberals from us in one day–two of the most over-rated, far-left, authors on the planet, no less?



Sorry, but I ain’t sad to see either Howard Zinn or J.D. Salinger go.  And please don’t give me the absurd lecture about how “now is not the time, ” or “their bodies are barely cold.”  Um, if not now, when?  Now IS the time to talk about their, uh, “contributions” to America and the world.

Let’s start with Zinn, the far more malevolent and malignant of the two.  The guy was a Communist. Period.

This far left “historian” wrote textbooks used in many American high schools and colleges for years.  When I was in high school, we used his revisionist, anti-American crap-in-a-volume, “A People’s History of the United States.”  Anything that uses “People’s” in the title is already self-evident in its printed Lewinsky to Marxism.  It’s the typical drivel:

America and capitalism are bad.  Freedom is only good for lefties.  Middle Americans are idiots, and we know better how they should run their lives.  We were founded on taking advantage of, raping, and pillaging heroic indigenous peoples (who scalped and killed each other and sold Manhattan to us for $24.00 in trinkets; but, hey, we’re the evil White European guys, so we are always the villain).  ’60s radicals and abortion are great, as are ugly feminists.  As for foreign policy, Evil Zionist Empire and the Jews–bad; Muslim extremist beheaders with four wives, five IEDs, and 72 virgins–the idyllic example for us all.

Zinn taught generations of mindless American high school and college students to hate themselves, their countries, Western civilization, and allies like Israel.  In many ways, he’s responsible more than anyone for poisoning America’s minds and its future.

Oh, and then there’s the idolizing of Zinn by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Oprah.  Need I say more?  If I do, you are at the wrong site.

Then, there’s J.D. Salinger.  His “The Catcher in the Rye” is possibly the most over-rated book ever published.  Like most American kids, they made me read this ode to juvenile delinquency and attack on authority–this Bible for ’60s radicals–when I was in school.  I kept wondering why this is considered a “Great Book.” To me, this literary nothing was the book version of the “Emperor Who Wears No Clothing.” I felt like: so a dysfunctional loser hangs out with a hooker–big whoop. Is that all there is?

When you hear lefty radicals complaining that American English literature classes only read “Old, White European Males,” I don’t need to wonder why they never include J.D. Salinger is this villainous category:  his work can’t hold a candle to the real classics.  (Plus, until now, he unfortunately wasn’t dead yet.) It’s like, if 50 years from now, English classes are forcing everyone to read one edition of Fabio-encrusted Harlequin Romance, and they all ogle over how well written it is.

Reader Worryo1 says it better than I do:

A radical is dead. I do not regret this person’s passing.

“The Catcher in the Rye” and its main character, Holden Caufield, were used as templates for the youth culture of the 60’s. The idea that you could not trust anyone over 30 came directly out of “Catcher’s” depiction of phony and corrupt adults. A now cliched theme about bad adults versus good young people came out of that novel, and was reproduced time and again for decades after 1951. You had a template for the antics of a Jerry Rubin or Tom Hayden, or even the terror of the Weather Underground in the character of Holden Caufield.

Also, high schools fed into this by having “The Catcher in the Rye” as required reading in literature classes. It was a very mediocre novel, but its impact was huge. Even the Christian Science Monitor’s reviewer back in1951 predicted that novel’s nasty fallout.


While neither Zinn nor Salinger killed anyone as far as I know, they actually perpetrated more harm to America and its future than Osama Bin Laden or any other Islamic terrorist. And their damage is far more long-lasting. We are fighting–and largely, losing–a cultural war within America. Two of the chief warriors for the enemy are now gone, but sadly, their “work” is still with us forever.

Thus, my lack of sorrow whatsoever that these two are gone. I hope they packed light on the way out. It’s hot in hell.

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154 Responses

In high school I just thought Catcher in the Rye was simply a dreary and tedious book about some snotty brat that wimpy English teachers made us read for some reason. Never gave much thought as to the political implications at the time.

Tempus Fugit on January 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Never heard of you before. But, you’re one hell of a bitch. Hope Google never veers me in your direction again. Good Luck, Chris

Chris on January 28, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Was that what you consider an intelligent comment on the subject? Are you up to even up to having an opinion on Zinn or Salinger? What you have typed is something a middle schooler would be embarassed about. Your comments reveal more about you than Debbie my friend.

    sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Hilarious… how appropriate you’re named F U. This site is not for you. I’d have to say dead Marxists have left the world with nothing redeeming. Save those kind of stupid dumbed down remarks for someone who cares.

NF: I was about to delete “FU,” then decided not to, but had already done it by mistake. Oh, well. DS

NormanF on January 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Debbie deleted him, it appears. Good riddance!

NormanF on January 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I did very much enjoy “Cather In The Rye” and still love it but I am not offended at all.

As for Zinn, I could not agree more. Noam Chomsky is still coming down for breakfast.

Skunky on January 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm

It’s easy to shit on people and pretty low to do it on the day of their death but that’s your call. What kills me is how insignificant you’re contribution to our society is and rather than doing something that makes an impact on the “peoples” like you’re enemies Zinn and Salinger you sit and whine like an unimagitive shill. I know it’s easy to sit on the side lines but have some decency and attack the ideas not the people. I’ve never read your blog or heard of you but if this is the best you have to offer, you come across as a mean bitch with nothing important to say. Anyway good luck with the blog!

Michael Peters on January 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Yes, your sort would have been sad on the days Lenin, Stalin, and Mao died. These people also had an impact on their societies. The dead bodies were really stacked up high and the misery experienced was nearly universal except for the elites. Also, Debbie is attacking Zinn and Salinger for their ideas. You might try reading what Debbie wrote. Also, if Debbie is so meaningless, what are you doing here little guy?

    sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm

You think their crap is bad? Have you ever listened to them deconstruct Moby Dick? Hilarious. The tension between “management” and “worker” is palpable. All things are sifted thru their Marxian Socialist social justice-o-meter. Complete garbage. And most, of course, extract their living from a government supported entity. How appropriate.

JLin on January 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Salinger’s literary achievement was in capturing an authentic teenage voice, or not, depending on your opinion. However, the fact that other people chose to make life decisions based upon his deeply flawed character was no fault of the author. Salinger didn’t glamorizing Holden’s life–the book is narrated from a sanitarium. Literature is full of characters who aren’t meant to be role models. We don’t accuse Thomas Hardy of being a rapist because Alec d’Urberville raped Tess. Accusing Salinger, a man who recused himself entirely from public debate after 1965, of being the father of the radical youth movement is illogical.

DS: Life imitates “art.” DS

D. Stockley on January 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    True. If we started the process of bowdlerizing art to prevent that, though, we would lose the entire canon. I’m not asking that you like the book or Salinger, I just wanted to point out that the intentions of the author (or painter or composer) cannot be equated with the assumptions of the audience.

    D. Stockley on January 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm

WOW! If your idea of God is someone that offs people that you don’t believe in, it SOUNDS like you create God to conform to your female-made image of who God should be. Second, Zinn especially conformed more to the ideas and teaching of Jesus than many of his time by preaching justice for the marginalized, poor and oppressed, something that I could never see someone like you doing. Third, your outright discarding of an entire respected philosophical system is intellectual laziness. If you’re going to spew venom on people you hate, at least don’t invoke the name of God. Unbelievable.

T: I don’t believe in Jesus. And Howard Zinn certainly didn’t. Nice try, but no Lewinsky insertion object. DS

timradioboy on January 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Ok, forget Jesus. You don’t support rights for the poor, marginalized or oppressed? You don’t have to believe in Jesus to know right and wrong. Your hateful comments still go against the idea of a loving God, whether or not you believe in Jesus. If you hate people, which you obviously do, keep God out of it. that was my main point. You must have a miserable life with all the built up venom inside of you.

    timradioboy on January 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      So,if you are not a Marxist, you hate poor people, right?

      sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm

        Don’t be ridiculous. Of course you can have concern for the poor and not be a “Marxist”. However, Zinn fought for peace, equality and human rights. It takes a particularly cold human being to condemn that.

        timradioboy on January 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm

          “However, Zinn fought for peace, equality and human rights.”

          How did he actally do that, and what regimes did he claim supported these things? Mr. Zinn felt that only Marxism could bring such things forward. He despised F.D.R. and Lyndon Johnson, who even from an left perspective did more than Mr. Zinn ever did in is life. There is nothing colder than an apologist for genocide.

          sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    If Howard Zinn was an orthodox Marxist by his own admission. He never denied it. Also, his “A People’s History of the United States” was a parody of history, rather than a genuine historical work. In this lovely work, Howard Zinn posited that Mao’s China was the closest approximation to a people’s government in history.

    Or to quote him directly: ““When we look at the American Revolution this way, it was a work of genius, and the Founding Fathers deserve the awed tribute they have received over the centuries. They created the most effective system of national control devised in modern times.

    Yes, the former British colonies joined together to form a totalitarian state for the benefit of the wealthy. It goes on and on in this vein. Even Howard Zinn admitted tacitly that The People’s History of the United States was not really historiography.

    sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Wow, who is this person, err.. “columnist?”

Not sure how I stumbled from google to this mustard loving site… but since I’m here I had to google this schlussel person… I laughed pretty hard after reading your blog… the la time quote was “trigger happy anti-Muslim zealot…” which made me laugh as well.

I’m missing your point a bit… glad people are dead is a fairly harsh sentiment liberal/conservative, good read/bad read aside… maybe that’s the Holden in me, questioning nonsense while wasting my own time… but whatever floats your boat, that’s why America is great.

I did think the line, “Anything that uses “People’s” in the title is already self-evident in its printed Lewinsky to Marxism…” was pretty funny.

Anything that uses “Buh-Bye” in the title is already self-evident in its printed Spade to Stupidity.

Thanks for the laughs…

Hilarious on January 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I find your verbal diarrhea quite amusing. Did you have anything of substance to say? Or, do you come up empty after the teenage mockery? You apparently are as empty the Caulfield character in Salinger’s novel.

    “….maybe that’s the Holden in me…..”

    Yes, and remember where he wound up in the end.

    sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm

You’re an asshole.

mcshortstack on January 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    My, did it take you a whole hour to come up with that intellectual gem?

    sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Man, “Catcher in the Rye” was terrible. I was a skull full of mush raised by hippy parents when I read it in high school and I still thought that the main character was a whiny f–. LOL @ that being an authentic teenage voice!

Pauly D on January 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I would categorize most teenagers as being whiny f—s or at least giant, self-righteous pains in the ass, myself included when I was that age.

    D. Stockley on January 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      Why libel a whole group of people just because you were a jerk as a teen? Just Asking.

      Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I must say that I am not familiar with either of these person’s works. In my lit studies we tended to stick with pre-20th Century classics. Thanks to Debbie for enlightening us yet again.

Oscar on January 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm

The historian Diane Ravitch wrote a great book, The Language Police, back in 2003 that explained how mediocre “teen literature,” examples being The Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Peace, Ordinary People, etc. crowded out real literature from the school curriculum. Then came multicultural crap that further got rid of real classics.

Thus, most high school students have not been exposed to true classic literature. This awful teen lit and multicultural lit pushes them towards pop culture and has made our culture much more shallow as a result.

Liberals are the biggest censors out there, and they do it by ignoring real classics and not teaching them and replacing them with trash like The Catcher in the Rye.

Also, I would bet that the commenters trashing Debbie because she has told the truth about J.D. Salinger have read very few real classics.

JM on January 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    It begins even earlier with books such as Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh. Stalking, eavesdropping on people, and taking down compromising information on you know and don’t know are such wonderful things for a young girl to do.

    sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I graduated high school in 1996. Through middle and high school I read Shakespeare, Dickens, both Bronte’s, Kipling, Melville, Crane, Doyle, Alcott, Tennyson, Faulkner, Twain, Dosteovsky, London, Wordsworth, Hobbes, Poe, Shelley, Swift, the aforementioned Hardy, Conrad, Milton, Chaucer, Blake, Browning, Longfellow, Cervantes, Jefferson. Then there were 20th century writers, some of whose books might be classics: Kafka, Conrad, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, Eliot, Orwell, Golding, Joyce. And yes, I also read mediocre teen literature like CATCHER and A SEPARATE PEACE.

    So I would venture to say that at least one person on here has read a bit of classic literature and that rumors of the demise of such books in favor of a curriculum focused exclusively on teen lit have been greatly exaggerated. But beyond that, only a person with a lazy mind would depend on an English teacher to expose her to all there is to offer in the world of literature. If kids bucked up and read things that were off the required reading list, you wouldn’t have to worry so much about their “indoctrination.”

    D. Stockley on January 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      Your example is simply about your own experience. Did you attend a public or private school? If it was a public school, was it also a magnet school? It is like a Democrat hastily generalizing that since they know of no one who is not going to vote for Martha Coakley, and thus assuming that Ms. Coakley will most ssuredly win. We all saw what happened there. That is a hasty generalization based upon a limited personal experience. All schools are not the same, nor do they always have the same academic standards. In urban inner city schools, there is now, at the state and federal levels, increasing pressure to boost test scores and graduation rates. Accomplishment of these goals would be laborious and time consuming, and if the student body and their parents are indifferent or marginal, not much will be accomplished. This is where social promotion and other temptataions arise.

      sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

I will admit I have never read THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, even in high school. Fortunately our english class was seperated into different groups reding different books and I was the group that had to read THE GREAT GATSBY. I was never really into the book or did not know the author so I can only say I am not really going to begin to read the book now.

Howard Zinn on the other hand, I did read his THE PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, and Debbie is right, anything book titled with the word PEOPLE’S is a good indicator of a marxist background. Yes the book pointed the bad parts of the United States history and nothing more.

I first read this book or I should say that I came across it at a lefty bookstore here in San Francisco. Every selection in this store was either anti-capitalist anti-american, and anti-christian. I found it hard to be in this store after a few minutes.

I will say that I do not miss these two and in fact they do not register in my literary radar.

Mario on January 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I have and tried to read Catcher In The Rye. In the first place the title doesn’t exactly grab me, but I wanted to see what was so great about the book. I think I got halfway through it and stopped.

I remember Stephen King books I read 20 years ago, but have no idea what Catcher In The Rye was about. So it must not have been that great or even interesting. This seems to be the aim of the public school system, squelching the creativity of students.

It is no accident that the sculptures in from of museums and other buildings are nothing more that rusting piles of metal. You can thank the ACLU for that.

And finally, not liking something does NOT make someone hateful! Who started that PC crap?

John on January 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm

As with a lot of art, Catcher in the Rye was a product of its era…1951. Would The Beatles be as artistically significant today as they were in 1964? I struggled reading Salinger as a kid, and I wondered my this dreary work had been labeled an immortal classic. I just don’t think the man had all that much to say, hence his need for secrecy and isolation. Timing is everything……..

#1 Vato on January 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Debbie, I wonder how it is that so many leftist “discovered” your site for the first time today. Did they do a Google search in the hopes of finding bleeding heart obits of Zinn and Salinger? Did they think they’d find some blog out there where they could write a coming-of-age comment about how Zinn and/or Salinger changed their life in high school? Good grief!

DG in GA on January 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Her blog was briefly at the top of the newsfeed yesterday when you searched google for Salinger or Zinn.

    D. Stockley on January 29, 2010 at 10:36 am

wow, this sure brought the nuts out of the woodwork.

I was forced to read Salinger’s book in high school in the mid-60’s. How great was the author if all I can remember about the book was that the main character masturbated on a bus. Oh yeah, puts him right up there with Dante.

At least if the people spewing all the insults could spell!

As usual Debbie, you are right on for most of us.

dan on January 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm

The whiny tears of angry lefties taste like spun sugar.

You go Debbie!

Kresh on January 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Lol! Leave it to conservatives, especially Debbie, to completely misinterpret a piece of art. I also read Catcher in the Rye in high school, along with many classics assigned by my very knowledgeable English teacher. It is not an anti-authority novel- it is not pro or anti anything. It is a novel that tells a story about a teenager scared of maturing, scared of the adult world, and nostalgic for childhood. It does not try to justify Holden, in fact it is tough to sympathize with him.

Debbie wrote:
“I felt like: so a dysfunctional loser hangs out with a hooker–big whoop. Is that all there is?”

This is proof that you totally missed the point, if you have no idea what the meaning of this is.

As for Zinn, I am not familiar with his work, but really: “The guy was a Communist. Period.” That’s all there is to him? He was a Communist, therefore he was evil? What a simplistic, black and white world view you have.

Alan Moore on January 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    You might try reading the whole thing:” America and capitalism is bad. Freedom is only good for lefties. Middle Americans are idiots, and we know better how they should run their lives. We were founded on taking advantaging of, raping, and pillaging heroic indigenous peoples (who scalped and killed each other and sold Manhattan to us for $24.00 in trinkets; but, hey, we’re the evil White European guys, so we are always the villain). ’60s radicals and abortion are great, as are ugly feminists. As for foreign policy, Evil Zionist Empire and the Jews–bad; Muslim extremist beheaders with four wives, five IEDs, and 72 virgins–the idyllic example for us all.”

    And here was your remark:”As for Zinn, I am not familiar with his work, but really: “The guy was a Communist. Period.” That’s all there is to him? He was a Communist, therefore he was evil? What a simplistic, black and white world view you have.”

    Yes, your remark was inaccurate. Also, since by your own admission you have never read Zinn, is your comment any more vapid blather?

    sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm

      “The guy was a Communist. Period.” That’s all there is to him? He was a Communist, therefore he was evil? What a simplistic, black and white world view you have.”

      If someone said of Hitler:

      “The guy was a Nazi. Period.” That’s all there is to him? He was a Nazi, therefore he was evil? What a simplistic, black and white world view you have.”

      Of course you Leftard hypocrites would be foaming at the mouth with outrage.

      The Shadow on January 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I thought jews didnt believe in Hell?

Aussie Craig on January 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Many people would have to see how history books have devolved over the last 60 years to see how bad Zinn really is. Pre-1960 US History books took it for granted that the US was the greatest civilization in history; they condemned Communism, and condemned anarchists. For instance, a standard pre-1960 history book by David Muzzey, then a professor at Columbia, of all places, condemned the anarchist assassin of McKinley as “a cowardly wretch named Gateau”. His book was somewhat literary, as were a number of history books of that time.

People who have grown up in an era already dumbed down and infested with PC just don’t have the perspective to see how bad Salinger and Zinn were. The three recent anti-American presidents are partially a legacy of Zinn. The American Historical Review has become a virtual journal of PC; virtually no articles on diplomatic history, military history, intellectual history that doesn’t have something to do with victims, and it has been this way for several decades.

Unless people tell the truth about Zinn and his cronies, there is no chance that things will get better. The point is not simply that there is nothing wrong with telling the truth about Zinn on his passing; it is also that his passing, and that of Salinger gives us a good opportunity to expose their hostility to Western Civilization at a time when such exposure will gain a larger audience than would otherwise be the case, as is evident from a few comments from some of the newcomers to the blog.

Little Al on January 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I haven’t heard anyone questioning Zinn’s actual scholarship in his books detailing negative aspects of American history. This leads me to believe that when people rip him it’s not because they think he’s wrong but because they think that what he says should go unsaid, for some reason. Zinn’s books should be read along with an array of other histories, some from the right, some more from the left, and lots from the center. He’s a very important part of the “balanced diet” of understanding actual historical events and their effects on the people who experienced them. Learning only the “We do no wrong” John Wayne BS does a lot more to mislead people than those who learn about all sides. I think it’s funny how conservatives often claim that their opposition thinks that “regular people can’t handle things themselves, so we have to do the thinking for them”, when in this case Zinn was presenting MORE information so that the informed person could take a reasoned approach. Isn’t the idea that “regular people” should only be taught that America has done great things essentially the same thing? What’s to be feared by knowing the bad with the good, other than perhaps nearsighted jingoism?

As for Salinger, a previous poster hit it pretty squarely; he should be lauded by everyone (regardless of politics) for being able to so firmly put his finger on the pulse of a generation (and evidently all subsequent ones) younger than himself. Furthermore, the fact of the matter is that being an “adult” doesn’t mean you’ve figured out that much more about how the world works than a teenager has. Stating that obvious fact should not be controversial. The parents and teachers in Catcher in the Rye were flawed because all humans are, including the parents of conservatives, and their parents, and their parents and their parents…It shouldn’t be seen as “subversive” to point that out.

I think it’s interesting that in both cases what’s being objected to here are works that complicate a very simplistic world view. “America is always right and has never done wrong”. “Parents/adults/authority figures should always go unquestioned and be respected”. Neither are true and understanding these points only makes a person more aware and prepared to deal with the REAL WORLD as opposed to some idealized 1950s culture that never really existed.

Adam on January 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Wow, the comments were very interesting! The way left leaning liberals and outright communists get hateful and violent can never be underestimated. They are very dangerous, self centered, hypocritical, and self-loathing. I was going to pick-up a used dollar paperback of the book by Salinger because like others who commented, I couldn’t remember what was so great about the book. Thank you Debbie, for I can pass on that idea now in favor of better material, some of which was mentioned by the prep-schooler from the Class of ’96. When the Commies made it into space first great literature was tossed in favor of math and science. I’m still trying to catch-up, hey, “Ketchup in the Eye”…

eGREGie on January 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    So now you’re not going to read it because someone told you it’s bad? Why not read it and see what you think? What’s the point of achieving this great enlightened state of adulthood that Salinger supposedly slandered if you’re still going to act like a child?

    Adam on January 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Adam, Zinn’s work really fails as history. It’s an effective polemic. Yes, many academics praise it. They do themselves no favors by praising it as a work of history. “A People’s History of the United States” is not even good leftist history. There are plenty of solid works of history by scholars writing from a Marxist or other left of center perspective. Additionally, Zinn’s practice of defending the work of academic hacks and frauds like Michael Bellesiles and Ward Churchill detracts substantially from his credibility as a historian. I’d give him high marks as a propagandist. I would give his books a failing grade as history.

Historian on January 28, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    You are correct. If one wanted a Marxist perspective on U.S. History, one could do worse than Herbert Apthecker,or even Philip Foner. These two historians definitely came from the left, but they did not put forward polemical tracts. They even came out against Charles Beard, who was the Howard Zinn of his time. “An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (1913)”, his great masterpiece, was a one-dimensional work that viewed the creation of the U.S. Constitution as little more than a power grab by wealthy property owners and bond holders. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Aptheker and Foner, to their credit, viewed such economic determinism as a single bullet explanation for historical events, and thus rejected it. Howard Zinn was a poor guide to those who actually wished to understand historical events.

    sorrow01 on January 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm

I didn’t know about Zinn, but about Salinger–you are 100% dead nuts right about him. In public school, they start undermining a child’s potential faith in God from an early age. They teach you evolution, and at the same time you get “existentialism.” Between Salinger and F Scott Fitzgerald, and how many of us got this 3-fold regiment–it’s a wonder more kids don’t do the Curt Cobain suicide thing.

Guys like Salinger and Fitzgerald portray their darkness as enlightenment. As for me, it is Jesus Christ, and the reality of HIM that changed my atheism to faith, hope, and LIFE. Christ is real, risen and G-d Almighty!!

BB on January 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Please help me understand something I’ve never been able to understand: If you really believe that god’s word is true and christ is “almighty” and all that, I would think you’d be completely confidant that no matter what silly little book someone read when they were 15 they’d come around to “see the light”. However, there seem to be a lot of “true believers” who are against anything that promotes any alternate view. What am I missing here? If you really think that Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby can ruin someone against what you think is the truth, then doesn’t that undermine the “all powerful” thing a bit?

    Adam on January 28, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I don’t blame Zinn or Salinger. Ppl write trash everyday. I blame the idiots that made us read their trash.

Brian on January 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm


Didn’t you see in my post that I had read the book in school and was considering re-reading the book again to see if there was some sort of reason I didn’t care for it or even remember why I didn’t care for the book. Don’t tell me you choose or prioritize your reading with zero input at all or discussion over the book’s topic matter? I am backed up now with some very good selections, re-addressing this book’s merit just doesn’t seem fun or interesting.

eGREGie on January 28, 2010 at 7:59 pm


Did you say Catheter in the Rye?

Pinandpuller on January 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Debbie, if you hate America so much, why don’t you leave?

Jambo on January 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

“Yes, your remark was inaccurate. Also, since by your own admission you have never read Zinn, is your comment any more vapid blather?”

Umm, no. I don’t consider what Debbie wrote about him to be reliable or objective, and I’m definitely not going to base my opinion of him off that opinionated rubble. Do try again though.

Alan Moore on January 28, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    How is your opinion, based upon nothing, any better? At least she read the work, unlike you. You actually do seem to base your opinions on rubble, but only the rubble you feel comfy with. Think a bit before responding this time.

    Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm

There was a nutty propagandist named Zinn, Whose pointed foil hat was red tin, The students could never know or comprehend, The crazy conspiracies done by Evil White Men.

Commies are Stupid on January 28, 2010 at 8:32 pm

For the record, Philip Foner is generally acknowledged to be a plagiarist — this failing exacerbates his general leftist and Stalinist historical approach.

On May 23, 2003, Melvyn Dubofsky disclosed that his dissertation had been plagiarized by Philip Foner. This assertion carried particular weight since Dubofsky is, in general, a representative of left-wing thought, although he is a much, much more credible historian than Zinn. Philip Foner’s critics also express bewilderment in general about how Foner could have written so many books in a relatively short time without taking shortcuts regarding footnotes and references.

Although some left-wing historians have performed serious historical work, most of them do take shortcuts, use research selectively, and avoid disclosures that are essential to a balanced perception of their work. For instance, a recent work dealing with academics’ failure to oppose Hitler makes many trenchant criticisms of the academics. However, it falls short of the mark by criticizing academics for not supporting various forms of protest during the 30s. While some of these protests are correctly identified as stemming from Communist influence, not all applicable protests are so identified. Leftist historians do have to be read very, very carefully.

Little Al on January 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    “For the record, Philip Foner is generally acknowledged to be a plagiarist — this failing exacerbates his general leftist and Stalinist historical approach.”

    Really, do you have an actual reference for that? Well, let me look at where you probably went, even though you did not give a reference.

    Did you look here perhaps: http://hnn.us/articles/1481.html

    Or, perhaps you moved over this: http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=vx&list=h-labor&month=0305&week=d&msg=AsmmPPz1gRyGgKwiGnFZvg&user=&pw=

    Melvyn Dubofsky made some pretty serious accusations of plagiarism, but never backed it up with any citations or quotes from Philip Foner’s work. From the H-Net source he explains this deficiency with: “Later, I discovered he did
    the same with other dissertations too numerous to mention.” Oh, that is just so convenient. Not even one example of someone else who was plagiarized was even given. What you have is someone,Melvyn Dubofsky, making unsubstantiated claims of plagiarism against Philip Foner nearly a decade after his death. Melvyn claims that he had the dope on Foner twenty years before that. But, the obvious question is why did Melvyn Dubofsky wait until Foner was underground permanently before coming out with his “revelations”? Also, the claim that Philip Foner destroyed materials from the AFL-CIO. Did someone tell you this, and if so, who Mr. Dubofsky? I am not even a Philip Foner fan, but libeling a person, whether they are on the right or left is really, really bad.

    You can review Melvyn Dubofsky’s post yourself, since the link is provided. It is a long invective that is surprisingly short on proof.

    Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm

DS has this right on target! Go Debbie! You got my support 110%

Catcher was a so-so book-at best, not one of my faves…As a well read woman, I am sure both men are at peace or whatever, but those books were not something I’d recommend to any book club or teen.

Chris is a jerk!
and Norman F is cool!

lindap on January 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm

And as far as Aptheker, he will be remembered until eternity for his screed “The Truth About Hungary”, which defended the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Though he got a PhD in history from Columbia, he subordinated whatever legitimate academic training he had to become a Communist hack until the bitter end.

Re Zinn, (addressing Adam’s comment), even, for purposes of discussion, if all his statements were true, his work would still be distorted. It is kind of like spending 2 pages on George Washington and spending 10 pages on McCarthyism. The emphasis employed by a historian can create distortion even if the facts stated were true. But in Zinn’s case, he has declared that objectivity is not desirable — hardly a prescription for accuracy in writing. Even if his facts were correct, he errs in how facts relate to, or influence each other, a consequence of heavy weighing, to the point of distortion, of those things intended to reflect negatively on the United States.

Little Al on January 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Little Al, it’s true that Zinn’s book distorts the historical narrative with it’s emphasis on some historical events and people over others. All history books reflect an author’s biases to a certain extent. But A PEOPLE’S HISTORY wasn’t written in a vacuum. It supplemented the popular history texts available when was published. Taken with that body of work aren’t those missing pages about Washington and extra pages on McCarthy more than evened out?

    I feel like some of these arguments suggest we need to protect people who lack intellectual curiosity and vigor from materials that might mislead them. Why? If a person doesn’t know that they can’t get an entire education from a single book or that reading requires active participation and incredulity, then the larger issue at hand is a lack of critical thinking skills. Perhaps that’s what needs to be taught.

    D. Stockley on January 29, 2010 at 11:04 am

I read Catcher as an adult when I found a copy laying around-probably from my mom’s HS days. It’s not that great.

Growing up I loved (and still do) Edgar Rice Burroughs, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Robert Heinlein.

Pinandpuller on January 28, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Those books, even though “popular”, would be superior to Catcher in the Rye in terms of literary quality. Or, why not go with Joseph Conrad.

    Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Thank you, Debbie for saying the truth. Wasn’t it Salinger that said something to the effect: say something that nobody understands and they will do anything you want them to do. I remember being made to feel uncouth because I did not like Catcher in the Rye, if that is the case, so be it, I think I like the company of you and Sorrow01. I also like to think that I have the courage to be a “nobody”. 🙂

Penelope27 on January 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    It is much better to be a decent “nobody” than an awful “somebody”.

    Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Howard Zinn(1922-2010)
J.D. Salinger(1919-2010)

Norman Blitzer on January 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Feel free to join them.

    Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Buh Bye Zinn you Nazi.

DanDan on January 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm

good riddance Chris…..DEBBIE you rock!….and keep rockin kid!!!!! GBY….Paul.

BIG IRISH on January 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Joel Kovel, Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chompsky, Alexander Cockburn…a veil of evil will be lifted when these perverse cretins pm are removed from the world as well. Howard Zinn was a creep and I am glad he is gone.

Michael LeFavour on January 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

As a wimpy English teacher I can assure you that it will be a cold day in (Buna, Texas) before I inflict such drivel as THE CATCHER IN THE RYE and WAITING FOR GODOT on my students. BEOWULF, MACBETH, BECKET, the Romantics (loopy as they are) — real meat (metaphorical meat, of course) for real Americans.

Mack Hall on January 28, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Why not try Ambrose Bierce or George Gissing? 🙂

    Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 11:43 pm

It is A SHAME that Howard Zinn just died. It is a SHAME, because humanity would have been better served if he had DIED 50 years ago.

He disgraced himself, and his ancestors. Luckily, he did not consider himself a Jew.

A vile BAG OF SH*T! May he rot in Hell with the likes of Arafat and Hitler.

May the leftist professors who REQUIRED their students read this Marxist, America-hater’s swill, should also pack lightly—for they are also destined to burn in Hell, for the abuse inflicted on their students.

Hymie Zoltsveis on January 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm

[Feel free to join them.

Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm]

I’d rather just send you straight to hell where all American conservatives belong.

Norman Blitzer on January 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    You have spoken like a true little Stalinist. Have a cigar, from Havanna of course.

    Worry01 on January 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Excellent post, Debbie. The only thing that I can add is that there is an antidote to Howard Zinn’s book. That antidote is Larry Schweikart and Michael Patrick Allen’s book A Patriot’s History of the United States.


JeffE on January 28, 2010 at 11:29 pm

In response to your post at 8:11:
It depends on where one is at. A blind person does not perceive the darkness or the light.

I challenge you to challenge Jesus yourself–to show you if he is who he said he is. I don’t care if you do it with an attitude or cynicism or whatever. Just do it.

You are correct on one point, whether one reads Salinger or whatever, Christ is more than able to break through–he did for me!! And I guess you are right–because I really wasn’t asking for it. The lyrics to Amazing Grace make great sense AFTER the breakthrough!

The thing about Salinger and other such authors, they make their hopeless darkness their message.

BB on January 29, 2010 at 12:14 am

Yes of course you’re right. Any document that mentions the “people” must be leftist propaganda. Like that filthy communist spew in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. “We, THE PEOPLE, in order to form a more perfect Union…” yada yada yada. God! What fellow traveler nonsense. Clearly James Madison hated this country.

Troy Matthews on January 29, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Were you actually trying to comment, or simply having an autistic moment? Should we contact the EMT’s buddy, you seem pretty incoherent?

    sorrow01 on January 29, 2010 at 1:00 am

I thought jews didnt believe in Hell?

Aussie Craig on January 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm


Yes we do!

Shy Guy on January 29, 2010 at 12:41 am

Look at the pseudo intellectual leftists come out to defend their own. SCUM!!!!

Joe on January 29, 2010 at 1:13 am

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