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

I thought J.D. Salinger had died years ago. His work is outrageously overrated. In, I think, the early ’60s, Mary McCarthy wrote a great essay, ripping him apart.
Good riddance to bad rubbish, Howard Zinn.

Miranda Rose Smith on January 29, 2010 at 1:56 am

I like to judge literature based on the actions of the main character, not on the overall message. I also think that portraying historical figures as mortal human beings, is counteractive to me using them in a broad way to promote my own political beliefs. I also lack basic reading comprehension.

noughts on January 29, 2010 at 1:59 am

    I think you need to work on that before you post.

    sorrow01 on January 29, 2010 at 2:32 am

I only heard about Zinn from my history professor in college and only when I asked her about suggestions for books to read that she considered reliable. After giving me a few authors, she told me to avoid anything from Zinn or anything that he endorsed or gave praise to. As to Salinger, I was supposed to read “Catcher in the Rye” in high school but was able to convince the teacher to allow me to read a different book instead. I hope they get the seat next to Ted Kennedy in hell.

Keith on January 29, 2010 at 2:32 am

Judging on your blog, here’s what I think of you. You madame are an obnoxious loudmouth entitled to voice your opinion to any idiot willing to listen to your rubbish. You probably stand a good chance of getting your own show on fox news. However, I prefer you open your giant pie-hole, step into the bowl of the nearest toilet, and flush yourself.

The ignorance and nerve of some people!

Armand Briones on January 29, 2010 at 3:23 am

    “You madame are an obnoxious loudmouth entitled to voice your opinion to any idiot willing to listen to your rubbish.”

    Is that a refutation, or simply a tantrum? The rest of your ranting I would expect from a twelve year old with a potty mouth.

    Worry01 on January 29, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Vous semblez être une personne très idiote privée de l’intelligence. Au cas où nous partager vos remarques avec d’autres ? Parlez-vous cette manière devant votre employeur?

    Worry01 on January 29, 2010 at 4:28 am

    These two authors used the first amendment to slam the Greatest Nation in the world and you have no problem with that but you have a problem when someone else uses the same First Amendment to slam the two worst writers in the history of pulp fiction.
    I find this typical of Leftists who believe only what THEY endorse should be printed or read. DS has every right to speak her mind about these two people.
    Salinger and Zinn spoke evil of the dead all the time so why should they not get what they gave?

    martin fee on January 29, 2010 at 10:03 am

      Because the USA has NEVER done anything to be critical of. Spiking orphans’ porridge with radiation (and, yes, many developed acute leukemia). Japanese internment camps. Jackson’s Westward Expansion and the Manifest Destiny wiping out the buffalo and destroying an entire people’s culture and society. CIA operatives secretly dosed unsuspecting civilians with LSD in the 50s. (Did you know Cary Grant was huge into LSD?) We were one of the last developed nations to end slave trade. Even after ending slavery, we still had segregation, unlike other countries such as France. We knowingly sprayed a highly toxic defoliant into live-combat situations, exposing civilians and out own soldiers to horrendously carcinogenic Agent Orange, which notoriously causes horrendous birth defects.

      Has the USA done a lot of good? Yes. Duh. However, to try and white-wash away any blemishes, to never admit any wrong doing, is either pure naivety or willful ignorance. Neither of which is something to be proud of.

      As for Debbie: if you really think Cather In The Rye carries any kind of “trust no one over 30) message, you just called yourself out. Obviously, you never really read nor understood the book anyways. If you had read it, or at least comprehended it, then you would know that one of Holden’s best friends is his English professor, Mr. Antolini, at his prep school. Remember? He has that VERY important conversation with him before Holden leaves Pencey Prep? Later he goes by his professor’s house to see if he can stay the night after visiting Phoebe and telling her that all he wants to do is to be the catcher in the rye.

      You should also know that he derided EVERYONE as phonies, especially his peers. It was a book about a loner, someone disenfranchised from the world and societal norms. It wasn’t some anthem of rebellion or subversion as many reactionaries tend to claim. It was about a boy overcoming intense depression. Who never felt like he fit in. Who always felt like world just rejected him. It gave a very simple but, at the time, quite fresh message: You’re not alone in feeling this way.

      For many who never “quite fit in” with all the popular kids, who were ridiculed and marginalized, Catcher was a novel that said, “there are others just like you, and yes, they often feel the same way.” It never advocated violence or tearing down institutions. It merely showed the tale of a emotionally torn adolescent dealing with intense heartbreak and depression. The fact that you insert so much insight based on elements that, honestly, are not and have never in any way been present in the book shows me that you don’t really care about honesty and objectivity. But, what more can someone expect from such a big phony.

      Barret Heft on January 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm

        Thank you for the conspiracy theories and boilerplate. You even tossed in the buffaloes for good measure. lol.

        Worry01 on January 29, 2010 at 2:35 pm

        Heft, I actually thought you had something to say regarding Catcher, but one has to read your America-hating nonsense in the first part of your rant to get to anything worth reading. Then you conclude with Caulfield’s all-purpose insult (“phony”), applying it ridiculously to Debbie, who is about as genuine as someone can be. Your beginning rant and your absurd final insult lead me to think that what you have to say here you have cribbed from someone else, a professor I suppose.

        As I haven’t read Catcher for years, I won’t bother to discuss particulars about it. I don’t recall it being the work of perfidy that Debbie makes it out to be, but it also is extraordinarily overrated. I recall it as little more than a book about youthful alienation, which is why it resonated with many young men (in particular).

        Zinn, though, was evil, just as you are, Heft.

        skzion on January 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    The typical and predictable response from a liberal, attack the person you disagree with personally. There wasn’t any substanative argument for what Debbie has written about these two authors.

    gerob on January 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Wow. Typical leftist jackass. Zinn was a marxist shill with exceptionally poor writing skills – not to mention totally idiotic and delusional interpretations of historical events. Salinger was a mediocre author who got sufficient hype from the pseudointellectuals masquerading as professors at the time to force kids to delve into his tripe….kinda like people who classify Britney Spears pathetic oral emanations as music. Crawl back under your marxist rock, pal.

    Babydoc on January 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Comong into this a little late. And I must say that this turned into a rather heated discussion with many posts.
I, too, thought Salinger died years ago. About ten years back I had read about a mistress he had and was under the impression he was dead at that time. She did shed some interesting light on the guy. I haven’t read any of the Obits today so I don’t know if this was revealed again, but she said he never stopped writing. He just stopped publishing his work. Supposedly there are file cabinets full of stories, so we can look forward to many years of “new” J.D. Salinger. The reason she gave for his refusal to publish any further manuscripts was that he felt some criticizms of his later works were attacking his CHARACTERS. Apperently, Holden, Frannie, Zoe and the lot were like family to him.
Make your own conclusions…

I never finished “Catcher”. It was too boring and depressing. Now Moby Dick on the otherhand….

Bob on January 29, 2010 at 3:30 am

Q. What’s the difference between Debbie Schlussel and a bucket of excrement?

A. The bucket.

Seriously, instead of blindly lashing out at accomplished people who have just died, why don’t you try to get to the underlying cause of your psychosis? Your older brother married his sister and — there there now, come on, let it out, anger and sorrow and anguish are good, get it all out now…

Tom Harper on January 29, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Q. What’s the difference between Debbie Schlussel and a bucket of excrement?

    A. The bucket

    How cute. You just revealed yourself to be a juvenile, at least in mind.

    Worry01 on January 29, 2010 at 4:15 am

Howard Zinn I didn’t care for, his cultural relativism, his fashionable Leftist anti-Semitism. He was no heavyweight, hence the adoration he received from Hollywood airheads and dimwitted naive students. However not everything he wrote was revisionist garbage, the history of America and capitalism is steeped in blood and injustice, no matter how you spin it or whitewash it – like every other country on earth. It’s called history.

As for Sallinger, yes Catcher in the Rye is overrated, but it’s not bad, it’s a pretty good novel, but not great by any means. Sallinger certainly doesn’t deserve such vicious over the top attacks, save it for the loony profs at the universities teaching all sorts of garbage and the morons in the media and Hollywood rotting the minds of millions.. Save the ire for Chomsky when he dies, who would deserve such contemptuous ire as much as any man alive.

Larry70 on January 29, 2010 at 3:40 am

When I was 14 years old I was advised to read Catcher in the Rye by a teacher. After about 20 pages I dumped it in the trash and never looked back. I advised the teacher that the book was garbage, forever earning her scorn. Salinger, from what I can gather, was a recluse and overly obsessed with any type of criticism against him. Everytime this book came up in conversation I trashed it mercilessly. Never liked it and never had a need for it. As for Zinn, well as you said, anything, ANYTHING, with “PEOPLE’S” in the title is nothing but communist inspired tripe.

Marc on January 29, 2010 at 4:34 am

Another thing worth mentioning, Salinger fought in WW2, landed at one of the beaches on Normandy. He doesn’t deserve such contempt.

Larry70 on January 29, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Actually, he does deserve the contemmpt. He repudiated everything that landing stood for in his writings. You should try reading him before making such statements.

    Worry01 on January 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm

It should be noted that there was one film that was based on a Salinger short story – the 1949 film “My Foolish Heart,” produced by Samuel Goldwyn and starring Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward. Salinger so hated the way his original source material (“Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”) was produced that this was why there has been no movie made from “Catcher in the Rye” (though, in this case, thank Heaven for small favors).

ConcernedPatriot on January 29, 2010 at 6:00 am

I read Catcher in the Rye years ago and remember thinking, at the time, how disaffected a youth Caulfield was but to say this was a handbook for the radical sixties, that is going a little too far. To me he symbolized someone not easily shaped by the conformist influences of the day and, instead, wanted to remain very much an individual, free to think and do as he pleased. I would say that I liked the book.

Never read anything from Zinn so I cannot comment on him.

chuck on January 29, 2010 at 6:06 am

Actually, both Zinn and Salinger were WWII vets. Zinn in the Air Force as a bombardier, and Salinger in France. Seems war can do crazy thing to people. Some return, proud of their country and their service…others become leftist professors or recluse writers, twisted by their experiences into hating their country and everything it stands for, or hating people period. Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer also are similar examples of WWII vets who ended up as myopic leftist writers.

Dave on January 29, 2010 at 7:08 am


Bob Porrazzo on January 29, 2010 at 7:49 am

There is no god you stupid Jesus freaks.

KK234 on January 29, 2010 at 8:21 am


    If we accept your vulgarishly constructed theory, then could you provide for us the scientific basis for the explanation of the beginning of the universe? Surely you must be in possession of the answer to how, in a universe with entropy functioning as it does towards total stagnancy, the “Big Bang” managed to occur? Please, enlighten us poor, downtrodden penny stinkers still wallowing in what I assume your vaunted intellect considers the abyss of superstitious nonsense.
    Or are you just another putrescent loser angry at the world for making you suffer the outcome of the poor choices you’ve made for your life? If the latter, then don’t bother responding, as we’ve heard pretty much every tiresome, self-absorbed rant your kind has to offer.

    Babydoc on January 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm

When I got out of high school, in Michigan, in the mid-70s, Salinger and his novel were quite popular. It was “cool” to be in the class that read it. I wasn’t in that class. We read more Dickens in the class I took.

My point is, the standards had already begun to be lowered, in order to graduate from high school. Most of the people that came of age in the 60s and the 70s are “in charge” of things now, and most of them thought Salinger’s novel was “cool”.

Debbie wrote a great column about these two guys, but the job ahead is so very large……….there are SO MANY more people who do not understand the damage that can be caused by these two and others of their ilk.

Bob on January 29, 2010 at 8:34 am

i dont think that guy ever watched fox news,

drew299 on January 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

Wait, you’re telling me that some people read Catcher in the Rye and liked Holden Caulfield?

I thought you were supposed to pity his pathetic, useless attitude and the train wreck that he’s making of his life and then at the end hold out some tiny hope for future redemption through his family and meeting with his little sister.

luagha on January 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

Now we are going to be subjected to Hollywood producing movie after movie about these losers.
I am an avid reader who enjoys everything from the classics to pulp fiction but I never could get into reading about how evil America is or how great communism is.
Funny how the absolute failure of their beloved Marxism has not changed the minds of these people.
The deaths of these people are a blessing to the rest of us. I care not for the people who claim not to speak ill of the dead. If i did not like someone when they were alive then why would I like them now?

martin fee on January 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

Catcher is a unique work and I cannot imagine American literature without it. It is NOT about teenage angst but about one badly wounded young man’s descent into near suicide. It is a highly personal book by an ex GI writer who was seriously suffering from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome after being in the thick of the hellish fighting in the last of WWII Germany. The underlying message of Holden is distinctively Christian. When Holden says in the end that he ‘misses’ everyone, even the awful pimple-squeezing Ackley, what he is saying is that he loves them. It is a note of grace your adolescent reader and liberal high school English teacher would miss entirely.

poetcomic1 on January 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

I was so relieved to find your piece on Zinn and Salinger this morning. A “friend” sent me an old article Zinn had written titled “A Larger Consciousness” and ruined my night and morning, sending my stomach into knots. I’d never read anything by him, but this one piece was enough to send me googling for hours. To learn from your blog that he is the reason we were all poisoned against our own, great country in our early educations was enlightening and downright depressing. To have a friend who is circulating his poison is devastating.

Aimee on January 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

Schlussel yet again shows why her only claim to fame is outrageous nonsense meant to draw attention. But I can understand… it is the only way anyone would possibly take the time to read her hate ridden rants.

For me, reading her, Coulter, etc is fascinating like a deadly car wreck… you can’t believe the bloody carnage but find it hard to look away.

mayhempix on January 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    As with many of your friends here, you have nothing of substance to say. Did you have anything to say in defense of Zinn or Salinger, or is sticking your tongue out at Debbie the extent of your intellectual capacity?

    Worry01 on January 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

My teachers wouldnt even go near them. We read les mis[victor hugo] and thank goodness for one who had us read Salems Lot. Of course we did the dickens and others like that.
Do i always 100% agree with Debbie? No, But its minor stuff hardly worth saying and i dont act like a spoiled child when i dont agree.
yes, whenever i see anything start with The Peoples! I think commie! Someone will ask whats wrong with commies? Ill say because the are peoples garbage.See Pol Pot, uncle joe stalin, Tito and i dont mean jackos brother.

mike c on January 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

A long time ago, I dated a relative of Kurt Vonnegut. She informed me that Zinn was the inspiration for Yossarian of Vonnegut’s Catch 22, he who could find no meaning in anything greater than himself. At the time I had occasion to work with Zinn at BU where he was was an easy A like most of the poli-sci department.

thegreatbeast on January 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    thegreatbeast — sorry, but that was Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22,” not Vonnegut’s. Yossarian was an interesting character, both in the book and in the movie version (as portrayed by the great Alan Arkin) — a reluctant warrior, wanting to escape duty in any way possible, yet doing his duty faithfully all throughout; dumb-founded as any of the rest of us at the antics of Milo Minderbinder and all the other weirdos he was surrounded with; the ultimate Everyman, just trying to deal with the horrors of war all around him, serve his country as best he could and get home in one piece. Considering Zinn’s crap and the somewhat overrated Salinger, Heller’s “Catch 22” was, and is, a masterpiece. Also enjoyed Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse 5” though I’ve never cared for the guy’s politics. Agree wholeheartedly with another poster that the moron Chomsky will roast in Hell (to paraphrase) — can’t happen soon enough for my taste . . .

    jc15 on January 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

As always Debbie, you are a breath of fresh air. My favorite
of your iconoclastic tirads was about the Olympics but this one comes in second. Why do other not see the truth in what they authors are trying to do to the American image? Keep up your good work.

Tim on January 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I realize that it’s difficult for people like Schussel or the nitwits that read her drivel to understand, but there are shades of grey and nuance that go beyond the usual left and right.
I’m sure there are things with which to argue in Zinn’s writings, but to call him a “revisionist” is just plain silly.
We have to look at our mistakes as a nation in order to learn from them and to move forward.
Where is this screed is there even a close approximation of a attempt to counter something in Zinn’s writings? Is it really such a terrible thing for a writer to be critical of Manifest Destiny? Really?
As for the screed on Catcher in the Rye, it’s clear you never read it, or you have horrible reading comprehension. Or you’re just not that bright. Which is it?

Mike V. on January 29, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    “I realize that it’s difficult for people like Schussel or the nitwits that read her drivel to understand, but there are shades of grey and nuance that go beyond the usual left and right.”

    I realize that you are doing this as part of a project or group effort, since your writing is so very much like that of some many other posters here. Sorry, Howard Zinn was neither the first, nor the last to criticize the United States historically. You might try reading Charles Beard sometime. The point being made is that Mr. Zinn was more than a little selective in his outrage and not all that careful with his facts. Even Zinn himself admitted that he was not trying to produce a balanced or objective product with his “A People’s History of the United States”. Is Mr. Zinn a nitwit and a liar as well?

    Worry01 on January 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    No one would deny there are things to criticize that have occured in US history, Mike. The problem is the things the leftards choose to criticize aren’t what should be criticized. Overrated hacks like Zinn and Choamsky only spew their venom at free societies while making excuses for the most brutal and disingenuous thugs, and the most inherently anti-human policies the world has ever known. (Choamsky’s ridiculous and blatantly wrong defense of the Khymer Rouge being a relevant, glaring example). Why is FDR considered a hero, when he ordered the internment of the Japanese? Why is Woodrow Wilson considered a great american when he implemented fascist practices in our country and imposed the marxist-originated ‘progressive’ income tax? Why is Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) considered an honorable feminist when she wrote letters instructing her cohorts on how to use black ministers to manipulate black women into aborting their children in support of Sanger’s evil eugenics ideology?

    The “shades of gray” argument is used by moral relativists solely to give cover to leftists when they can’t defend something inherently stupid and wrong as only leftist/progressive philosophy can be. The fact that Harry Reid is still in the Senate (much less the majority leader) after his blatantly racist comments about Obama – while that prior republican Senate Majority leader from Missippi (can’t recall his name atm, sorry) was forced to resign for what was nothing more than a birthday well-wish for a 90+ year old man – is another example of leftwing hypocrisy.

    Keep writing, Ms. Schlussel. Or Mrs. Schlussel – whichever honorific you prefer.

    Babydoc on January 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm

“She informed me that Zinn was the inspiration for Yossarian of Vonnegut’s Catch 22, ”

Kurt Vonnegut did not write Catch 22. Did you just pull your whole post out of your ass?

As for Zinn, I do not know anything about him as I have already said, but he would be right that European settlers did commit countless atrocities against Native Americans, as well as other minorities. To act as if the US has always been pure good would be foolish and wrong.

Alan Moore on January 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Well, worry, where then is the even small part of Schlussel’s post or within the comments that refutes or argues a thesis of Zinn??
Her entire post was a knee jerk screed the likes of Anne Coulter or Michelle Malkin. Both of which barely have a passing relationship with analysis or truth.
And the fact that what she wrote about Catcher in the Rye is so far from what the book is about speaks volumes..
My question stands, what is the other side of the coin when it comes to something like Manifest Destiny and the institutional carnage that was wrought as people marched west in the US??
How about the US sponsored overthrowing of democratically elected leaders in South and Central America?
What about our involvement in Vietnam?
The USA has the ability to, and has many many times shown itself to be one of the greatest countries on earth. Criticizing her actions here and abroad is not “revisionist” history, nor is it anti-American.
War protests are not anti-American. Nor were marches in the South against segregation or the fight for the right of women to vote. But all three times, regressives yelled loudly and often that those involved were un-American. They knew that was not the case, but they were happy with the status quo, were bigots or both.

Mike V. on January 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    You do seem to have trouble moving past your talking point, and seem to have a case tunnel vision regarding postings here:

    Let’s start with Zinn:

    There are plenty items out here, but this is a good start.

    As for for this: “And the fact that what she wrote about Catcher in the Rye is so far from what the book is about speaks volumes. What fact are you referring to? How is her view of the novel diametrically opposed to the reality of what was in the book? Debbie’s view of Catcher in the Rye is not even unique, as shown earlier.

    sorrow01 on January 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Hey Mike V., do you think you are saying anything new here? In fact, as you claim to appreciate thinking, have you demonstrated any here?

    Consider your banal claim that you are not being anti-American. Sure you are. While particular criticisms of the US may mean nothing, constantly coming down against the US does does indicate anti-Americanism. While you are free to be unpatriotic, you are NOT free to call yourself a patriot when you are not by redefining what patriotism means.

    Let’s consider, for example, Manifest Destiny. Isn’t it true that some Indians had been killing other Indians well before any white people came to America? We do not even know who the original Indians killed off to take control over America. So, when some white Europeans came to America, they did nothing that the Indians had not done; they just had superior force. This story has played out throughout the world over all of recorded history. But you do not bother to consider such things, because your purpose is to attack the US, not to attack, say, France.

    Why don’t you learn something for once, and come back when you have anything interesting to say?

    skzion on January 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Funny how you don’t mention that both men were World War II heroes… I guess they volunteered to fight the Nazis because they hated America so much. It’s also funny how both of these alleged “anti-Semites” were Jews.

John Brown on January 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    How were they heroes? You might actually try reading the posts. Zinn fought in World War II as a pro-Soviet Marxist, and not as an American. He was fighting against fascism, as he would have said.

    sorrow01 on January 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Here is still another view of Howard Zinn: http://hnn.us/articles/58544.html

It is not from the National Review or Commentary, so you might want to unclog the relevent orifices and read witout fear.

sorrow01 on January 29, 2010 at 6:50 pm

I don’t have a problem reading a critique of his work.
My point was that her post was nothing but a knee jerk screed against someone that she sees as “anti-American”.
And so were everyone else’s comments.

Mike V. on January 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Kim Philby, Donald Duart Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and Joseph Stalin were all WWII Vets…many Nazis were at D-Day as well as Salinger.

eGREGie on January 29, 2010 at 7:25 pm

As long as we’re on the subject of revisionist history, let’s not forget the Coulter meme on how great McCarthy was or the once every January regressive spin that if King were alive today he’d be a republican.

Mike V. on January 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Mike V.

I am impressed that you read Ann C.; I didn’t get past the sexy the cover at the book store. I would say that if Martin L. were alive then he and Ralph N. would be neither Republican or Democrat. But not to stray from the string: H and J were definitely NOT Republican or Democrat; perhaps Redocratics in women clothing?

eGREGie on January 30, 2010 at 12:49 am

I wonder what God thinks about all of you rejoicing at someone else’s death and hoping they suffer for eternity in the afterlife.

Dan on January 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

Thank you thank you thank you Debbie for speaking the truth about these two steaming turds. Everyone is familiar with the ture nature of the America-hating rat Zinn but otherwise rational people like Larry70 and others feel the need to praise the similarly vile Salinger just becaue everyone else does. Salinger and his worthless book dont deserve as much scorn as the vicious Communist teachers who brainwashed generations of American elementary school students by requiring that they read this vile dreck.

Jesse Helmd think-alike on January 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Wow! I’m amazed at the number of trolls here “defending” Zinn, or at least outraged at your opinions about this Marxist revisionist. (And make no mistake…that’s EXACTLY what he was!)

Maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia for deflating one of their “heros” who shaped so much of their thinking when they were innocent, maliable, young whipper-snappers, eager to swallow, digest, and grow-up with so much of what passes for hip, “progressive”, and decidedly anti-American thought.

The damage, of course, is so thorough and widespread today, and the thinking (or what passes for “objective” thought) so engrained that NOW it is considered MAINSTREAM, or at the least, mainstream on the left.

And THAT is EXACTLY the problem with the amazing amount of damage wrought by Zinn’s revisionist and Marxist-lensed (i.e., EVERYTHING looked at through CLASS struggles) historical screed.

The lesson learned by comparing these two recently passed icons of the left is this:

If you want to inspire a generation of rebellious, self-absorbed, knuckleheads …write a novel!

If you want to inspire MULTIPLE generations of rebellious, America-hating, knuckleheads…write a revisionist historical account that leaves out HUGE swaths of important facts, twists multiple scenarios into unrecognizable “truths”, and generally blames much of the world’s ills on your country’s greed and unquenchable quest for conquest. Then get that book into schools and universities across the country, with the help of your “educational” foundation, and the participation of untold faculty and administrators…coming-of-age largely during the years of Vietnam and its protests of American “aggression”, and finally throw in a dash of Hollywood celebrity endorsements…and you have the recipe for what we see today.

Funny thing though. In all of Howard Zinn’s waxing poetic about Castro’s Cuba, Maoist-China, glamorizing the Sandinista’s of Nicaraugua or any other country where the “people’s” struggle WON the day….

He NEVER decided to LIVE there!

AMERICA was ALWAYS his only one-true home.

Hmmmm…I wonder why?

Well, actually, I KNOW why…too bad he didn’t.

Dave on January 30, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Author/Journalist/Historian Webster Tarpley, who could teach us a thing or 50 about globalism’s negative impact, wonders if Salinger included a satire of global elitist Bush 41 in his controversial book.


I had to read “Catcher…” in high school…HATED IT!

Bob Porrazzo on January 31, 2010 at 7:30 am

From Zinn’s “A Larger Consciousness” wherin he abused the opportunity to speak about Holocaust memorials at Boston University as an exercise in moral equivocation, while revealing the tactic of every good leftist:

“But around that core, whose integrity needs no enhancement, there has grown up an industry of memorialists who have labored to keep that memory alive for purposes of their own.”

Substitute Vietnam, race relations, presidential elections, the environment, gender (in)equality; whatever the trendy cause of the day, and you have the same old picking at scabs in an effort to elevate their status.

I came here to read Debbie’s take on Mr. Zinn, and am not disappointed. I like what Ron Radosh had to say:

“Zinn candidly said that history was not about “understanding the past,” but rather, about “changing the future.” That statement alone should have disqualified anyone from referring to him as a historian”

One less propagandist. The academic version of the ‘concern troll’.

I’m sorry for his family, but I am not sad he is no longer available to spew his particular poison.

RJanney on January 31, 2010 at 11:27 am

I forgot about Salinger. Sophomoric best describes Catcher. Classic, not so much.

RJanney on January 31, 2010 at 11:32 am

I have some strong disagreements with what Debbie wrote here, but I’m going to do the classy thing and wait until she dies to trash her.

VivaHST on February 1, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Here’s your ‘left wing radical’…

“J.D. Salinger was a regular at the $12 roast beef dinners at First Congregational Church in Hartland, Vt. He would arrive about an hour and a half early and pass the time by writing in a small, spiral-bound notebook, said Jeannie Frazer, a church member. Mr. Salinger usually dressed in corduroys and a sweater, she said, and would not speak. He sat at the head of the table, near where the pies were placed.”

V: Even lefties gotta eat . . . and dress for weather conditions. DS

Vivian on February 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm


Salinger was not some Godfather of the Counterculture. He wasn’t a character he wrote about anymore than Mark Twain was Huck Finn. ‘Catcher’ is about an immature young man who has to grow out of his attitudes and is in the process of doing so at the end of the narrative.

Read his other fiction. It was often overtly Christian and sympathetic to American servicemen and does not deal with the delinquency themes of CITR at all.

Vivian on February 1, 2010 at 2:50 pm

As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the reasons he stoppped publishing in the mid 1960s is because he was upset CITR was being appropriated by the Left at the time. He wanted nothing to do with them.

Vivian on February 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm

It would have been delightful if Chomsky had made it a trio…

Sonnyboy on February 2, 2010 at 11:11 pm

It’s people like you and ideas like your venomous rant that make me embarrassed to call myself American whenever I’m in foreign soil. Please, stop making us look like idiots.

Vick on February 3, 2010 at 4:06 am

You are truly a fascinating, although repugnant, character. It’s not enough for you to insult one of the greatest American writers (regardless of how you perceive the prose), but to imply that he did worse to America than the bombers of 9/11? How can any work of fiction, regardless of its aim, do true harm to a Western society: Western society is based on art. If it wasn’t for art, most of history wouldn’t have happened. But, oh wait, it’s anti-American. Well, if it has nothing true to say about humanity, or indeed America, then it can’t do much harm, can it?

Willow on February 3, 2010 at 5:01 am

Godd riddance to these two lefty ‘writers’!
Just another term for communist.
Real conservatives don’t need books. Reading is for fascists.
That’s why RONALD REAGAN was an Actor!

Chris on February 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

P.S. Doesn’t anybody find it fishy that these two WORLD WAR II veterans died with Obama in office?

And what did the theif in cheif have to say about that? Nothing?

Why does Maobama hate The Greatest Generation???

Chris on February 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm

It’s people like you, and your followers that make me want the end of America. You can spout this hate at people you’ve never known for things that can barely be counted consequential or malevolent. It makes me sad to know that people like you will live their lives in this ignorance and self righteousness. You can’t fix stupid, I suppose. I just hope you figure out the error of your ways too late, it’d be a fitting punishment for such filth like you.

extremist left-wing on February 5, 2010 at 2:06 am

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