City council members in Philadelphia have given the go-ahead to a resolution to allow a socialist historian’s view of America, via his “A People’s History of the United States,” to be part of the public high school curriculum.
The book, by Howard Zinn, looks at American history through the lens of the working people, and of women and minorities, and tracks the various social movements — including the advent of labor unions — that have shaped government reform and policy.
The resolution passed by the local governing body stipulates that the book “emphasizes” the role of these segments of society, “not simply the version retold by those powerful enough to ensure history remembers their actions in a positive light, regardless of the truth,” The Daily Caller reported.
The resolution still needs the approval of the superintendent and school board for the curriculum to be adopted.
The resolution also states: “Council does hereby recognize the need for students to be taught an unvarnished, honest version of U.S. history that empowers students to differentiate between moments that have truly made our country great versus those that established systemic inequality, privilege, and prejudice which continue to reinforce modern society’s most difficult issues.”
The book is controversial among conservative circles. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, for instance, spoke openly of his disdain for its content, arguing that the book did not belong in public school classrooms, The Daily Caller said. Mr. Daniels said of the book: “We must not falsely teach American history in our schools. Howard Zinn, by his own admission a biased writer, purposely falsified American history.”