Howard Zinn dismisses trivial in history moviesRoundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits
"Lawrence of Arabia" twisted the facts behind Europe's carving up the Middle East after WWII. Cate Blanchett was way too young to play 52-year-old Queen Elizabeth at the height of her power. "300" went over the top in making Persian king Xerxes 8-foot-tall.
The list of films that take liberty with historical fact is so long, in fact, most historians no longer bother pointing out their inaccuracies to a public more interested in entertainment.
Long-time history professor, political activist and playwright Howard Zinn knows all about that, but brushes it aside. Here's a historian, after all, who will take even Ken Burn's account of the U.S. Civil War to task for concentrating too much on the heroism of military generals instead of the common people who lived through the war.
"The greatest danger in films based on history isn't necessarily that you will be told something false, but that the emphasis will be on trivia," Zinn said from a hotel room in Santa Monica in advance of a trip to Utah. "To me, the most common distortion of history is done through emphasizing the least important facts of historical events."
Anyone who has read Zinn's best-selling history book, 1980's A People's History of the United States , could such a comment coming from miles away. At 86 years old, Zinn's legacy of chronicling accounts of the United States' working poor, dispossessed, oppressed and struggling stands, not just as an exercise in left-wing politics, but a noble and necessary act of unearthing untold narratives....
comments powered by Disqus
- Marine Corps investigating photo of iconic flag-raising on Iwo Jima
- Scholars Blast New Study Tracing Ashkenazi Jews to Khazars of Ancient Turkey
- Legendary Explorer’s Long-Lost Ship May Have Been Found Off Rhode Island
- More Doubts, Opposition To Sale Of Unique, Hartford Collection Of Political History
- How the Curse of Sykes-Picot Still Haunts the Middle East
- The Historian Whitewashing Ukraine’s Past
- Andrew Roberts wins $250,000 prize from the conservative Bradley Foundation
- Daniel Aaron, Critic and Historian Who Pioneered American Studies, Dies at 103
- Liz Covart's amazingly popular podcast helps her audience understand early American history
- Justus Rosenberg is still teaching at age 95