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
- In Trump’s America, is the Supreme Court still seen as legitimate?
- The Republican Plan to Repeal Obamacare for Everybody But Alaska Might Be Unconstitutional
- Parliament Square in London Is Closer to Having First Female Statue
- Battle Over Confederate Monuments Moves to the Cemeteries
- German WW1 U-boat found off Belgian coast
- Yale history department now emphasizing global history in undergraduate courses
- University of Utah appoints first Mormon Studies professor
- Eric Foner discusses the manipulation of history
- Male historian tapped to lead Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas
- Decline in History Majors Continues, Departments Respond