“Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, is one of this country’s most prominent historians.” Professor Eric Foner
The quote above is the first sentence on the homepage of Professor Eric Foner’s personal website. There is little doubt about who wrote this encomium, because footer of the homepage says “Copyright 2005 Eric Foner.”
Further down on the homepage the professor quotes another historian, who praises Foner in terms that would embarrass a more modest man. After praising Foner for his “voluminous scholarship,” Dr. Steven Hahn goes on to say that Foner “has had an enormous influence on how other historians, as well as a good cut of the general reading public, have come to think about American history.”
This statement is probably true, unfortunately. Dr Foner personifies everything that is wrong with academia in America, especially where history departments are concerned, and his influence is widely felt.
“To the Marxist paradigm that underlies this vision, I have no objection.” Eric Foner
College faculties tend to be very liberal – and very defensive about it. Any accusation of left wing bias makes the typical college professor fiercely indignant; and the most biased profs usually show the most indignation.
Campus Marxists have even been known to join together to form groups and publish papers to give an aura of academic legitimacy to their denunciations of their conservative critics. As far as their public image is concerned, university professors clearly want to be seen as moderate, mainstream Americans who can be trusted to give their students a well-rounded education.
When scholars write for other scholars, however, they are more candid.
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Vladimir Lenin
This is the third of three columns in which I rate various history textbooks according to the degree of leftwing bias they demonstrate. In Part I, I discuss the text books America’s Promise, The American Journey, and Nation of Nations In Part II I review American Destiny and Making a Nation. Today’s column is on the two worst offenders, number two and number one on the propaganda scale: Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty and Howard Zinn’s absurd A People’s History of the United States.
“A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” Mark Twain
This the second of a three part series on the most widely used college freshman history textbooks. The first installment looked at the political bias in the textbooks America’s Promise, The American Journey, and Nation of Nations; the three least biased of the seven textbooks reviewed. Today’s installment examines books #4 and #3, American Destiny and Making a Nation. The next column will critique the two most shamelessly biased propaganda vehicles: Eric Foner’s Give Me Liberty and Howard Zinn’s ridiculous anti-American screed A People’s History of the United States.
“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Abraham Lincoln
The purpose of this website, as regular readers know, is to point out the liberal bias that permeates college history faculties and the textbooks they write. To that end I study and footnote seven of the most widely used freshman history textbooks. Every other week I post a new column about the biased way in which most of these textbooks cover some important topic in American History.
After doing this for over a year I’ve begun to notice patterns in the various books. While all of them reflect a left-leaning world view, some are certainly more biased, and less accurate, than others. In today’s column I will rate the three textbooks that show the least flagrant bias, starting with the one that comes closest to offering an even-handed representation of American history. Future columns will address the other four.