What I find most hilarious/disturbing about this attempt to remove from the Stafford County (Virginia) Advanced Placement US History reading list Howard Zinn’s much-loved A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is that the adult who wants the book removed got upset after seeing teenagers voluntarily reading this history book at the town’s public pool. Um…seriously?
Of course, the one actual teenager quoted loved the book. As have many of us loved it over the years — in all my years of asking other people how they became political, it’s certainly the single most-cited book — because it is a book, in Matt Damon’s words, that “will knock you on your ass.”
Which is more or less what I think needs to happen to some people in Stafford County.
UPDATED to add: If you want to stick it to the censors… then first of all, if you haven’t read Zinn’s book, you definitely should! If you have, you might consider reading the primary-source follow-up, VOICES OF A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, which was co-edited by Zinn and my friend Anthony Arnove. I think it’s a lot of fun to flip through (and even better if you happen to have the chance to see it performed live). I much enjoyed this recent speech by Zinn. Finally, Zinn is coming to Madison this May, so if you happen to live in my town, we can go see the man in the flesh.