HOWARD ZINN: 1492-1992—The Legacy of Columbus: CD

As the title suggests, this is a recording of distinguished historian Howard Zinn discussing Columbus, recorded in Madison, Wisconsin in 1991, on the eve of the 500th anniversary of his “finding” America. Less a recounting of Columbus’s life and exploits than a discussion of how and why he is contextualized within American history, Zinn examines how portions of that history have been omitted and overemphasized (the minimization of his subjugation and slaughter of native peoples and the highlighting of his nautical skills, for example) to produce a narrative that is more about protecting an unimpeachable image of the greatness of western civilization than about the man himself. Told with his usual aplomb and humor, backed by facts and figures that usually don’t make it into history books, Zinn sheds light into another of those dark corners that most Americans are either encouraged to ignore or not given easy access to in order to minimize the threat of too many questions being asked about who we are and how we got here.

 –jimmy (PM Press)