Both sides do it.

The Atlantic has a post up today titled "Lies the Debunkers Told Me: How Bad History Books Win Us Over". Here's a sample:

Earlier this month, George Mason University's History News Network asked readers to vote for the least credible history book in print. The top pick was David Barton's right-wing reimagining of our third president, Jefferson's Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson. But just nine votes behind was the late Howard Zinn's left-wing epic, A People's History of the United States. Bad history, it turns out, transcends political divides.

If these books seem an unlikely pair, they also have a good deal in common. Both flatter their readers by promising to let them in on hidden truths of which most people, and most experts, are unaware. Both offer stark, simplistic accounts (buttressed, in Barton's case, by a litany of historical errors). And both undermine the notion that the past can be rationally interrogated, debated, and revised by people from opposite sides of the ideological spectrum.

While the post does make mention of the historical errors rampant in Barton's book, it fails to point anything actually wrong with Zinn's book, aside from the fact that it is partisan.

I read Zinn and liked it well enough, but I am by no means a historian. I can't speak to its veracity. I also don't tend to venerate the book to the degree that many people of my political persuasion do.

Still, I would expect that if they are going to argue for some equivalency in terms of historical mistakes—or lies, as the post's title claims—they might actually reference some of those lies. If you want to do a takedown of A People's History Of the United States, fine, but this post seems like a an exercise in balance for its own sake.

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