1) Zinn and Foner offer differing portrayals of the Columbus story and of colonization/imperialism in general. Discuss these portrayals, keeping in mind that Foner might be a bit more difficult to deal with because it is presented in a bit more subtle (but no less biased) manner, while Zinn is not keeping any secrets regarding the motives and actions of Columbus, his men and other Europeans.
The questions that historians, and with the Columbus issue, cultural activists and critics, have been considering include the following:
2) Simplistically put, Columbus–Hero or Villain?
3) Should we talk about Columbus to our children? If so, at what age are they ready to hear about the things that Columbus’ men did? Will telling children about Columbus encourage children to loose faith in their country?
4) What sources are the textbook authors using? Pay special attention to Zinn’s sources; they give his history a certain credibility on this topic.
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