An Inclusive Litany

11/11/01

Letter to the editor, the Boston Globe, November 11, 2001:
According to William J. Bennett, the nation's leftward-leaning colleges and universities are "imprecating American history and our founding." In his eagerness to prove his accusations, he takes to task one of the nation's most eminent American historians, Eric Foner of Columbia University, for questioning the apocalyptic rhetoric of the White House.

Bennett errs even more greatly by castigating Foner and others for participating in a public debate over the recent tragic events and in impugning their patriotism. Need one remind him that there is nothing more American and democratic than free speech?

—Manisha Sinha
Associate Professor
University of Massachusetts
Amherst

You decide. Here is the quote that Bennett reproduced, the very first sentence of Eric Foner's essay in the London Review of Books, October 4, 2001:

I'm not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House.

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