The four critical duties as a writer described in Rebecca Howard’s “Writing Matters,” are your responsibility; to your readers, your topic, other writers, and to yourself. Howard Zinn achieved these task’s by first, defining his target view of history. Howard did not want to tell the story of Columbus, in the same tainted overview that is most known to the multitudes. He desired to gaze at it from all directions, and determine the accuracy behind Columbus’s story and how it should be perceived. Howard Zinn was a historian, who incidentally, had little knowledge of Columbus and his story. He plainly stated this from the beginning of his essay, explaining to the audience his credentials and intensions. Zinn collected his information from the diaries of the men who were truly there, to witness what took place. He made this known by quoting these witnesses, letting the reader know where he was obtaining his truths. He appears to see the duties of the historian and citizen as, “to widen the spectrum of ideas, to take in new books, new approaches, new information, and new views of history.” Once reading “Columbus and Western Civilization,” my view of Columbus hasn’t changed much because, honestly, growing up, I don’t remember much about Columbus and his journey. It is like I’m learning of his journey for the first time. From what I can remember, Columbus’ story was one of the first I had been educated in school. From kindergarten, all through middle school, I never understood his nature or his motives, nor did I care at the time. “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” This quotation is the only piece of info I can remember about Columbus from my previous education. As far as I am concerned, Columbus was that of a national icon. He was a Hero, master of the seas, without his bravery and determination, our universe as we know it would never have been imaginable. It is a safe bet that none of would be here today if not...
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