Howard Zinn's book, A People's History of the United States: 1492–Present, was published in 1980. It became the American history book of choice for progressives and social activists (and sold two million copies).
Fast-forward 23 years. In an interview with Robert Birnbaum, the author joked about the unlikelihood of conservative media mogul and Fox Television impresario Rupert Murdoch being a fan of his work.
But in a science-fictional turn of events, it turns out that someone at Fox Television was a fan. In an interview at Identity Theory.com, Zinn reveals that a network vice president once pitched A People’s History as a Fox documentary series.
Zinn was then contacted by an agent who brought Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in on the project as executive producers. Zinn recounts: “Of course, [Fox was] attracted by the names. Aside from this vice president, probably none of them knew the book. Anyway, Fox fooled around with it for a couple of years. Then dropped it. My theory is that finally Rupert Murdoch read the book [laughter] and they dropped the project. I doubt it. He probably hasn’t read a book for years.”