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A People's History of the United States by…
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A People's History of the United States (1980)

by Howard Zinn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
Wow! What a depressing and enlightening book! I guess I've always suspected it, but it is pretty devastating to realize that our history is one of continual violence against "the people", that is the 99%, starting with Christopher Columbus' discovery of America. And even worse is the evidence that the government has never (and I mean never) done anything or given anything to benefit those not of the 1%, except under duress.

It's disheartening, too, that our new president will, no doubt, continue the shameless road we have been on for so long, without even the semblance of acting 'for the people'. ( )
1 vote Marse | Jan 17, 2017 |
This is a powerful "alternate" history of the United States that I've long intended to read but only just got around to (I get intimidated by thick books so I went for the audiobook). Zinn presents many of the familiar stories of American history, but from the point of view of those who don't often get into the history books - Native Americans, blacks, women, and other marginalized groups. Wars are stories not of patriotism and national unity but of an average rank and file often at odds with the leadership and demonstrating this through desertion and revolt. Wars in general have seen much protest, from the Revolution where the goals of the leaders were quite different from the common agitators to the mass opposition to the War in Vietnam. From the earliest days of the American colonies there is also a divide between the elites who hold the wealth and power and the common people that comes out in many class and labor conflicts. Zinn discusses unheralded unity - such as blacks and poor whites working together for progressive farmers' movements in the South - as well as divisions within the many movements for Civil Rights and equality.
At times the attitude of the author is too far left-wing for even me to handle, but largely I find this book an instructive look at American history that informs a lot of where we are today. This book is so full of detail that it's worth reading again, and the many works Zinn cites could make for a lifetime of additional reading. ( )
1 vote Othemts | Jun 28, 2016 |
on hold... or rather, I'm considering it a book I'm studying rather than one I'm reading.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
In the first part of the book, I heard things that just didn't make sense and it got worse as the book went on. The author uses opinions of others to back up his opinions and presents them as facts. There is a lot of hyperbole and a feeling that historically all actions were bad and all inactions were bad and so I was left with the damned if you do, damned if you don't feeling. In the end Zinn sums up saying that the book is written for the 99% of the population that isn't part of the government. Well, let me tell you, Mr Zinn, I am not a part of the 1% nor am I willing to allow you to count me to as part of your 99% that you conclude as wanting ultimately a socialist society. I know there are many wrong facts in text books, but you can't back alternate facts with single eyewitness statements or the opinions of Noam Chomsky. Sadly, I became so skeptical of certain assertions in this book that I cannot take away anything from this book without researching them on my own. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
In the first part of the book, I heard things that just didn't make sense and it got worse as the book went on. The author uses opinions of others to back up his opinions and presents them as facts. There is a lot of hyperbole and a feeling that historically all actions were bad and all inactions were bad and so I was left with the damned if you do, damned if you don't feeling. In the end Zinn sums up saying that the book is written for the 99% of the population that isn't part of the government. Well, let me tell you, Mr Zinn, I am not a part of the 1% nor am I willing to allow you to count me to as part of your 99% that you conclude as wanting ultimately a socialist society. I know there are many wrong facts in text books, but you can't back alternate facts with single eyewitness statements or the opinions of Noam Chomsky. Sadly, I became so skeptical of certain assertions in this book that I cannot take away anything from this book without researching them on my own. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
Covering the period from 1492 practically to the present, this illuminating opus overturns many conventional notions, not just about America's treatment of blacks, but about Native Americans, women, and other disenfranchised groups whose perspectives have traditionally been left out of the education equation.
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Howard Zinnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stubel, ToniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Noah, Georgia, Serena, Naushon, Will-and their generation
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Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island's beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat.
Quotations
While some multimillionaires started in poverty, most did not. A study of the origins of 303 textile, railroad and steel executives of the 1870s showed that 90 percent came from middle- or upper-class families. The Horatio Alger stories of "rags to riches" were true for a few men, but mostly a myth, and a useful myth for control. — chapter 11
One percent of the nation owns a third of the wealth. The rest of the wealth is distributed in such a way as to turn those in the 99 percent against one another: small property owners against the propertyless, black against white, native-born against foreign-born, intellectuals and professionals against the uneducated and the unskilled. These groups have resented one another and warred against one another with such vehemence and violence as to obscure their common position as sharers of leftovers in a very wealthy country. — chapter 24
Capitalism has always been a failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle classes. — chapter 24
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Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools–with its emphasis on great men in high places–to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of–and in the words of–America's women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles–for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality–were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through the 2000 Election and the "war on terrorism," ,A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981 and has sold more than one million copies, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.

This new edition contains two new chapters covering the Clinton presidency, the 2000 Election, and the "war on terrorism," continuing Zinn's important contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

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Presents the history of the United States from the point of view of those who were exploited in the name of American progress.

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