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A People's History of the United States by…

A People's History of the United States (original 1980; edition 1980)

by Howard Zinn

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11,341113357 (4.23)248
Title:A People's History of the United States
Authors:Howard Zinn
Info:Harpercollins (1980), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:history, america, society, socialism

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


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English (108)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (113)
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
This book was good but it wasn't eye-opening or super fantastic. Since it was printed in 1980, I suppose a lot of the ideas have trickled down into textbooks nowadays. What this book does is it follows the History of the United States in terms of the downtrodden and marginalized. For instance, what was the Civil War like for the Slaves? Since it takes questions and turns them around like that it must have been quite groundbreaking at the time. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Howard Zinn would likely have added 20 trump-despising volumes to update this incredible book.

Though I wish it had been at least one quarter shorter, it does not lack being comprehensive!

Other wishes:

1. that an updated version was a year-long required course for every U.S. high school student

2. that it didn't rank on the top ten list of the most depressing history books ever written

3. that it wasn't all so true...and didn't get worse ( )
  m.belljackson | May 15, 2019 |
This book should be read by everyone. I congratulate any educator who uses this tome. This is the history schools did not teach in my time. I am glad to hear many students these days are required to read it. From the beginning of European occupancy of this continent to relatively recently it explains how our culture and government have imposed on people. It reveals the abuse of power and wealth and the manipulation of the general public by the few so the abuse can continue. Anyone who truly wants the United States of America to be a good country needs to read this, even if they agree with some of the bias, prejudice, abuse, manipulation and/or systems the book uncovers and explains. ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
There are many books about the history of the United States, so why read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States? The simple answer is: the approach is different from what other histories do. The title already announces that it is a 'people's history', that is a history written from the perspective of the people rather than from the perspective of the nation or the government. In Zinn's own words:

"My viewpoint, in telling the history of the United States, is different: that we must not accept the memory of states as our own. Nations are not communities and never have been. The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners."

To my mind, this approach is refreshing and I would definitely recommend to read this history. Even if you are inclined to turn to more conservative works, I think the change of perspective is essential to a deeper and further understanding of United States history. This is supported by the often superb choice of quotations to support Zinn's telling of history. To quote an example (Zinn quotes Russell Conwell, founder of Temple University, in a chapter about Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan and contemporaries):

"I say you ought ot get rich, and it is your duty to get rich. ... The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community. Let me say here clearly ... ninety-eight out of a hundred of the rich men of America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money. ... I sympathize with the poor, but the number of poor who are to be sympathized with is very small. ... let us remember there is not a poor person in the United States who was not made poor by his own shortcomings."

4 stars for a very good history book. Definitely recommended. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Aug 23, 2018 |
I don't know that I'll ever be able to read this book cover-to-cover, but Howard Zinn's take on US history is enlightening (while exhaustive).
  justagirlwithabook | Jul 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (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
Arnove, AnthonyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cotton, FrédéricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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.
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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Seven Stories Press

2 editions of this book were published by Seven Stories Press.

Editions: 1609803515, 1609802810

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