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A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present (original 1980; edition 1995)

by Howard Zinn

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8,91790337 (4.23)167
Member:tomtomorrow25
Title:A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present
Authors:Howard Zinn
Info:Perennial (1995), Paperback, 688 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:history

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

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Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
This is quite possibly one of the densest books I have read in a long time. It is incredibly liberal and anti-Establishment.

While I LOVE the idea of telling the story of group's whose voices are traditionally left out, I was disappointed in some of the voices that were left out still. Although he mentions them in the Afterword, he completely dismisses any fights for Latino/Hispanic rights, or anything on the rights of homosexuals. Instead, he focused a lot on African American, labor, and women's movements. And while those are valid stories worth being told, he says it is because he is not familiar with Latino/gay rights movements. This just brings one question to my mind: Isn't that the point of writing a book like this...to uncover the stories that are not covered traditionally?

But, that aside, this is a very thorough book. For the critics who say that he is bias, hell yes he is. But so is every author of any textbook that teachers give their students. It's time for a revision of our history books. It may not inspire patriotism, but it will spur thought. It is only a matter of what we want as a society, a people of unthinking, super patriotic people, or a society of those who question their government and think for themselves. (This is obviously NOT the desire of those in power...)

Anyone interested in knowing some of the alternate histories of the United States, this book is for you. However, I caution you to take the reading slowly. This is a nonfiction history book, and it is not a quick read. Somehow I managed it in 2 months--a feat I deem a miracle. Read this book a little at a time... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This is quite possibly one of the densest books I have read in a long time. It is incredibly liberal and anti-Establishment.

While I LOVE the idea of telling the story of group's whose voices are traditionally left out, I was disappointed in some of the voices that were left out still. Although he mentions them in the Afterword, he completely dismisses any fights for Latino/Hispanic rights, or anything on the rights of homosexuals. Instead, he focused a lot on African American, labor, and women's movements. And while those are valid stories worth being told, he says it is because he is not familiar with Latino/gay rights movements. This just brings one question to my mind: Isn't that the point of writing a book like this...to uncover the stories that are not covered traditionally?

But, that aside, this is a very thorough book. For the critics who say that he is bias, hell yes he is. But so is every author of any textbook that teachers give their students. It's time for a revision of our history books. It may not inspire patriotism, but it will spur thought. It is only a matter of what we want as a society, a people of unthinking, super patriotic people, or a society of those who question their government and think for themselves. (This is obviously NOT the desire of those in power...)

Anyone interested in knowing some of the alternate histories of the United States, this book is for you. However, I caution you to take the reading slowly. This is a nonfiction history book, and it is not a quick read. Somehow I managed it in 2 months--a feat I deem a miracle. Read this book a little at a time... ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This is a history book from the other side's point of view. The other side being Indians, blacks, women, the poor and the incarcerated. This is no flag waving Team USA history book. Zinn gives voice to the Americans who have traditionally been silenced by either corporations, the media or the government itself. Unflinching and not flattering, readers will surley look at their government much more skeptically. ( )
  queencersei | Jul 1, 2014 |
Like I said in other review one of the greatest, in my humble opinion. Added chapters make it an even more enjoyable read. ( )
  Zissou54 | Apr 22, 2014 |
One of my all time favorites. Read it for the first time in 9th grade and completely change my worldview and has led to me majoring in History and Sociology. Highly recommended to all! ( )
  Zissou54 | Apr 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (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.
 
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Dedication
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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