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A People's History of the United States Paperback – Aug 2 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (Aug. 2 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060838655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060838652
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States 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.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

About the Author

Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was a historian, playwright, and social activist. His many books include A People's History of the United States, which has sold more than two million copies.

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29 2003
Format: Paperback
Of course this book is not meant to be read as an all-encompassing version of American history. It is meant to be read as a sidenote to the conventional American history we are taught for so many years in school. Of course it's biased, but then again the history textbooks we read in school were biased. Those books were written with an unquestioned assumption that America as a country (which is defined by its leaders in the books) has always been correct (or at least well-meaning), and has always had liberty, freedom, and justice as our main inspiration. The Revolutionary War was the perfect battle between good and evil and everyone benefitted. Loyalists were humorously tarred and feathered (never killed). Atrocities like our meddling in the Phillipines is glossed over or ignored. I also always was amused by the fact that I was forced to take about 5 years of American history from 1st-12th grade, but we always ran out of time before we got to Vietnam, Watergate, and Iran Contra. I was 13 before I found out ON MY OWN that we lost the Vietnam War!
I'll gladly read "conventional" history, but I also believe this is essential reading to go along with it. That doesn't make me Anti-American, a leftist wacko, a self-hating Communist, or whatever it is you'd like to label me and dismiss me as. I just want the full story. I just want the truth. We should all strive for that, however much it may bruise our egos and damage our pride. Admit there's room for improvement America! Read this book! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Pacificar on April 23 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is useful for quick references to lesser-known, yet significant events in American history. For example, if one wants to know what the deal was between the US and Nicaragua or Grenada, one can take a quick look through chapter 21.
However, I write this review as a sort of sensible defense of the book. I think that it does not necessarily bash the United States. It does, as others have noted, point out our (we Americans) shameful moments when we did not live up to our own high-minded self-perceptions. As the preeminent national power in the world, it is essential that the US take stock of its entire history that we should not be so arrogant and irresponsible with our power. To dismiss this book as a polemic against the American way of life may fail to appreciate what this book has to offer. To dismiss it as a Leftist screed is to bury one's head in the sand and ignore that American democracy does not ensure a just social outcome. As no nation is perfect, as genocide has been carried out by nearly all nations at some time, so has the United States.
Contrary to some assertions, Zinn does not find that all white guys are bad. There are many references in the book to those men and women who have championed the cause of justice and brotherhood. They are as often white as American apple pie. The more useful point is that "white guys" are no more saints than others have been throughout recorded history. In fact, Zinn at one point is explicit about the score of humans sacrificed by the Aztecs (who consequently were not white). So to suggest that Zinn is saying that all Caucasians are bad is to assume but one narrow point of reference.
Like others, I find that Zinn has his bias.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Johny Johnson on July 24 2006
Format: Paperback
An absolutely jaw dropping account of our history. Rather than including blacks, natives, women, immigrants, workers and the poor's history in this book, I would say that Zinn basically excludes rich white men's history. The difference is beyond dumbfounding, its terrifying.

Indeed, this book is as scary in its implications as it is in its accounts of history. When 95% of books, television, and music come from exactly the people Zinn omits from this book, the phrase that comes to mind is "propaganda is to democracy - what violence is to totalitarianism."

A great book exposing the bias, propaganda, racism, oppression and murdurous nature inherent in our system.

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book when looking for the truth about America and it's history. There are many out there that claim that this book is a lot of nonesense. They do not want to look at reality.
This country was founded on blood, sweat and tears of amazing men and women. Men and Women who wanted to see their dreams live on, who wanted to be free from the tyranical rule of England. What they dreamed of, is not the reality of America. Our government is all about greed, arrogance and getting more. It does not care who it has to step on to get it. Not even it's own people. This book takes care to note that the America we were striving for did not come to fruition.
Jefferson, Adams, Washington all said when it comes to foreign policy stay out of it. We get right in the middle of it. We start wars with countries that just want us to leave them alone. We take money from our poor and give it to our rich. We let people become homeless and sick so that our American Corporations can make another buck by outsourcing our jobs. We do not take care of our old, our sick, and our poor. We think about me, me, me. How can I get more? How can I get better? Not how can I help out!
We ALL as a country need to come together and fix the wrongs that have been made. We need to say "No more!" No more to big business, No more to outsourcing, No more to cheap, expendable merchandize, No more to leaving our people in the street to starve and die! NO MORE!
If you think that this great country is great, you need to look again. Look at how a new world order is in the making. Look at how we're losing our middle class. Look at how we're losing our freedoms, our privacy, and our right to choose.
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