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A People's History Of The United States Paperback – Jul 21 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (July 21 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060838655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060838652
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 is a historian, playwright, and social activist. He was a shipyard worker and Air Force bombardier before he went to college under the GI Bill and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has taught at Spelman College and Boston University, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. He has received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award. He lives in Auburndale, Massachusetts.


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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

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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By Wyote on May 30 2003
Format: Hardcover
Even people who hate Howard Zinn admit that he's a good scholar. But many people hate him, for sure--and you have to remember that when you're reading some of these reviews. On the other hand, most of the reviewers seem to be communists themselves, and so their gushing reviews should surprise no one.
I recommend the book with some reservations. Agree or disagree, perspectives like Zinn's keep us from becoming ignorant victims of ideological propaganda.
I recommend it because it is a great, well-informed, honest and self-conscious dissenting opinion. Anyone who wants to consider themselves educated needs to consider dissenting opinions frequently. But I have reservations. Most importantly, Zinn's purpose is not to introduce someone to American history. He assumes his readers already know the basics. Of course, many people do not. It's not a history of the US; it's a series of contentious corrections to the history traditionally taught in American classrooms. (Why did the Colonies defeat the British? What caused the depression? Why did Nixon visit China? Unless you know this much, this book isn't yet for you.)
Some reviewers complained about Zinn's tone. Zinn is an average writer; better than many academics but worse than any good writer.
Other reviewers seemed to assume that either communists or far-right conservatives aren't "students of history." But of course some are. Zinn and Newt Gingrich are both well-informed scholars.
(If it matters to you, I am neither communist nor right-wing; I'm just not a political thinker. I'm American, and I think Americans--all of us--can be proud and thankful; but we should recognize that our government and politicians have never been perfect.
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Format: Paperback
A quick look at the reviews for this book will tell you just how difficult it is for a reader of Zinn's works to whistle and walk on. Either one ends up savagely dismissing him as a petty caviller, or extolling his brand of "eye opening" wisdom. I doubt I can add anything purposeful to this seemingly hot debate because I approached this book with a different intent altogether.
I wanted this page of history to answer some of my business questions. How America came from a nowhere nation of vagrant Arawak Indian tribes just a few centuries ago to being a commerical (ok, and imperial) superpower in our times. My interest was not to equip myself with geewhiz anti-US trivia (although I picked up a fair bit on the way, tra la) but to answer the atavistic question of what promoted capitalistic thinking, meritocracy, love of freedom etc in the United states more than the rest of the planet (assuming this is true in the first place).
And in that department, I have to say that this book left me startled. It might sound presumptuous but the quick answer is that there is nothing specific in the history or the anthropological station of US in this century and the last that may have accentuated its drive for capitalism. What's more, America was and is, just like any other country on the planet, subject to the exact same vagaries of civilization/humanity/bigotry/dogma that make and mar an empire every few centuries or so. I also recognize why this is very difficult for Americans to identify with or agree to, specially Americans who typify the inward looking solipsism of the current generation and perhaps the last 2 or so.
I recommend this book highly as a VIEW of historical events that are difficult to deny occured.
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