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A People's History Of The United States [Paperback]

Howard Zinn
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 21 2005 Modern Classics
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.

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A People's History Of The United States + A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium
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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

Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Hurts July 24 2006
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 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No middle ground with this book.... June 17 2004
By A Customer
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more honest history Sept. 10 2009
I had always had my doubts that some of the history, as it appeared in the educational text books, was not quite as written. The U.S. is not the only country that records history in a way to always make themselves look better. The author has done an incredible job in getting past all the phony stuff to get to the heart of the matter. This book should be required reading for all Americans, for Mr. Zinn has outlined the history of the U.S., with the coming of the white men, and how that affected the native population and the Mexican nation. The book clearly shows that the U.S. committed many acts of aggression out of greed, and that, to this day, these acts of greed continue, and that young men and women (soldiers) died, and are dying still, for the rich and powerful, rather than for an idealogy. I do not believe that Mr. Zinn wrote this book to present a leftist view. I believe that he wanted to present the true history of the U.S. rather than the super clean image presented by historians writing on behalf of the U.S. Government.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Minority History Jan. 13 2004
By A Customer
This is a highly useful book that is easy to revile if one feels threatened by minority points of view or if one takes offense at criticism of American values or behaviors. But it's doesn't purport to be a balanced account of American history; it's history filtered through the experiences of those marginalized and brutalized in the American experiment -- our "lab animals," so to speak. Is it any wonder that not a little resentment is present in such voices?
The assertion that Zinn and those he focuses on hate the US and its brand of capitalism is a simpleminded overgeneralization at best. Zinn well understands that many of us do benefit from our system, but he wants us to look into the eyes of those who have not benefitted, whose experience the right wing wants to expunge from history books. Yet it behooves the complacent and conservative majority of Americans to listen to the minorities in our midst. Anything that increases our desire to work for justice and fairness is valuable.
This is an insightful, intensively researched book that offers all of us a crucial opportunity to question our assumptions. Yes, America-bashers will find plenty of ammunition here, but if your object is to understand the fault lines running through the American fabric, to learn from history, to avoid repreating errors, and to improve the country your love, this is the book for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the Record Straight June 15 2003
This is a very powerful book that will make you look at American history and society in a different way. It should be made mandatory reading in every college-level history classroom to give equal time and a voice to the people who have been oppressed and silenced throughout our history.
Zinn argues persuasively that our history has always been written through rose-colored glasses. Most history textbooks are nothing but a collection of rationalizations meant to justify the brutal deeds and endless greed of a handful of extremely wealthy families, an "American Aristocracy," who have always bought influence within our government to establish laws and policies that to protect their wealth and business interests while giving them a blank check to exploit the poor and the middle class.
I noticed that many other reviewers here have labeled Zinn as a communists. I think that's a little mis-leading. Yes, Zinn views history through a bastardized Marxist's prism. He shows time and time again that American history has been nothing but a class struggle between to "haves" and the "have nots." I would label Zinn as more of socialists than communists. He argues passionately for equality for all rather than special priviledges for a few.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What an excellent history of all things truthful for a country built on myth and disinformation.
Published 1 month ago by Mike Noonan
5.0 out of 5 stars History not taught in schools.
This book narrows the human condition expressed in the book, Peoples History of the World, to the history of the People of The United States. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ROBERT F WATSON
5.0 out of 5 stars A Peoples History
A honest account of history by a wonderful man. Highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the true origins of the american empire.
Published 18 months ago by david skripac
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge that is good to know
There are a lot of things that we do not know about America. Does this book make me dislike the country that I grew up in? Absolutely not! Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2010 by H. David Palmer
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Biased and Unbalanced Account of History
This is among the worse history book I have ever read on the History of the United States.Just pinpointed the cruelty of White People inflicting on natives and color people like... Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2007 by LANG NUNG LARRY MAN
4.0 out of 5 stars Biased, yet enjoyable.
Like several fellow reviewers, this text was assigned to me for a university American history class. Read more
Published on May 19 2007 by Andrew Dagley
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Hate America Rant
I have read the book and have seen Mr. Zinn on C-Span and have come to the conclusion that this is another Chomskey liberal gasbag that blames America for much of what is wrong in... Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2007 by Mike K.
1.0 out of 5 stars a review
Although the rest of my AP US history class hates this book, i find that this book is a more appealing way to research "what really happened" and not a bunch of lies that... Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by Meric
1.0 out of 5 stars A disgraceful attempt at history
If you have exclusively recieved the politically correct, sanitized version of history taught to all young Americans in school, and want a slightly more contentious version... Read more
Published on April 28 2004 by B. Byars
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