- Paperback: 752 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (March 13 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060528370
- ISBN-13: 978-0060528379
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 603 g
- Average Customer Review: 340 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,329,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Peoples Hist Of The U.s. Paperback – Mar 13 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
According to this classic of revisionist American history, narratives of national unity and progress are a smoke screen disguising the ceaseless conflict between elites and the masses whom they oppress and exploit. Historian Zinn sides with the latter group in chronicling Indians' struggle against Europeans, blacks' struggle against racism, women's struggle against patriarchy, and workers' struggle against capitalists. First published in 1980, the volume sums up decades of post-war scholarship into a definitive statement of leftist, multicultural, anti-imperialist historiography. This edition updates that project with new chapters on the Clinton and Bush presidencies, which deplore Clinton's pro-business agenda, celebrate the 1999 Seattle anti-globalization protests and apologize for previous editions' slighting of the struggles of Latinos and gays. Zinn's work is an vital corrective to triumphalist accounts, but his uncompromising radicalism shades, at times, into cynicism. Zinn views the Bill of Rights, universal suffrage, affirmative action and collective bargaining not as fundamental (albeit imperfect) extensions of freedom, but as tactical concessions by monied elites to defuse and contain more revolutionary impulses; voting, in fact, is but the most insidious of the "controls." It's too bad that Zinn dismisses two centuries of talk about "patriotism, democracy, national interest" as mere "slogans" and "pretense," because the history he recounts is in large part the effort of downtrodden people to claim these ideals for their own.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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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Some will inevitably quibble with Zinn's admittedly leftist perspective. But they won't be able to find much fault with his research. In fact, the book doesn't present any truly controversial information: there's nothing here that you can't easily verify. What's radical is the way the information is assembled. When you follow the story of the people - as opposed to that of a few rich, powerful and famous individuals - history takes on a very different aspect, and you never see the world quite the same way again.
I actually bought this particular edition as a gift for someone. This is a book that begs to be shared.
The rich are still using and abusing the poor and the so-called middle class and aboriginals all over the world.
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