A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present
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, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles -- the fights 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 President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.Revised, updated, and featuring a new afterword by the author, this special twentieth anniversary edition continues Zinn's important contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.
Umm... yeah, about those 400 years of oppression....
By Chris Gladis "Chris" - January 1, 2011
History is, in its way, a fiction.
While it is made up of facts, things that are verifiable or at least reliably accepted as being what really happened, our understanding of history rests on a certain assumption that doesn't always hold up - that what we are reading or hearing is The Truth. It's how we learn about history when we're kids - that this happened and that happened, and that's all we really need to know.
The problem, however, is that what we got in our history books wasn't the entire story. Oh, it was true, for a given value of "true," but the historian who wrote the book did so with a specific narrative in mind, one that fit his or her perception of the past and which - more importantly - would sell textbooks to hundreds of schools across the country. The history that we get from those books is designed to appeal to the sensibilities of a populace that is already inclined to think well of its nation, and rarely deviates from the theme. While they do... read more
Beyond the Usual Left/Right bifurcation
By Bezdomny "Bezdomny" - February 13, 2010
When thinking about Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States, I am reminded of E.H. Carr's seminal work "What is History?" whereby he stated: "The belief in a hard core of historical facts existing objectively and independently of the interpretation of the historian is a preposterous fallacy, but one which it is very hard to eradicate". As Carr famously stated, millions of people had crossed the Rubicon, but only Julius Caesar's crossing in 49 BC has been given normative value by historians. For those familiar with the philosophical treatment of historical understanding in Tolstoy's War and Peace, this sentiment will ring true. A People's History is designed to give voice to those millions who passed the rubicon but never found their way into the annuals of history.
A couple of points. This book was intended to be a supplement as opposed to a strictly chronological account of history that will give you the bullet points for the most important people, dates... read more
Honest about the ugly parts of America too---True Patriotism
By Kasele Myers - May 29, 2012
It is important to see the truth. If you want to know the truth more than you want to be comfortable-then this book is for you. If you want to pretend there is no pain in our past-then this book is not for you. If you want to pretend people were not incredibly cruel to one another-this book is not for you. Zinn is relentless with examples of what the times were like (with perspectives of the oppressed and the oppressor).
This was one of the first books that makes a clear distinction between the perspective of the poor whites and wealthy whites. The white perspective is usually from those in power.
It helps one make the connection between the image we were fed in school about the founding of America and the reality of life here. There was always a sense that what we were taught in school was a small slice of the truth. Zinn fills in more of the pie. The beginnings of America were not pretty. Most people really struggled. Many horrible acts were committed... read more
The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners ...