A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

A People's History of the United States

Library Journal calls Howard Zinn’s iconic A People's History of the United States “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those…whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories.” Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn’s award-winning classic continues to revolutionize the way American history is taught and remembered. Frequent appearances in popular media such as The Sop...


Details A People's History of the United States

TitleA People's History of the United States
ISBN9780060838652
Author
Release DateAug 2nd, 2005
PublisherHarper Perennial
LanguageEnglish
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Politics, North American Hi..., American History
Rating

Reviews A People's History of the United States

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2009-11-10
    Update: I took this out of the library to attempt a reread...no changes, wanted to be fair. Still don't care for it. As noted, no changes. Oh my goodness aren't we brave to tell (re-tell) American history this way? "You've been lied to and only I have the strength of character to tell you about it"Yeah, yeah, yeah I've heard it all before. In C.S. Lewis' Great Divorce there's a high churchman of the Church of England who's going on about how brav...
  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2016-09-01
    This is one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read. The late Howard Zinn takes off the filters with which American history is taught in schools and takes an unflinching look at how the US has not been the benevolent protector of democracy that propaganda would like us to believe. Not that the founding principles were wrong - they were ideal then and with some modifications re slavery and women's rights are still relevant today - but Ameri...
  • J.G. Keely
    2013-05-03
    Howard Zinn saw a problem in the world, a great bias in our understanding of history, a history written by the winners--by tyrants and industrial magnates and warmongers--and so he did something about it: he created an equally flawed and opposed bias, just as carefully constructed to prop up his own one-sided conclusion, in an act which always calls to my mind Bob Dylan's line: "In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand. At the mongrel dogs who teac...
  • Megan
    2007-06-12
    I finally finished this after slogging through it for two weeks, and it was definitely worth it. Besides being a good refresher in U.S. history, particularly from a non-nationalist perspective, I learned a lot about people's movements, and the ways that people (as opposed to 'the great men of history') have created change in our country.It's good to know that some of what Zinn covers in A People's History, even though unorthodox at the time he wr...
  • Billy
    2007-08-11
    DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! EVER! BURN IT! HOWARD ZINN SHOULD BE DRAWN AND QUARTERED IN A PUBLIC FORUM!!!Seriously though, when I describe my highschool sophomore year history class I generally use the following sentence, "The theme of sophomore year history was: White people - bad, the downtrodden - good." Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" was our textbook. I HATE THIS BOOK! His basic thesis is that America was built on the bloo...
  • Warwick
    2015-05-28
    In 1846, in Concord, Massachusetts, the writer Henry David Thoreau ran into a tax collector called Sam Staples, who asked for his poll tax. Thoreau declined to pay, refusing – he said – to contribute to what he regarded as the government's illegal war against Mexico. He was put in prison.When Emerson visited Thoreau in jail and asked, ‘What are you doing in there?’ it was reported that Thoreau replied, ‘What are you doing out there?’H...
  • Jeffrey
    2008-09-23
    Actually, if you're even somewhat familiar with American History (and I'm not talking about what you learned in your politically correct high school readers, even though in recent years more of the 'bad stuff' is leaking out to our high school students), there's nothing new here. So why are so many upset by Zinn? Most say they are bothered by Zinn's subjectivity (but who cares? after all, it's his book) and what some say is his "whining" tone. He...
  • Michael
    2010-12-28
    The ratings on this book tend to be polarized here on Goodreads, with lots of people giving it 5 or 4 stars, and quite a few giving it 1. This is because this book is upfront about where it stands politically: Howard Zinn runs with the notion that poor people tend to be exploited by rich ones. (GASP!) If you agree with this general human tendency, yet STILL believe we should teach the NERFed version of American History--where Columbus is a swell ...
  • Julie
    2017-03-12
    A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn is a 2005 Harper Perennial Modern Classics publication. I admit, up front, that this my first go at this book. I vaguely remember some controversy surrounding a history book that exposed the darker side of American History, and whether or not it belonged next to traditional history text in schools. However, this book came along after I graduated from high school, having been published in 19...
  • ``Laurie Henderson
    2017-12-30
    If only all of us could be as perfect as Howard Zinn! Then we'd be able to get up on our high horse and look down our nose at all the miserable humanity in the world that have achieved more than he has.
  • Alex
    2014-08-10
    A People's History's 750 pages can be boiled down to two statements:1) America sucks;2) The only way to change it is to organize.Both of these things are true, and Zinn makes his case with comprehensive thunder - so if you're new to all this, get ready to be adorable. The extermination of Native Americans; the genocide of slavery; the systematic fight against civil rights, socialist and labor movements; all the way up to the horrors of Vietnam, Z...
  • Roy Lotz
    2017-09-15
    In a country famous for its historical ignorance, Howard Zinn sold two million copies of a 700-page history book. In a country famous for its allergy to the left, Howard Zinn wrote a best-seller from a staunchly left-wing perspective. Every evaluation of his book must begin and end with this achievement. Whatever you like or dislike about Zinn, clearly he did something right.As you set out to judge this book, you must first decide whether it is a...
  • Jim
    2008-12-22
    As a reference or an additional information source, this isn't terrible (4 stars). It really does hit a lot of high points & some that other histories have left out. The writing is good. While dry, it is readable & conveys a lot of information. My copy is an old one that only goes through the Vietnam war. He has updated versions to 2003, I believe.It is NOT a balanced view of our history & is proposed reading for schools (minus 1 star). It should...
  • Emily
    2008-03-27
    People who don't approve of Zinn's equal opportunity perspective of history love to call him an America hater. I'm sure that George W. Bush would say that he's an enemy of freedom. But the thing that I love so much about Zinn and this book is his consistent ability to portray the United States (as defined by its history) as so much more than a static, monolitichly motivated country. Traditional approaches to history tell a student that our countr...
  • Andrew
    2008-01-20
    A well written, but severely flawed historical work.It reads more like sociology than history, with Zinn's concern for social groups and people's movements. Now, at a certain point, those areas with overlap, but for the most part he seems less concerned with getting to a historical truth than preaching a message. At that point, one has to wonder how he deals with contradictory evidence and conflicting opinions. Does he grapple with them and try t...
  • Mischenko
    2017-02-18
    I read this for my American History course in college. Really enjoyed it! 4****
  • John
    2007-09-29
    History as it's told in our high school history textbooks is history that focuses on American leaders, whether political, military, or business. Zinn argues convincingly that we need also to see history as it happened to "the people," and that this perspective is by no means synonymous with that of America's elites. In fact, the official line in America's history and politics has been that America is basically one big middle class. Certainly, Ame...
  • Brian
    2008-06-30
    Nobody likes to look in the mirror and see a big zit. Zinn makes us do so and a lot of people don't like that (it's not polite to point out zits). America has seen itself as perfect for a long time and we are taught that all the way from grade school through college (and every day on Fox News). People say Zinn blames America for everything. Honestly the bull shit has been so steeped the other way for so long, it forced his hand to go over the top...
  • Brian
    2007-10-09
    Why write a history of the United States when you know it is one-sided and basically propaganda? I understand his stated reasons for writing the book but I think the truth is better than "this is propaganda to fight mainstream history that I think is propaganda." Any one-sided historical accounts are not worth people's time and knowingly writing one is a waste of time. The truth remains obscured.
  • P.J. Sullivan
    2009-09-29
    History is about power, said Eugen Weber. This one is about the powerless majority, the humble members of society. The farmers, mechanics, laborers. The Native Americans dispossessed of their land. The slaves dispossessed of their liberty. The women and children, the rent payers, the downtrodden. This is the flip side of the elitist history you learned in school. It is not about kings or presidents, founding fathers or saviors or statesmen. It is...
  • Jake
    2011-02-17
    You can't review Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" without first declaring your own political bias, so here's a brief summary of mine:I grew up in a Communist-sympathizing household in Park Slope, that most liberal of all left-leaning Brooklyn neighborhoods. My father had a clear, if sometimes simplistic world-view: the rich were evil, and whatever side of an issue they were on, good people should be on the other side. Like ...
  • Ryan A
    2007-07-25
    "Zinn will blow your hair back." Thanks Matt Damon. This book was long, drawn out and boring. Do I really care to learn about every single union leader and strike in America? No, but most U.S. History Teachers think you do. Do yourself a favor, pick an interesting sentence in the introduction and write a paper about that. Save yourself a lot of trouble.
  • Stephen
    2010-03-18
    0.5 to 1.0 stars. The quintessential history book for American's who hate America. My biggest problem with this book is not its existence but that it is too often introduced to young people, not as an alternative viewpoint, but as a "primary" guide to American history. As someone who encourages free and open debate and believes America's greatest virtue is the ability of its people to criticize its leaders and speak freely about all issues, I thi...
  • Sam Sanford
    2007-12-05
    Do you think the U.S. government's domination by business interests and the wealthy is a relatively recent development? Think the founding fathers would be appalled by the current situation? Think Republicans are responsible for tax cuts for the rich? Think Democrats are the party of the working class? Think JFK was a pretty good guy? Think U.S. involvementin WWII was morally motivated?If you want to find out why you're wrong about all these thin...
  • Rachel
    2007-09-26
    This book taught me more about U.S. history than any class I ever took. I was never interested in history in school. Maybe I was just a budding socialist predisposed to reject the presidents-and-wars perspective. Maybe it was just boring. Zinn's history is more accurate to what was actually going on than the textbooks are, and much more interesting. Viewing U.S. history as a struggle to gain and keep power on the part of the very rich, I began to...
  • Krista
    2008-01-24
    This is a history book intended to tell the stories that don't get told. It isn't centered around typical heroes or presidents or nationalistic jingoism. It tries to tell the "people's history"Yeah, it's biased. Zinn admits as much.Yeah, it's negative. Zinn admits as much.And, yeah, if it's the only history you read, you come away with one viewpoint and, perhaps, a bit of bile in your mouth. But it shouldn't be the only history you read. It shoul...
  • Cedar
    2007-07-19
    One of the most poorly written pieces of propaganda I've ever had the misfortune to read. I'll give it this: it filled in a few blindspots in my knowledge of history. There were several major events that I could swear I never learned about in history classes. (Perhaps because my high school history teacher was also the football coach and gave extra credit on exams for guessing the point spread of the upcoming game, but that's another story.) Othe...
  • وائل المنعم
    2017-04-22
    كتاب ممتاز تناول التاريخ الأمريكي من وجهة نظر المهمشين - الهنود والسود والنساء والفقراء - ليعرض الكثير من المسكوت عنه أو على الأقل ما تم إهماله عمدا في العرض التقليدي للتاريخ الأمريكي الممجد.ملاحظات حول الكتاب:1. أجمل فقرة في الكتاب وأجمل أفكاره وا...
  • Larry Bassett
    2010-06-03
    An essential book for your home library for mind expansion and reference. I have added a lot of notes to this book to guide you from chapter to chapter in case you have particular areas of interest that you do not want to miss. I have owned a copy of this book a long time and have never read it from Cover to cover. I finally got a copy of the audible version and that helped me get through the entire book. If you are having that same problem I cur...