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A People's History of the United States: American Beginnings to Reconstruction (New Press People's History) Paperback – August 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1565847248 ISBN-10: 1565847245 Edition: Abridged teaching

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Product Details

  • Series: New Press People's History (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press; Abridged teaching edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565847245
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565847248
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Professor Zinn writes with an enthusiasm rarely encountered in the leaden prose of academic history, and his text is studded with telling quotations from labor leaders, war resisters, and fugitive slaves. There are vivid descriptions of events that are usually ignored ... A reversal of perspectives, a reshuffling of heroes and villains."
—Eric Foner, The New York Times Book Review

"[A] brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those who have been exploited politically and economically, and whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories."
Library Journal
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Renowned historian Howard Zinn was the author of numerous books, including A People’s History of the United States, the award-winning Declarations of Independence, and Failure to Quit, as well as the memoir You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train and the play Marx in Soho.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

TRUTH is the core of this book.
Gina Marie Thompson
It doesn't matter how boring you thought history was when you were in school, after reading Zinn's book you will see US history through different eyes.
David Chandler
Brand new, and it made the reading material all that much better.
Gaby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David Chandler on April 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
It doesn't matter how boring you thought history was when you were in school, after reading Zinn's book you will see US history through different eyes. This book looks at US history through the eyes of its victims: Indians, slaves, laborers, women, immigrants, soldiers, the labor movement, pacifists, etc. You don't understand this country today until you understand how we got here.
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58 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Gina Marie Thompson on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Zinn is focused on getting the historical information correct, and explaining why we learned it another way. He presents the side of history that is untold, but honest. TRUTH is the core of this book. It's getting it right and learning from our past so we don't make the same mistakes. Zinn does a great job at this. The section on different teaching techniques is also wonderful for those teachers who get tired of doing the same thing in their lessons. Teacher's must remember that there is more than just one learning style, and it's important not to sxclude those students who learn in different ways. I would recommend this book to any history teacher or anyone just interested in American history!
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Unlike the reader from Cal Berkeley, I am willing to give my name, Dan Krejci, my location, Boise, Idaho, and that as a graduate student in history I have found Howard Zinn's fabulous textbook a great asset to both my research and my pedagogy. This is the textbook that Todd Gitlin, Gary Nash, and myself have been looking for as a guiding light to a history curriculum that will embrace American multiculturalism and demystify the antiquated Bancroftian historiography that perpetuates old myths rather than deal with new realities. Zinn's history is a small step for humankind and a giant step away from Rankean orthodoxy. Zinn's book is a cry for a rejuvenation of our discipline where interdisciplinary studies are paralleling the pluralism that makes up American values and style and need to be addressed in both the classroom and the boardroom.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 1997
Format: Hardcover
According to James W. Loewen's, "Lies My Teacher Told Me," students consider history "the most irrelevant" of twenty-one subjects taught in high school. Whether you graduated last year or sixteen years ago, like myself, the history textbooks used today are just as boring as the ones we used in high school. Howard Zinn's, "A People's History Of The United States," enthusiatically replaces the orthodox form of teaching history (the rote memorization of names, dates, and places) by embracing the revisionist form of teaching history, which will inspire students to critically think and promote life-long learning, rather than bored to tears in-class sleepers.
Zinn's approach to history shows his readers that there is a connection between the past, the present, and the future. His revisionist approach takes on a more Einsteinian paradigm (that everything is relative) rather than the traditional Newtonian paradigm (how can a social science be a pure science?). This approach allows the students to analyze and develop the underlying relationships in historical events in an effort to help us and them solve future problems.
Students deserve to know the truth. They need to know the real reason why someone in their right mind would sail of the edge of the world-the spice surely was not nutmeg. They need to know how Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Vanderbilt became so rich and famous-their fortunes were built from the backs of cheap and exploited immigrant labor. In a nutshell, Zinn in his sometimes humorous and always vernacular way makes history interesting, and dare I say? FUN.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By G.S. on October 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Zinn's book is an essential antidote to the standard histories that glorify the elites and ignore the working people and all of the other folks who have been trampled on during our history. I highly recommend the abridged edition for use in classes -- it contains the same analysis with fewer supporting examples, and is thus easier for students to get through.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
It's history from the eyes of all others except the people who call the shots--those top 2% of the population. It is history as we should know it, to understand all of us, and to make real progress for changing our shadowy and often unjust past.
If we study history we will learn what mistakes not to make for the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am a long time fan of this book but, unfortunately, in this edition (97) the index does not match the abridged text. I was forced to order the 1995 version directly from the publisher for use in my class room.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joel A. Lewis on May 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Zinn's point with history that it is impossible not to have a bias and that he is very open and honest about his own bias. This line of argument is clearly laid out in the first few pages of his book. If people have a problem with teaching with bias you can always try my approach in the classroom. I have students take a political quiz and if they are conservative they have to read Zinn's A People's History. If they test as liberal they have to read Larry Schweikart's A Patriot's History of the United States. Each week I make each side have to debate and defend the ideas they have just read, even if they disagree. This approach allows students to be exposed to two extremes of "biased history" in order to understand the complexity of historic analysis that often reinforces their own personal values instead of challenging them. As a treat for thinking differently we switch texts halfway through the semester. Both Howard and Larry always thought this approach was pretty cool and my students (both conservative and liberal) love it as well!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was a historian, playwright, and activist. He wrote the classic 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" (Library Journal). The book, which has sold more than two million copies, has been featured on The Sopranos and Simpsons, and in the film Good Will Hunting. In 2009, History aired The People Speak, an acclaimed documentary co-directed by Zinn, based on A People's History and a companion volume, Voices of a People's History of the United States.

Zinn grew up in Brooklyn in a working-class, immigrant household. At 18 he became a shipyard worker and then flew bomber missions during World War II. These experiences helped shape his opposition to war and passion for history. After attending college under the GI Bill and earning a Ph.D. in history from Columbia, he taught at Spelman, where he became active in the civil rights movement. After being fired by Spelman for his support for student protesters, Zinn became a professor of Political Science at Boston University, were he taught until his retirement in 1988.

Zinn was the author of many books, including an autobiography, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, the play Marx in Soho, and Passionate Declarations. He received the Lannan Foundation Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Eugene V. Debs award for his writing and political activism.

Photographer Photo Credit Name: Robert Birnbaum.

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#31 in Books > History
#31 in Books > History

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A People's History of the United States: American Beginnings to Reconstruction (New Press People's History)
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