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Great Companion to A People's History
on February 22, 2007
This book of short essays frees Zinn from the strictures of conventional history writing. Of course, A People's History is anything but conventional in its approach, yet it stills follows a mostly chronological narrative of history. Here, Zinn's tone is much more engaging and personal. He talks about historical figures that inspire him--Eugene V. Debs and Phillip Berrigan, for example--and relates them to struggles going on today. He puts the Iraq War and the war on terror in context with other conflicts in our history, and he discusses his own war experiences in many of the essays. He also makes clear the role that the media and popular culture play in perpetuating myths of American exceptionalism and "good wars." Overall, though, one is inspired by Zinn's optimism and hope for the future, despite everything stacked against us. This is a brisk and compelling read. Zinn is a national treasure.