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The People Speak: American Voices, Some Famous, Some Little Known Paperback – March 2, 2004


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The People Speak: American Voices, Some Famous, Some Little Known + The Ways of White Folks: Stories (Vintage Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (March 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060578262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060578268
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was a historian, playwright, and social activist. His many books include A People's History of the United States, which has sold more than two million copies.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Anybody interested in his or her well being has to read this.
Richard Sachs
It really is as if you are there listening to the original speaker and can't help but laugh, cheer, get angry, and sad.
M.A.
This book is a treasure trove of voices, "some famous, some little known."
Carioca56

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jane Rusch on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting book, the variety of people is wonderful and well thought out. It takes someone special to look at their own country and not shy away from painful parts of our history. The only way to move forward is to learn from the real past not the rosy schoolbook history that been sanitized.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M.A. on July 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I was struck by how much I like these performances. Most of the readers do such a good job dramatizing speeches, letters and experts. It really is as if you are there listening to the original speaker and can't help but laugh, cheer, get angry, and sad.

Amazon lists this as both abridged and unabridged. On the back of the disc says unabridged. But you must know that only excerpts are performed. So don't think that you are going to hear a dramatization of the entire "Grassroots" speech by Malcolm X.

Get the book "The People Speak" too for when you want to read along and listen at the same time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carioca56 on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
How could one not love a man such as the late Howard Zinn, who chose his words carefully, spoke smoothly and eloquently, and always, regardless of time or space, strove to make the world a better place?

In this book, which showcases great American activists such as Mother Jones, Malcolm X, and Hellen Keller, Zinn takes a backstage role, introducing each speaker, then letting them do the talking, always in the name of the oppressed, always questioning the motives of the oppressor.

In this book we learn that Helen Keller was not only a woman who overcame incredible odds to become a gifted communicator, but a staunch critic of war and imperial agendas. We learn from Samuel Clemens that Teddy Roosevelt was a war-monger (aren't they all?), firing off a letter of commendation to a military strategist after he slaughtered 600 mostly defenseless Philippine men, women and children. We are treated to great poetry from Chicana activist Maria Herrera Sobek, and the late, great black poet Langston Hughes. But the chapters devoted to John Brown, Frederick Douglass, and Eugene Debs really send a shiver up the spine.

Eugene Debs said: "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." He then added that he could "have been in congress long ago, but that (he) preferred to go to prison."

This book is a treasure trove of voices, "some famous, some little known."

Five stars. Check it out.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alex on June 8, 2008
Format: Audio Cassette
The Frederick Douglass speech read by James Earl Jones alone is worth the purchase. The People Speak is a great collection of speeches and words (read by others) of the men and woman throughout our history who fought for basic freedom and dignity. An inspired record of community and the power of remembering our past.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wesley A. Ornick on December 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The People Speak was a gift after seeing it in film. Any time a writer professes to the people their view in a soap-box style of speaking or getting attention has room for critics and different view points. This points the fundamentals and gets everyone in their face to consider what is going on around them they may seem to not notice they are not noticing...slavery, tax markets slashing etc and he tells you how it is breaking down borders and meanings to all walks of life...very good read...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nate on April 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
A short, quick, poignant read written by people from across the span of American history - though reads like something written yesterday. Are American's learning anything from our past?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jules J. Mermelstein on March 28, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The content and performances are excellent. Unfortunately, the index just gives names, and not the dates or incidents that these speeches or documents were created for. "Voices of a People's History of the US" has an index that gives all of that information.
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