The purpose of Zinn's work, Voices included, is to engage in an act of political dissidence and activism. "What is common to all of these voices," Zinn and co-editor Anthony Arnove write in the book's introduction, "is that they have mostly been shut out of the orthodox histories, the major media, the standard textbooks, the controlled culture ... to create a passive citizenry." With Voices, Zinn and Arnove seek to address that malaise, showing that the impossible--slaves rising up against their slave masters, for example--is not only possible, but has occurred repeatedly throughout the country's history. "Whenever injustices have been remedied, wars halted, women and blacks and Native Americans given their due," they write, "it has been because 'unimportant' people spoke up, organized, protested, and brought democracy alive." The common thread throughout Voices is this mandate, and each selection is preceded by a brief introduction by the authors, written from a far-left perspective. (As an example, one section is titled "The Carter-Reagan-Bush Consensus.")
Voices often works better as a reference book than a sit-down-to-read title. Its early chapters--on Columbus, slavery, the War of Independence, and the early women's movement--tend to be more engaging than later excerpts, largely because a contrary point of view to mainstream mythology has been so rarely heard. The modern sections have a haphazard, "greatest hits of the left" feeling, as the book jumps from an Abbie Hoffman speech to the lyrics of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power." The problem may be inherent in the format of the book. Everything is treated equally, and a speech by Danny Glover is given as much weight as an excerpt from W.E.B. DuBois's The Souls of Black Folk. For context and background, it's best to stick with the original People's History, but to hear the words right from the speakers' mouths, there's no better resource than Voices. --Jennifer Buckendorff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Voices really captures the voices as if they were speaking right to us over the years and all the differences.It calls on us to add our own voices and, quite apart from its value as a learning tool, that may be its greatest contribution.” Paul Buhle, Z Magazine
Voices of a People’s History of the United States should be required reading for every individual lucky enough to call America home.” Scott Thill, Salon.com
Highly recommend for history buffs especially!
His voice is consistently clear and honest, whether he is discussing the better-known champions of human progress or the unknown and forgotten.
I am a big fan of American history, and I can say I enjoyed this book as much as any one I have ever read on the subject.
Required text book in my American History Course; i got an "A" in the course; great book.Published 1 month ago by GEORGE ALAN
This book gives a lot of historical writings on the struggle and sufferings of the common man at the hands of rulers and aristocrats. Read morePublished 1 month ago by K. F. Pete
Much of what most school textbooks leave out of our American history!Published 1 month ago by Linda G. Fisher
The author is very excellent,of course, but he too transparent in his desire to impose his own views on what he is ultimately trying to do. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ron Phair
An unforgettable collection of primary sources that are often overlooked in American history classes. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kafwood
Truly an outstanding way to get a more complete understanding of American history. What better way to tell the stories of Americans than in their own words?Published 4 months ago by Andrew J Rowe
Definitely changes my view of American history, and puts the "history" I've been taught as the countries' myths. Powerful book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by jerome r goverman
This is a fascinating collection of writings that will lead to a more thorough and honest sense of US History!!! It should be in every American home!Published 7 months ago by Patricia Gray