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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
A History Book of USA that everyone should read, from the point of view of people rather than traditional historians.Published 1 month ago by Lynn Delsing
This was nothing but a bunch of letters other people wrote and compiled together. There is no verification, some of the letters the author says were written to, "an unknown... Read morePublished 4 months ago by craig chapman
I bought this book as a gift to my husband. He quoted almost every line to me, so I'm thinking he loved it!Published 4 months ago by Sheila M Thomas
Zinn has done an amazing job of researching, collecting, and pulling together the truth of events and the material and statements that give the proofPublished 5 months ago by Erik Matsen
Howard Zinn uses "voices" of others to remind us that a bankrupt democracy cannot hold up an example to the world, when the US has such "empty pockets!"Published 10 months ago by spruce tree
It's nice to read history without the political slant and hyperbole. I always knew WW2 was wrapped up when the U. Read morePublished 11 months ago by R. H. Bertram
I bought this book for my College U.S. History class. This book is a primary source that has many interesting and useful content for those who want to learn more about U.S. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Josh C