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A People's History of American Empire (American Empire Project) Paperback – April 1, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up–A study of empire-building by established politicians and big businesses from the 1890 Massacre at Wounded Knee through the current Iraq war. As nonfiction sequential art narrative, this stellar volume is compelling both as historical interpretation and you-are-there observation during many eras and in many climes. Konopacki melds realistic and energetic cartoons–Zinn lecturing in the present day, American and Vietnamese soldiers in the jungle, the Shah of Iran's White Revolution–with archival photos and document scraps to create a highly textured visual presentation. Each episode has its own period-specific narrator: Woody Guthrie sings about the Ludlow Massacre, a zoot suiter recounts the convergence of racial politics with popular music, and Zinn remembers his class-conscious boyhood through World War II soldiering and activism undertaken as a Civil Rights-era college professor. Politically charged, this book can't stand alone as a history text, but it is an essential component for contemporary American government education, as well as an easy work to suggest to both narrative nonfiction and sophisticated comics readers.–Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“At the heart of this wide-ranging comics indictment of American Empire are the terrific human stories of those who have resisted--including wonderful autobiographical episodes from author Howard Zinn's own courageous and inspiring life.” ―Joe Sacco, author of Safe Area Gorazde
“Ingenious in its conception and brilliant in execution, this comics version of Howard Zinn's classic history breathes new life into the stories of people who never thought their stories would be told. It is urgently necessary for our times: read this book and see how to raise your voice against all the forces that would drown you out. A modern activist's primer!” ―Ben Affleck
Top Customer Reviews
It's in this original sense of the word that A People's History of American Empire is propaganda. Using the medium of the comix or graphic novel, Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle get the word out about a side of U.S. history that almost never gets taught in public schools, and about which many Americans even today remain clueless. Their treatment is entertaining and accessible--which means that it has a potentially huge audience--but neither patronizing nor simplistic--the book contains an extensive bibliography, and references both graphics and narrative claims. It's ideal for folks who have neither the time nor inclination to read Zinn's bulky classic A People's History of the United States, from which much of the volume is mined.
The format is ingenious. Zinn (wonderfully drawn, by the way) is the up-close narrator of the book. He begins by expressing bewilderment that the U.S. response to 9/11 has followed the same old violent pattern that the U.S. (and, of course, not only the U.S.) has typically adopted when threatened. This response, Zinn argues, ultimately only makes matters worse because it does nothing to get to the root causes of unrest.Read more ›
This book takes Howard Zinn's arguments and presents them in a graphic adaptation that makes history come alive. There's real emotion in this book and it's a true page turner. During much of our own history we have been imperialistic and have taken advantage of the rest of the world to advance our own agendas, without regards to the suffering these actions have caused in many countries around the world. Let's turn back to compassion, collaboration and start promoting real sustainable development. In an election year this book should be convincing enough!
First, Mr. Zinn's tale presents a world of absolutes. There seems to be no room for grey morality in this history; historical figures are either upstanding and pure of heart or dastardly bigots hellbent on destruction and profit. The black and white morality is further exaggerated by the artist's deliberate emphasis on giving the hero figures martyred, compassionate expressions while the villains scowl, cackle maniacally and all but twirl their mustaches with evil gusto. This might be excused in a children's title, but for something clearly written for adolescents and adults it comes off as insulting, as if they felt readers would be unable to comprehend their message without knowing exactly who you should be rooting for on any given page. If we're already pandering, why not take it one step further and give the respective figures halos or devil horns to remove any and all doubts in our minds?
Second, while the book makes an excellent case in presenting its alternative viewpoints, it takes great pains to ensure that its views are the only ones on display.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not realise this book was in comic book form or I would not have ordered it. My bad.Published 2 months ago by michael miyasaki
Not what I expected, with the graphics; but, I admire Howard Zinn and the book is quite interesting.Published 4 months ago by Claudia
The story is incredible but true and the illustrations just fleshed out the story more so,Dr.Zinn in my opinion was and still is the greatest story teller of American history that... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael A. Fikes
Zinn is always an excellent read. And to be presented as a graphic novel is awesome.Published 9 months ago by kai
An amazing voyage through the truth behind the recent American dysfunction. Read and choose enlightenment.Published 13 months ago by Bard C.