- Publisher: by Howard Zinn (July 12, 2009)
- ASIN: B004HZ6XWS
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,142 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,781,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, this book has its faults, as many of the previous reviews point out. It is very left-leaning. It does sometimes omit factual points that do not support its line of argument. It does sometimes verge on equating the misdeeds of American leaders with the horrific malevolence of the leaders of totalitarian states. It does romanticize its heroes.
For all that, though, this book is an excellent introduction to U.S. history if read as a contrasting voice to more traditional narratives. It is a fine and vigorous antidote to the excessively reverent tone of many high school textbooks.Read more ›
I am a Republican, born again Christian and I had no problem with Zinn's views, simply because I am a realist. For years we were fed that nonsensical view of Christopher Columbus being a pious man coming to the Americas to bring salvation and religion to the indigenous people or simply just omitting the facts in American history studies that would show a very negative side of our founding fathers.
(THIS IS NOT UNPATRIOTIC)
I don't agree with everything Mr. Zinn has said in this book but it is refreshing to see history told more correctly so than in our public school system which are suppose to educate not indoctrinate.
To my dear republican brethren out there, do not feel that you have to put our fore fathers on a pedestal in order for you to feel patriotic and zealous for your country. The reason I can be a conservative Republican and still agree with a lot of what Zinn has to say is (1. I do not allow a party to think for me, I always keep an open mind, without an open mind we are no different then the followers of David Koresh and other cultic fanatics. (2. We have come a long way in this great country of ours and have much to be proud of regardless of your race or back ground. Let us not view things as liberal or right wing, just be open minded and sift through the facts in different history books and find the truth somewhere in the middle.
I recommend this book. 4 out of 5 stars (-1 star for the indoctrinating tone)
While it is made up of facts, things that are verifiable or at least reliably accepted as being what really happened, our understanding of history rests on a certain assumption that doesn't always hold up - that what we are reading or hearing is The Truth. It's how we learn about history when we're kids - that this happened and that happened, and that's all we really need to know.
The problem, however, is that what we got in our history books wasn't the entire story. Oh, it was true, for a given value of "true," but the historian who wrote the book did so with a specific narrative in mind, one that fit his or her perception of the past and which - more importantly - would sell textbooks to hundreds of schools across the country. The history that we get from those books is designed to appeal to the sensibilities of a populace that is already inclined to think well of its nation, and rarely deviates from the theme. While they do try to note the excesses, injustices and impropriety of the past, they tend to bury it in the glorious achievements of governments and industry.
Unfortunately, doing so means that there's a lot of history that gets left on the cutting room floor. Incidents, people, whole populations get brushed aside because either there's not enough room for them or because telling their story in detail ruins the mood that the historian is trying to set - usually one of bright optimism for a good and just nation.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, either. An historian cannot practically include all of the historical viewpoints, good and bad, into a book meant to be used for only 180 days out of the year.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Made you think differently. Was the glue that put what I know about history together and make more sense. For those who want to know the rest of the story, this book does it. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
The book should be called rich white men are evil. I love history and understand our brutal history, but after about 2 chapters this book's slanted view of history was... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
There is no one like Howard Zin for telling it like it...was. A must read for any realist living today.Published 5 days ago by pattipie
While Zinn makes for a fascinating read, and possesses an uncanny ability to appeal to the masses, his account of history is stained by an overtly communist bias. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
I'd say this is my favorite book and have recommended it to many friends, coworkers and strangers.Published 8 days ago by Julien
I really like this book. Some of it is a bit hard to take if you've never heard it before.
All the stuff that we don't like to talk about much when it comes to our... Read more
Unlike most history books this one is very honest. A very eye opening read from those that were actually there. I really, really enjoyed it.Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book which gives a unique perspective to US History. I taught AP US History for over 10 years and used passages from this text to create lively classroom discussions and... Read morePublished 14 days ago by BYB