- ASIN: B0032TLIWK
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2,124 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,338,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (P.S.) (Paperback) Paperback – 2005
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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
This is not the history I learned in school! I love it. Best history book I've purchased so farPublished 2 days ago by Nicole Harper
I like reading the truth about our history even if its hard to swallow people being that cruel then I look at people today and realize we haven't change muchPublished 3 days ago by Renne DuVall
A absolute must read. This puts perspective on the traditional story and why things are the way they are.Published 4 days ago by Robert72450
This is a "must read".
It will stimulate you to view history, politics and current events with a broader and more discerning eye.
Great book... All the details in history they don't tell you in school...Published 8 days ago by Warren D. Brown
It is not the easiest read, since there is a lot of historical language in it. It is however, very insightful and eye opening.Published 10 days ago by Parmens