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A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (P.S.)
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Product Description

Consistently lauded for its lively, readable prose, this revised and updated edition of A People's History of the United States turns traditional textbook history on its head. Howard Zinn infuses the often-submerged voices of blacks, women, American Indians, war resisters, and poor laborers of all nationalities into this thorough narrative that spans American history from Christopher Columbus's arrival to an afterword on the Clinton presidency.

Addressing his trademark reversals of perspective, Zinn--a teacher, historian, and social activist for more than 20 years--explains, "My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)--that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth."

If your last experience of American history was brought to you by junior high school textbooks--or even if you're a specialist--get ready for the other side of stories you may not even have heard. With its vivid descriptions of rarely noted events, A People's History of the United States is required reading for anyone who wants to take a fresh look at the rich, rocky history of America.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of -- and in the words of -- America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Customer Reviews:

  • This should be required reading in our schools
    Our country will never be able to live up to the lofty ideals of our founding documents unless we come to grips with the truth of how we got where we are. This book tells the truth about how the people on top have butchered and suppressed others in order to STAY on top. The first 10 pages are absolutely shocking - WHY do we celebrate Columbus Day?
    Every American school student should be required to read this, if only to counterbalance the glorious, whitewashed history that is in our textbooks....more info
  • Everyone should read this book.
    This book is simply one of the best books I have ever read. Zinn and the people tell it like is. We never learned this in History class. From Columbus to the Revolution, slavery, the Civil War, the Robber Barons, labor unions, the World Wars, Viet Nam and the 2000 election, the people speak. America building its empire while keeping the poor and minorities down and giving a little something to the middle class to keep them moderately satisfied so as not to revolt and keeping the labor strikes to a minimum. The struggle of women, blacks, migrants and the middle class is covered. The People speak in this book. You have never read anything like this. Howard Zinn has fought for the down troddin for half a century.
    It's just wonderful. I highly reccomend Howard Zinn's documentary "You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train, 1994."...more info
  • Absolutely the BEST
    The one history of the United States absolutely every person who cares about this country should read. Mandatory....more info
  • A Real Treasure
    This book should be used in all history classes in the world. A book to read and keep in the library....more info
  • Fact in search of an author.
    The sad part is the ideas Zinn is so passionate about deserve to be expressed well and read by an even larger audience than he currently enjoys.

    Had Zinn hooked up with a good writer this may well have been a good book. As it stands I can't help feel I am browsing wily nilly through stacks of index cards filled with quotes, facts, and observations from original and secondary sources pertaining to a particular view of U.S. history.

    Now all someone has to do is organize all these cards into a book with, if we are lucky, a compelling narrative flow. That is a separate art from the collection of the index cards, something Zinn is very good at.

    Currently the material is mind numbingly unorganized, repetitive, and verbose, which is a shame. Zinn's view of the primary forces that have shaped, and continue to shape our country deserve a better showing. ...more info
  • History falls somwhere in the middle, and this is an important side of it
    Everyone needs to take Zinn's magnum opus here for what it is --> It's no more fact or propaganda than what we were fed in elementary school.

    The only fact we know about the past is that you can't trust any account of it. To borrow the setting of Plato's cave....all we see of history are shadows of the past on a wall, and each version is projected through a different lens and light source. It's safe to say that nothing we see of it accurately reflect the's impossible. There is no factual reality for things we weren't alive for - hell even things we are alive for are questionable (Bush won the election in 2000 and Clinton didn't inhale).

    So, what we learned in school was as much fact as fiction and as much indoctrination as learning. The same can be said of this book.

    The truth falls somewhere in the middle, and that's what makes this book so important. That's what makes it as great a book as it is.

    I don't care if you have a man crush on Hannity or spend your spare time protesting at WTO should read this book if you are a student of history....more info
  • A People's History of the United States
    This is a book that everyone should read & should be a requirement in all schools. ...more info
  • A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present
    This book provides the history that we never learned in school. It is well written and enjoyable to read....more info
  • So Many Hidden Facts!!!
    I was amazed when I read this book! There's so much information to digest and a fresh new perspective on history is FINALLY given to the reader! Anyone interested in the history of this country should DEFINITELY read this book!...more info
  • No sugar coated, political correctness here!
    Well written, intensely compelling, and mind expanding. This book should be a mandatory read for every high school student in the country. Throw away The American Pageant, and hand out Zinn's book instead....more info
  • Peoples History of the United States
    Amazing book. I am 63 years old and wish I'd been interested in american history sooner. I spent most of my life blindly believing the history of school textbooks. Howard Zinn blows the lid off of most of what I had accepted as gospel. This book certainly opened my eyes to what went on behind the scenes. We may not be bad people, but we've sure had some very bad leaders over the years, who made some very selfish decisions without regard to the long term effects of their actions. Three cheers for Howard Zinn....more info
  • A complete waste of time Unless your an imbecile
    Of course in the history of our American history it is inevitable that HOTUSA would be published. Zinn didn't create anything revolutionary. Literature provides hardly the first step towards revolution. But atmospherically journeying through HOTUSA the reader clearly gets an awakening. The book overall is completely useless. If you want to go do something deny the false democracy we live in and launch a discourse against the institutions (like our useless education system and government) that control, manipulate and dominate the minds of supposedly "free" individuals. ...more info
  • Wow!
    Wow! Just superb. It gave me the real, true perspective of the US. It was an eye opener for me. One of my top 3 reads of all time.

    Thank you!...more info
  • Outstanding introductory test on American history
    As a former university instructor and lover of American history, I believe that The History Of The American People is without equal as an introduction to American history, either as a class text or simply as a great read for asnyone who wants to know the real history of our country.

    It is meticulously documented but it is also extremely well written and truly a joy to read.

    The only criticism I would make is that the section on world war two, while certainly accurate as far as it goes, could have been strenghtened by including some of the material referenced by A.J.P. Tayor (Origins of the Second World War). Also today we have an emerging body of historical material about the true origins of the second world war from the right (Patrick Buchanan's The Unnecessary War, and the left, Thomas Flemmings The New Dealers War, and others. ...more info
  • passing it on

    i bought this book for my grandson, not only to help him learn american history, but to try to refresh an appreciation for books and the wonders that recide inside their pages. i am confident that this was accomplished and am quite happy....more info
  • a much-needed supplement
    I wish I had had access to this book decades ago. I am 58 now. I just finished reading it this evening. I had my impression of American history based on inoffensive and boring texts in high school; books that basically suggested Americans were the good guys at all times and in all places. That naivete nearly got me killed. If I had had some real sense of perspective on how and why America went to war I might not have joined the Marines during the Vietnam era. I really believed then that if Our Government took military action then it must have a darn good reason. I was just young, poor, and blindly ignorant, but with a genuine desire to do the right thing. I was just lucky that I was never sent to Vietnam. Most of my fellow Marines were and many did not return. It took me many years of reading, newscasts, and reflection to finally realize that My Government not infreqently engages in outright criminal behavior followed by lies and deceit at its highest levels to cover up the crimes. Reading Dr. Zinn's book just clarified and organized the picture more completely. It's an extremely valuable supplement to mainstream histories; one every student should be encouraged to read. Here is where the word "education" takes on a profound meaning. Zinn's book serves to "educate" us in a true sense by showing us an alternative way to think about our culture and its effect on the world. Whenever someone can stimulate you to think more clearly about things that are important--that's education. Anyone who reads this book carefully and reflects on its contents is far less likely to be "had" by a politician or a political party. And it provides hope; there actually were very large and successful strikes, social movements and mass resistance to government policies in our history. Until I read Dr. Zinn's book I hadn't really known that; in fact, there were a great many significant events that I had never heard about....more info
  • Broad, yet compelling
    Howard Zinn seeks to explain all of United States history through a Marxist perspective in which the ruling classes dominate the proletariat. If this doesn't sound interesting to you, I would recommend buying another book.

    I believe Zinn's analysis does have something important to offer a student of American history. He explores little known and frequently disregarded aspects of the American experience.

    The only criticism I have of this work is that, since it covers more than half a millenia of history in one volume, it can be a little overwhelming. Perhaps a less ambitious focus, say of a hundred years, could offer more in depth coverage of the events and personalities involved. By necessity, Zinn works rather quickly in such an ambitious work that seeks to desribe all of American history in only 682 pages....more info
  • Dissent is good for Democracy and History
    Good to have as many views of US History as possible, final decisions of what one believes should be decided by YOU the reader....more info
  • History of the U.S. book
    A must for high school, jr. high/middle school students who want a good, solid summary understanding of U.S. history!...more info
  • real history isn't pretty
    People in America love the fairy tale of America being the greatest best hope of mankind, and all that blind patriotic crap that we've all had shoved down our throat our entire lives. This book is a reaction to the fairy tales that most American so blindly believe. Zinn honesty admits this book is biased, just like any work of art is. You only have to look at the title of the book to realize that this is history told from the perspective of the oppressed and violated. Does it leave out the perspective of the establishment? Yes. Does it have an anti-patriotic edge? For sure. But this does not mean it's any less accurate than the "official" version of American history taught in our schools. More than anything it shows that oppressed and marginalized parts of our population transcend race, political ideology, and even class. ...more info
  • good gift
    was a great gift for your history buff. A major hit. Will buy additional copies for other "buffs" when their special days approach....more info
  • A political, not a cultural, history
    Professor Zinn definitely fills a need--a well-documented political history of the United States from the point-of-view of those who work to move this country nearer to a realization of the democratic values expressed in The Declaration of Independence--in other words to transform the beautiful rhetoric of the Declaration into political reality. This work has only begun and has a long way to go. Zinn's book does disappoint me, though, in touching so lightly on cultural history: just to pick two examples, the Index lists neither J.J. Audubon nor George Washington Carver. My impression is that Zinn elbows the unique achievements of Americans aside in his anxiety to shine a searchlight on our dirty laundry--of which there is a great heap! ...more info
  • Future History teacher
    I bought this for my son for Christmas. He will be student teaching in the fall and will be teaching history. His professor told him this is the best book he could read for facts on the History of the United States. He was so excited when he opened it and I am so glad that Amazon offered it for purchase. I wouldn't look anywhere else for books!...more info
  • Shocking look at history
    Very interesting read. Many of us were told in elementary school the winners write history. Well this book is told from the "losers" point of view. It gives a more rounded view of U.S. history you thought you knew in and out. The making of America was a hostile take over, not the romantic fairy tale we memorize about equality of ALL men (and women), or the fact that our ancestors were looking for religious freedom. Europeans wiped out Native Americans who taught them how to farm and live off the land, ironically we celebrate this with Thanksgiving, but forget about clan who made it possible. When you finish reading this you will realize the many things you celebrate today is because of a systematic injustice of others....more info
  • A more realistic view of our history
    History classes only shows the "nice side" of our country, the founding fathers, but what Mr. Zinn does is totally opening your eyes and getting a more realistic view of our history. It's a great book, very engaging, and easy to read. It you are opened minded and want to have a better view of our past, this is a great read. ...more info
  • Socialist Propaganda
    Only avowed Socialists would find this propaganda book intellectually honest. If you're in college right now you'll probably run into this book in one of your courses; if so you know your professor is a loon and you're better off dropping the course immediately. If you don't, just remember my admonition. To my leftist detractors: The truth hurts....more info
  • Can't Trust or Believe in Him
    After reading that Howard Zinn does not think it is important to investigate 9/11, I will have nothing more to do with him. I don't care how renowned he is. If he doesn't think it's important to stop the false flag operations that have gone on for many, many decades that have thrust us into wars that were instigated by interested 3rd party investors to cash in on the vast fortunes made when they finance both sides of a war, then he will get no support from me. Wake up people! Aren't you tired of being played like a puppet on a string. Watch "JFKII: The Bush Connection" and "Empire of the City: Ring of Power" on YouTube.

    [....]...more info