A People's History of the United States

By Howard Zinn,

Book cover of A People's History of the United States

Book description


"A wonderful, splendid book—a book that should be read by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future." –Howard Fast

Historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States chronicles American history from…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked A People's History of the United States as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The United States typically describes itself as the world’s most advanced capitalist economy and as a nation characterized by equal opportunity, fair play, and the rule of law that acknowledges no privilege or advantage related to race, gender, class, ethnicity, or sexuality. 

Zinn’s meticulous research offers a radically different view of the nation from founding through the “War on Terror.”  He demonstrates how white supremacy was built into state and federal constitutions and how the law was used to benefit the wealthy and marginalize and oppress the majority of the population. 

Placing the excluded at the center of his analysis,…

From Mary's list on capitalism’s iniquities.

A People’s History of the United States was published in 1980 well before “critical race theory” and “intersectionality” entered our language. Yet in this work Zinn models the core principles of critical race theory: law treats different people differently based on their social status far more than their personal characteristics and hiding these effects behind seemingly neutral laws and histories is not an accident but an exercise in power. Read Zinn to understand what the American project looked like to Native Americans, slaves, women, and the working classes. Then take those insights to your readings on critical race theory.

From Beverly's list on understanding critical race theory.

The late Howard Zinn is a historian-hero to many readers and a historian who drove the truck off the road (the left side of the road…) to others. A controversial best-selling book, widely adopted as a high school or college level textbook. Zinn, certainly a leftist, and something of a Marxist, writes about America from the bottom up, not the top down. This is not a history of what great men did; rather, it’s about the energies (for better or worse) that drive citizen action to create, or force, social, cultural and economic change. Mrs. Roosevelt might have been uncomfortable…

Tired of history being boring and hard to understand? Howard Zinn’s People’s History tells the story of the past history of the United States from the often unheard voices of the marginalized and oppressed. It is a great read, even if you are not an academic, nor a historian! I highly recommend this book to get a deeper understanding of America’s past from the perspective of people of color and marginalized communities. 

This book details the history of the United States that you didn’t learn in school. You may think you know the history of the United States of America but do you really? I knew a lot but I didn't know this much. A truly eye opening account of the history of America.

From Anthony's list on life-changing books.

With lively prose, Zinn broadens our vision of American history by looking not at political leaders but the workers, women, enslaved and Native Americans who made the nation. This is a work of social history that focuses on class conflict and, while that is only one way to approach American history, Zinn provides a powerful narrative that has influenced a generation of students and was even mentioned by Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.

From Louis' list on the real history of America.

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