A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

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Harper Collins, Feb 4, 2003 - History - 752 pages
2105 Reviews

Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools -- with its emphasis on great men in high places -- to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History 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, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles -- the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality -- were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.

Revised, updated, and featuring a new after, word by the author, this special twentieth anniversary edition continues Zinn's important contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

  

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Excellent book, well researched and well written. - Goodreads
This book was difficult to read. - Goodreads
Indispensable. Brilliant scholarship. - Goodreads
Horrible portrayal of America. - Goodreads
I read this b/c of the Good Will Hunting reference. - Goodreads
I suddenly am loving history even if it's hard to read. - Goodreads

Review: A People's History of the United States: 1492–Present

User Review  - zoe nicol - Goodreads

Excellent documentation until the early 1980's. Read full review

Review: A People's History of the United States: 1492–Present

User Review  - Shadi Srour - Goodreads

Outstanding Read full review

All 16 reviews »

Contents

Columbus the Indians and Human Progress
1
Drawing the Color Line
23
Persons of Mean and Vile Condition
39
Tyranny Is Tyranny
59
A Kind of Revolution
77
The Intimately Oppressed
103
As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs
125
We Take Nothing by Conquest Thank God
149
A Peoples War?
407
Or Does It Explode?
443
Vietnam
469
Surprises
503
Under Control?
541
The Bipartisan Consensus
563
The Unreported Resistance
601
The Coming Revolt of the Guards
631

Slavery Without Submission Emancipation Without Freedom
171
The Other Civil War
211
Robber Barons and Rebels
253
The Empire and the People
297
The Socialist Challenge
321
War Is the Health of the State
359
Selfhelp in Hard Times
377
The Clinton Presidency
643
The 2000 Election and the War on Terrorism
675
Afterword
683
Bibliography
689
Index
709
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 191 - I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.
Page 443 - What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun ? Or fester like a sore — And then run ? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over — like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
Page 313 - Spain's was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed. and went to sleep, and slept soundly...
Page 97 - Extend the sphere and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength and to act in unison with each other.
Page 191 - ... that on the first day of january in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and sixtythree all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the united states shall be then thenceforward and forever free...
Page 189 - I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so; and I have no inclination to do so.
Page 191 - My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.
Page 188 - I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races — that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races...
Page 288 - We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin.

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About the author (2003)

Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was a historian, playwright, and social activist. His many books include A People's History of the United States, which has sold more than two million copies.

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