There exists no other American history book like this one. One where history is told through the eyes, ears and voices of the vanquished, not the victors. One where matters of class, power, race, gender, struggle, organizing and overcoming are central themes. One where despite America's sordid history, there remains hope when the people band together to demand basic rights and justice. One where progress is possible, and understanding our country's history is vital to that progress and our very survival. Thank you Howard Zinn, for illuminating a very long, dark path.
Churchill once said "History is written by the victors". Well Howard Zinn turns this on it's head by writing from the perspective of the oppressed not the "victors". He is upfront about his bias since all accounts of history have one, he has just chosen to be biased toward the oppressed and the abused not the "victors". Anyone who reads and enjoys history will enjoy this book even if you differ from his perspective it is still a remarkable chronicle of American History.
Every country should be so lucky as to have a history like this that punctures all the carefully concocted national myths and gives the contrary view--in Zinn's account George Washington was a wealthy landowner who fomented revolution for personal gain; Abe Lincoln believed blacks were not equal to whites and only abolished slavery out of political expediency; FDR was a staunch defender of upper-class privilege who only introduced the New Deal to defuse revolt; etc. But Zinn is not just a gadfly--his version makes sense more often than not, and furthermore, his great sense of story gives hackneyed old history new life and makes for highly enjoyable entertainment. And don't pay any attention to the quibbles about production quality--the actual reading is fine and the few technical glitches there are barely deserve mention.
A real eye-opener! This "people's history" validates thoughts that I've had since growing up the son of factory worker parents in a small Maine mill town. I'm now 68. This is a history not taught in my university history curriculum. It was recommended to me by a fellow union activist during the Kerry/Edwards campaign. It screams "Wake up America". If only the "tea partiers" would read it.
This book changed the way I view the founding of our great nation. Howard Zinn backs all of his claims and views with concrete documentation from the period. This book will tell you the peoples side of the story, not the glorified ideals that they put into modern text books. The slaves Native Americans, and women finally have their voice through Howard Zinn. I would and have recommended this book to all who want to know the peoples view of our great nation.
The book is clearly narrated and the audio quality is perfect on my device unlike the listening experience some other people claim to have had.
I have never heard in such detail the "other side" of the history of the US which has been conveniently not taught in our public school system. And I wonder if the children of the elite private schools are taught about the history of the US that they have benefited from.
I was moved all throughout the book, so much so that at times I had to cut it off.
For anyone who wants a well rounded education this is a must read (I mean listen).
This book was so eye opening. I highly recommend this knowledge-bomb! It's hard to get though parts because it can be quite depressing but power through, it's well worth it!
This was a long but fascinating book. It was US history from the viewpoint of the vanquished, the immigrant, the loborer, the women, the people of color- the ones who make and are participants, willing and unwilling, in the hisrorical events they were party to. Modern Americans have forgotten or never knew the sacrifices made along the way and the blood, brutality, and betrayals that were bestowed upon average people by the power elites so frequently portrayed as heroes. It shocked continuously throughout and put this day and time in perspective
The US has never been about the people; it's always been about that top 10%. Always. The Democrats have screwed the people more than their supporters would believe. I severed my ties to the party after it put Clinton in perspective. It also made me wonder if there is any hope for regular people. I certainly don't see the courage today people once had. This opened my eyes and they'll not be shut again, but it also put a profound sadness in my soul that everything that came before taught us nothing.
This book is problematic. For one, the author shifts the ground on oppressed/oppressor as convenient to the author. For example, when the founding fathers are portrayed as oppressors by revolting (which is what the author advocates for) it does not seem to fit well with his argument (Granted, you could make the argument that they take advantage of their power after, but I digress).
Similarly, it avoids the big picture on issues, as it has the potential to rarely portray the powerful in a good light. For example, when the author describes the Civil War, he doesn't seem to grasp that freeing the slaves may have not been an idea coopted from the abolitionists by those in power to divide the 99%. Actions by the Government and the Military were important, are not always with mal-intent. Even if Reconstruction came short, trying to portray no part of the government's/military's actions as an attempt to free slaves, especially in light of the 13th amendment, seems nearsighted.
Performance is excellent, but poor production value left much to be desired as the audio frequently changes volume and has frequent dropping of the audio for a split second.