I've seen the printed version of this book for a long time but never perceived that I had the time to read it. I hesitated downloading this selection because it was so long. I didn't feel I would have the necessary stamina. I'm so glad I finally did it.
I've heard it said that history books are written by the victors. It was so enlightening to hear our nation's history but from another point of view, that of the vanquished, the downtrodden, the working stiff. Yeah, it was biased but that's okay. I took what Mr. Zinn said with a grain of salt too. I think he would encourage me to do so.
not so good
I was hesitant to purchase this book due to some of the reviews regarding the narration. The Narrator was not as bad as some have said in my opinion but he was not great. This is a wonderful book and it is the book that carries the "meh" performance.
At one point the narration stopped while a brief conversation took place. The reading stopped once while a fountain drink was killed (complete with an audible slurping). And at least a couple of Audible's chapter breaks didn't line up well, omitting some text (how much? who knows?) That said...
This book is an excellent idea for a read. We all know the same history lessons we were taught....except we forgot most of them. This is not by accident, I'm sure that we forgot the names and dates of so much of the b.s. out teachers were teaching.
Zinn parts the veils a bit to reveal what's really going on when the history books are making their points. He attempts to include moments in our collective past that were not given as much (or any, even) attention as they could have been. We all know that our nations' past is dark and murderous and pathetic and wretched, right? Let's not pass judgment today, but let's acknowledge it and put it in order so we can understand it.
The key points that we are beat into us from 3rd grade on are not necessarily the most important moments of history. Rebellion, violence, mayhem, martial law, bigotry, and social/class struggle are a constant for the U.S.
Read this book and learn some of the history the other books overlooked. Learn how war and international incidents involving our military have been used as a tool to distract the dissatisfied, fuel a slow economy, or protect corporate interests under the banner of "humanitarianism."
This book does not attempt to make you hate your country. It only tries to give important history attention that it needs.
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.
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.
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.
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 audio book is among the very best I have ever listened to. It is seldom I want to listen to an audio book more than once, but this will be an exception. I rank it up there with the David McCullough, and Doris Kearns Goodwin books I have listened to.
The familiar history we learn in school is in the background, while the history which would have affected us as individuals (if we lived in the time period) is more in the foreground.
Jeff Zinn reads the book delightfully. Sure, he's familiar with the material, but he reads with a conversational tone that makes it seem like he's answering a question I just asked. This will help me want to listen to it a second time, or a third time. He never sounds like he is lecturing or even reading, for that matter.
No. I knew I could never listen to this entire book in one sitting. But the great thing about this book is that I was always anxious to resume. It was so interesting.
This is an audio book I would have liked to receive as a gift.
I say that because people browse titles sometimes looking for a great audio book to give as a gift. This is it. This is perfect.
This book should probably be bundled with every school American history text book just to balance things out. It contains all the things left out of the main stream texts. As such you may think it is somewhat biased but the point here is to reveal the left out bits of most history texts than to present a "balanced view". Unlike many other texts the author is quite up front about this. If you think you know American history quite well you will probably find many new things in this volume. Conservatives too can benefit from this book. For example Tea partiers can find out that they really are like our founding fathers in many ways though probably not in the ones they think.
THE PERFORMANCE WAS GREAT
I READ IT IN SCHOOL BUT WANTED TO LISTEN TO IT IN MY CAR
JUST INCREDIBLY POWERFUL