Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, Zinn's A People's History is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of, and in the words of, its women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. Here we learn that many of our country's greatest battles (labor laws, women's rights, racial equality) were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.
Revised and updated with new chapters on Clinton's presidency, the 2000 Election, and the "War on Terrorism," A People's History of the United States features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.
Also, listen to The People Speak,a celebration of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.
©1980, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2003 Howard Zinn; (P)1999, 2003 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Matt Damon's reading captures the spirit of the text. Like the book, Damon's voice has an edge to it. He expresses the author's outrage regarding the exploitation of certain groups in American history. He also communicates Zinn's admiration for the courage and determination demonstrated by protest leaders." (AudioFile)
As much as I like Matt Damon, I really didn't like him reading this book. It sounds like he's falling asleep reading a long list of atrocities. The book gets much better when the author takes over about half way through. The message is pretty dark, that this country is on evil auto-pilot, and that it takes huge movements of people to change its course. My feeling is that we'll only change when someone takes away our TV's and french fries.
Having read the full text version of Zinn's book in my high school government class 10 years ago, I was really looking forward to revisiting it. Narrator Matt Damon does an outstanding job with the book, and gives it a lot of feeling and flavor. But, I found that this abridged version was simply too abridged. The title for this watered-down version should be "An Overview of A Few Important Trends in Recent US History" not "A People's History of the United States", which promises something broad and ambitious in scope which is simply not delivered.
While the content of the book is good, this "abridgement" is really just the last part of the book. While the book version of A People's history..." starts with Columbus (I believe) this audio version covers only the 20th century. I was pretty disappointed, as the audio version is great, but very incomplete. I agree with the other reviewers, Matt Damon is the perfect person to read this book. I think you'd be much better off purchasing the paper copy of this book to get the complete stroy.
Go with the Abridged version, read by Zinn himself. No one does Zinn like Zinn.
Matt Daemon's voice drones over every single sentence in the book. What is otherwise one of the most ennervating and intelligent books in American history is a boring, lecture-style snooze.
Any story is mind numbing if the reader never changes his inflection. Yes, Mr. Daemon, there is a difference in inflection between the period and the comma.
It's not quite the original because it's the updated Twentieth Century version that was also released as a book. I must add it is quite wonderful and I'm glad Matt Damon could read for it. It's a must have for those interested in history from a new point of view other than war, namely the peoples.
Howard's book is an intelligent and carefully crafted piece of American history. Truly a homage to the people which make this a great country.
I found this book disturbingly powerful, soul searching and convincing. The thesis is that government portrays the idea of a unified country with a common identity and and National Interest& in order to perpetuate a system where the rich stay rich and benefit greatly and the lower classes of people are kept subservient. The wars since WWII have been to perpetuate the interest of large corporations whose policies place greed above human life, working conditions rights and freedoms. Wars are fought by poorer classes of Americans and the myth of National Interest& is used to motivate them. Wars also serve to distract those being taken advantage of at home from realizing this fact. There are grave injustices against blacks, women, Latinos, gays etc in this country as well as the people in the countries that we attack. The money that could have been used to improve the plight of the underprivileged is instead being used to make arms for the military to fight these wars. The ultimate suffering is by children. Children killed and mutilated by wars, children born in poverty in this country and children of immigrants who are denied services in this country by the lack of social programs. This book makes you want to fight for social justice. I highly recommend this book.
I wish I had read these reviews before I bought this book, but friends had highly recommended this book so I bought it. I did read the Audible information through and thought it was quite misleading in the way the description did not make clear that the audiobook was a much abridged 20th Century ONLY edition. What Zinn does cover is very interesting, but a lot of listeners have probably lived through the a large part of the 20th century covered, at least I have.
This book is a wonderful listen and an eye opening challenge to everything you thought you knew. The book is written/read in nice short sections so you are able to follow the author through time as the story of history unfolds. You will get the giggles as things start to enter your lifetime (like Bill Clinton's Presidency). A true gem.
As others have noted, this "abridged" version is incomplete. Howard Zinn is a fascinating mind and this audio version of his book doesn't do his research and perspective justice. I will have to get the actual book and actually *gasp* READ it. What *IS* in the audiobook, however, is intriguing and sometimes mind-boggling.
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