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A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present | [Howard Zinn]

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

A classic since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is the first scholarly work to tell America's story from the bottom up - 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.
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Publisher's Summary

A classic since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is the first scholarly work to tell America's story from the bottom up - 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.

From Columbus to the Revolution to slavery and the Civil War - from World War II to the election of George W. Bush and the "War on Terror" - A People's History of the United States is an important and necessary contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

©2009 Howard Zinn; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Zinn's work is a vital corrective to triumphalist accounts." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1371 )
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  •  
    Gavin St. Ours 05-04-10
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    "Horrible Editing Ruins Experience"

    I was looking forward to listening to this audiobook, but as I worked my way through it, the horrible production quality ruined the experience for me.

    Jeff Zinn's narration is fantastic, the subject matter interesting, but there are numerous spots where the audio editor chopped off half of a word. On a long car trip, these jarring "jump cuts" were too much to tolerate. Did nobody quality-check this audiobook before releasing it?

    112 of 118 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Oakland Park, FL, United States 11-09-10
    Thomas Oakland Park, FL, United States 11-09-10

    FTL Tom

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    "Amateur hour in the production booth"

    This has to be the most poorly produced audiobook of all time. With a work of this length - roughly 35 hours - I understand there are several challenges in putting everything together, but here it's like whoever was doing the recording wasn't even trying. Consider. 1) Starting sometime between the 90 minute and 2 hour mark, a number of obvious and jarring cuts, with the narrator dropping out suddenly, and then resuming speech in the middle of a different sentence. This issue seems to settle down after roughly the 5 hour mark. 2) Different audio levels for different recording sessions. After a cut, the narrator returns notably louder or quieter, and with a different level of white noise in the background. 3) At the 5 hour and 46 minute mark, the narrator says "hold on", and then engages in a conversation with the recording engineer, and this was never edited out of the final product. This means the publishers didn't listen to this audiobook even one time for quality control before putting it out in the wild. Shameful, and this is a product of unacceptably low quality. 2 stars for the wealth of content and Jeff Zinn's effort in recording well over 30 hours of speech, but minus 3 stars for a final product that could have been put together better by a motivated middle schooler.

    155 of 165 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tallman San Francisco, CA, United States 06-30-11
    Tallman San Francisco, CA, United States 06-30-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Terrible Production"

    I write only in regard to the production of the audiobook, not as to the text itself, which is great and worthy. The slovenliness of the recording, with gaps, repeats, and periods where the reader is obviously having a conversation with a third party (editor? recording technician?) are beyond the minor and forgivable. Are these things not edited? Vetted by quality control? Does no one bother to listen to an audiobook before it is mass-produced and distributed? If no one at the publisher does, then someone at Audible ought to.

    71 of 78 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karltonwrites 05-24-10

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A Must-Read"

    Few books have stirred such patriotic feelings in me. It's wonderful to to live in a country, that, despite its flaws, allows a book that goes against the grain of the "accepted narrative" to be printed.

    Many will accuse Zinn of being biased, but that is the point. History is, by its nature, biased from a point of view. Zinn is writing a People's history, telling events from the points of view that have long been silenced. Anyone offended by this would be better suited for less literate works by gaseous pundits that bolster weak arguments rather than challenge the mind.

    It is true that the audio book should have been edited before release. I noted one long swatch of narrative that was repeated (Were there long omissions? I may never know). Also entertaining was a long sound check that showed fascinating insights into the workings of the audiobook recording industry. However, the errors are few and shouldn't detract from an otherwise fascinating and vital work.

    62 of 70 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JB 09-08-11
    JB 09-08-11
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    "Very poorly read"

    This is a very good thesis, but so poorly read, its painful.
    One can even hear the narrator making unedited commentary within the body of the story. He often sounds like he is tired and out of breath. I think they were very stingy and cheap to have this man narrate the book...I feel like I wasted my money because I cannot listen to another sentence from the inept narrator. -0 stars...
    I really wish I could return this audio book...REALLY POORLY NARRATED.

    43 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ebone Woodbridge, VA, United States 01-30-13
    Ebone Woodbridge, VA, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "The Narrator is not as bad as some have said..."

    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.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Marlborough, MA, United States 08-24-10
    Bill Marlborough, MA, United States 08-24-10
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    "This is a great listen"

    Winston Churchill said that "History is written by the victors". This book is told from the losers side. Very well written and read. If you are interested in the truth about history, you should give this book a listen.

    30 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Moroni, UT, United States 02-01-10
    Stephen Moroni, UT, United States 02-01-10 Member Since 2002
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    "A great alternative bias history."

    This book is bias but openly so. Zinn tells you at the beginning that he is going to tell you a bias history. He tells the story from the point of view of the poor, repressed and downtrodden.

    I really enjoyed the stories and characters that I was able to learn about. Very touching stories. Sometimes sad but often stories of great people that tried to change the world for the better.

    53 of 68 people found this review helpful
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    Ovais 01-10-10
    Ovais 01-10-10
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    "A Classic well presented:"

    Thanks for making this classic work available on audio. A wonderful job of reading-except for a few audio editing errors(minute 347 on part I and minute 172 on part II).

    46 of 60 people found this review helpful
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    David 01-22-15
    David 01-22-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Falls Short of Hype"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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