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Buy for $24.95
For much of his life, historian Howard Zinn has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version 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, Zinn's A People's History of the United States 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 steel-willed resistance. This edition of A People's History of the United States features insightful analysis of some of the most important events in this country in the past 100 years.
Featuring a preface and afterword read by the author himself, this audio continues Howard Zinn's important contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.
What listeners say about A People's History of the United StatesAverage Customer Ratings
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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.
67 people found this helpful
the second half is better
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.
41 people found this helpful
- J. Putney
to the previous review
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.
12 people found this helpful
Focused on the 20th century
I hadn't realized I had obtained a version of this book that's centered on recent history. Nonetheless, it illuminates the context leading up to today's controversies quite well and from a dozen perspectives.
3 people found this helpful
- Nelson Mostow
Thought provoking perspective
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.
19 people found this helpful
Not quite the original
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.
38 people found this helpful
- Luciana S Ferraro
this should be required reading
I have never taken the time to review another book but after completing this read, I truly felt inspired and also sad. it will be each of our individual responsibilities to share these unknown facts from our American history with our children. one parent at a time, one teacher at a time. I am very grateful for this book.
2 people found this helpful
- Amazon Customer
Interesting historical footnotes obscured by Marxist doctrine.
I genuinely appreciated his non-conformist take on 20th century American history. The specific historical references he highlights add in important and often overlooked perspective. That said his Marxist economic and identitarian prescriptions are absolute nonsense. His incoherent economic ramblings and odes to identity politics are nauseating and ruin what would otherwise be a reasonably interesting read. I got a chuckle when he referenced the collapse of the Soviet Union and then references they were not truly socialist. A shining example of the no true Scotsman fallacy. Truly an interesting look into the ideology of the current intersectional politics\social justice warrior Marxist left.
4 people found this helpful
A must have
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.
6 people found this helpful
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.
7 people found this helpful