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Publisher's Summary

A Young People's History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in stories for young people. A Young People's History of the United States is also a companion volume to The People Speak, the film adapted from A People's History of the United States and Voices of a People's History of the United States. Beginning with a look at Christopher Columbus’s arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians, then leading the reader through the struggles for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights during the 19th and 20th centuries, and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism, Zinn in the volumes of A Young People's History of the United States presents a radical new way of understanding America’s history. In so doing, he reminds listeners that America's true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals.

©2007 Howard Zinn. Previously published as a two volume set. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Susie
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-17-14

An Inclusive History for Young People

Howard Zinn's classic history of the US from the viewpoint of the Native Americans, slaves, and other underdogs has not only been revised for young people, it INCLUDES the history of young people; young sailors on Columbus's ships, young soldiers, young servants.

This is an essential companion to the standard history we were taught in school. Zinn takes Churchill’s famous line, “History is written by the victors,” and turns it upside down. He writes, “Every historian’s own ideas and beliefs go into the way he or she writes history,” and he takes the view of “more than just the conquerers and leaders.” He gives a voice to the vanquished.

In this young people’s version, violence of American history has not been whitewashed, but it has been made less graphic, and all has been simplified, though certainly not dumbed down.

Jeff Zinn’s narration keeps it all clear and steers away from the strident outrage that could so easily creep in to the subject.

Compellingly written and inclusive, this is a great listen.

30 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Balance to the official history

When I read that an Arizona Senator was trying to have the full, original version of this book banned from classroom, I of course had to find out its content. Official history textbooks are valuable but grossly incomplete. Argument against the "People's History of US" was it's extreme leftist bias. I think that since we are talking about facts, that argument is noting more than partisan nonsense, since facts don't have bias, they just are. Now, it's true that the book paints a very dark and at times (or even often) appealing picture of United States and it's people but that's because like the other texts it presents selective information. DIFFERENCE is that not just one but time and time again, the author tells you this and points out that it's not the official version, or COMPARES events to the official version, therein letting you know it's not the ONLY version of the events. No book is a COMPLETE coverage of anything, history or filed or even a story. As such this book NEEDS to be part of every school's curriculum. Especially now in the age when "alternative facts" and "fake news" concepts are being pushed into mainstream we need to make sure people, kids especially, are challenged into thinking for themselves. With this book many people will struggle to reconcile what they have been told - about America's greatness against America's shame. And that's a hard but good thing and ultimately only thing that can make America great (not again, since that never was).

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 07-29-17

Amazingly Insightful!

Thought you knew US history? Great listen for another perspective of our past. I'm going to use the book for lessons in critical thinking for my US History students!

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Revealing

Unfortunately, this shows that from Columbia's first step on this land, Amarica has been ruled by violence toward all, war mongering, and the search for riches. This resulted in cruelty and lies to almost wipe out the Indians and take their land. The government has frequently lied and the congress has fallen in line. The poor and sick and non-white have been sacrificed for the war machine.

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Leftist propaganda

Zinn himself days that history is seen through one's own perspective. Zinn's perspective is clearly one of: the wealthy are evil and the poor are always oppressed. Granted, the wealthy have done some despicable things and the history of our country is far from squeaky clean. But to focus solely on those atrocities and to dismiss the advances the great country has made is irresponsible.

So why, at 43, did I listen to this book? Because it will be used to teach history in my son's 5th grade class. Not only is this book grossly slanted, it is not appropriate for such young children. High school, yes. Grade school, no.

18 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Tiresome in its presentation!

Marxist analysis of America and its history! I had expected something more...but no reductionist views! Prepackaged conclusions which always leads to the oppressed needing to rally about to defeat the bad elites.... really boring 😩

16 of 40 people found this review helpful

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The history you never learned.

I learned a lot from this book. It is a summary that is simple enough for those with no background in history, but it also tells the other side of the story giving it value for those who have a good foundation.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Not appropriate for Young People

I bought this book to listen to with my kids (9 and 12) but didn't get past the first few chapters of graphic detail about chopping off the hands of kids to let them bleed to death and digging up corpses for food. There's no reason why this book needed to be so graphic (especially for a kid version of the book).

16 of 49 people found this review helpful

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Important exploration

If you could sum up A Young People's History of the United States in three words, what would they be?

Engaging and thought provoking work missing from most public school curricula. Must read for all students. However, where is Volume II in audio format?

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3 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Dreadful propaganda disguised as honesty

.....world war one had no justification for the loss of even one life?.....seriously? What about Hitler? I could listen after that. It dishonorable all those who died for their country and for freedom.

13 of 91 people found this review helpful

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  • Ras Kali
  • 04-13-16

Brilliant Listening!

This book is extremely informative. This should be taught in every class room. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dean
  • 10-17-17

Amazing.

This is the truth that many of us seek. It needs to be heard! After years of studying the history of the USA in my own time, in my own way I am relieved and fulfilled as to finally have all the knowledge pertaining to the establishment of the US in one neat piece of literature.