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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Howard Zinn's history is not what we are accustomed to, but it deserves a place on every iPod. Zinn chronicles the struggles of the oppressed, the minorities, the activists. He offers them up as both a history and a call to strive for equality. Matt Damon (who dropped a reference to Zinn's book in Good Will Hunting) perfectly captures Zinn's tone and maintains a fine continuity despite the many quotes and occasional footnotes. - Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

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.

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)199, 2003 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Loved it

Great perspective! inspires me to .seek change in our political system reveals how we are being played by the politicians and corporations.

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Eye opening but with a bit if a liberal spin

wrote a long review explaining where I felt the author was biased but it wouldn't post ... not gonna spend another 30 minutes to re-write it.
short answer ... his account of Waco, Texas was extremely one sided and his view on welfare is too liberal in my opinion.
Other than that the author shines a way overdue light on atrocities committed by our government and founding fathers

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Required Reading

This book, together with, or replaced by severeal like it, is required reading for people aspiring to be human beings

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A history from the loser's perspective

Where does A People's History of the United States rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's a bit depressing. All the stuff they didn't teach you in history class, but stuff they should have sprinkled in. Our history isn't as pretty as your school book tells you. Howard Zinn is a very liberal thinker. His history is pretty spot on, but he does sprinkle in some liberal lecturing. If you can stomach a bit of his lecturing I highly recommend this book it's shockingly eye opening. The struggles of the poor, black, women, native Americans, war protesters and draft dodgers are laid plain in this book. It covers the 1950-1990 ish. You should put Zinn's agenda aside and really listen to this. It will help you understand other peoples struggles and why they are the way they are. I expected a better performance from Matt Damon he was very plain and straight forward, but I do tend to favor other genres of books and don't listen to this style often.

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*****

Would you consider the audio edition of A People's History of the United States to be better than the print version?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

I tried to read the full version right after college and didn't make it very far. Decided to do the 20th century abridged version this time and made it thru the audio version this time (Matt Damon narrates.... swoon). It lived up to my expectations. Zinn presents historical events factually, from a perspective that is ignored in conventional "History". It's a humanist view that I very much appreciate. I really like his matter of fact writing style and also the plain toned way Matt Damon read it. The only part that I thought he was a little bit emotional about was the updated info that he reads about the Clinton administration. It seems to get a little bit disproportionate amount of attention, I assume because he was still living it when he wrote it. Not that the info was less chilling, but for me it lost something when the writing changed tone.

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It will ruin you forever... for the better

This book really rocks your world if you still believed everything they taught you at school about American History. It makes you want to go out and learn more... realizing how little we really know and brain-washed we all have been.

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Zinn Comes Through in a Big Way!

I really enjoyed reading Howard Zinn’s, People’s History of the United States, in the way that he made history come alive and be fun to read. I like history in general, but he could be at times somewhat drudgery reading through various depictions of a particular author’s description of historical events. Zinn doesn’t really good job in keeping you captivated by the way he delivers the information, with not over doing it on the details, but becoming a very good storyteller.

Even though the United States history only goes back several hundred years, this book is still chock-full of information about the familiar characters that have made up our history. The book also is up-to-date and current in regards to talking about the New Millennium, the “War on Terrorism” and recent events within the last 10 years.

This is recommended reading for anyone who even has the slightest interest in the history of the United States and what has gone to make this country great, in spite of the trials and tribulations and challenges that we continue to go through.

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Existential history of the United States

Sometimes uncomfortable to listen to, Zinn's book covers topics like race relations (black and native American), gender rights, war, immigration and others from the perspective of the less fortunate victims. Zinn puts the light on the stories that show that they are not simply good versus evil questions. Many undesirable stories that have been under reported but are key to understanding the fabric of our society

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  • 02-15-13

Boring

What disappointed you about A People's History of the United States?

This is a long whine about the inequities experienced by the poor and minorities in the US in the last century. I found few new intriguing facts or insights in it. I could not finish this mind-numbing liberal rant.

Would you ever listen to anything by Howard Zinn again?

NO

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Not your High School History Class

Where does A People's History of the United States rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A nice non-fiction listen

What did you like best about this story?

It was enjoyable to hear a different take on US history.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Matt Damon and Howard Zinn ?

Yes

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No