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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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  • Overall
  • James
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 10-03-09


I'm typically not much of a history buff, but I'm becoming one and listening to a great book like this really helps. It's easy to listen to, easy to follow and just right for novice history buffs like me. I highly recommend this book!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Smarmy is as Matt Daemon Does

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.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Book

This was a Great book with excellent historical details.

18 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

History Biased Toward Bitterness

I originally wanted to listen to this history book because I wanted to hear the historical details of my country that were not taught when I was in school. The book was very interesting at first, but the endless streaming of bitterness and negativity just got the best of me and I just had to stop listening about 3/4 through the book. Perhaps I am naive, but I also got the feeling Mr. Zinn was distorting the history at times by only telling facts he wanted to share to make his negative point, after negative point. I felt most of what he said sounded truthful, from a very radical point of view, but he left me with virtually nothing to proud of as an American. I just don't feel that is fair, or from a more centrist historical viewpoint, accurate.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Louise
  • Ozark, IL, USA
  • 02-20-05

A must read...or hear

I was hooked as soon as I started listening. Matt Daemon has the perfect voice for this book. The book is intriguing and provides the history that is so often overlooked in the classroom. Very provocative.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 12-15-06

Must Hear This!

This is the ideal gift for a high school senior, or anyone who has graduated from high school. The antidote to public school history (as currently taught)!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Wesley
  • Lincoln, NE, USA
  • 03-08-07

Not Impressed

Even with this being a "partial" version of the book, I couldn't make it all the way through. I have a great interest in hearing the history that our school textbooks didn't teach us or just flat out lied about, but I felt Zinn really misses the mark. He keeps uttering the same points without really going anywhere. I did appreciate the disclosure of his biases but he is so far left it’s difficult to pluck any objective information from him. I do like Matt Damon as the narrator, unfortunately the author did not supply him with enough substance to keep me interested.

9 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Socialist America Hating Propaganda

As the book states in the opening chapter this book is unapologetic about its biased. The bigger issue is that far too often this book is written in a way that distorts events in an effort to push its socialist agenda.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

It just can't fail

If there is anything in this reality that can be called "truth" the writings by Howard Zinn comes as close as one can with just words to it...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Work

Couldn't stop listening. A must listen if your interested in learning about America's Dark History.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful