A revised edition of the American Book Award-nominated chronicle of U.S. history is told from a grassroots perspective and provides an analysis of important events from 1492 through the current war on terrorism. Read by Matt Damon; preface and afterword read by Howard Zinn.
THE PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES presents what has come to be called "history from the bottom up," as it tells America's national narrative in a way that is inclusive of those previously left out of, or marginalized by, standard histories.
The book reveals that it was the Arawak Indians who were present at the first contact with Columbus. Zinn's chapter on the Mayflower reveals that its passengers included several slaves, and explains how the need for labor in Virginia dovetailed with the already established slave trade. The chapters on westward expansion tell of the "Indian removal" as well as the role of immigrant labor in building the transcontinental railroad. Zinn also includes a greater than before focus on the role of women in American history: "It is possible, reading standard histories, to forget half the population of the country," he claims.
Through it all, Zinn highlights the lives of settlers, slaves, women, unionists, soldiers, and activists, portraying them not as categories or representatives of a group but as flesh-and-blood people whose interests and motives helped shape America. In doing so, Zinn makes history more interesting, provides a deeper understanding, and brings a greater truth to the story. First published in 1980, THE PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES served as a model for the writing of histories to follow, both scholarly and popular.
- Political Science, History
- United States / General, Political Ideologies / Democracy
- February 1, 2003
- February 1, 2003
- Howard Zinn
- Matt Damon (Narrator)