With a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, this edition of the classic national bestseller chronicles American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official narrative 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, 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—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.
Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.
Touching on such diverse topics as the American war machine, civil disobedience, the importance of memory and remembering history, and the role of artists—from Langston Hughes to Dalton Trumbo to Bob Dylan—in relation to social change, Original Zinn is Zinn at his irrepressible best, the acute perception of a scholar whose impressive knowledge and probing intellect make history immediate and relevant for us all.
Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People's History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up.
Now Howard Zinn, historian Paul Buhle, and cartoonist Mike Konopacki have collaborated to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People's History: the centuries-long story of America's actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. The book also follows the story of Zinn, the son of poor Jewish immigrants, from his childhood in the Brooklyn slums to his role as one of America's leading historians.
Shifting from world-shattering events to one family's small revolutions, A People's History of American Empire presents the classic ground-level history of America in a dazzling new form.
Highlighting not just the usual terms of presidential administrations and congressional activities, this book provides you with a "bottom-to-top" perspective, giving voice to our nation's minorities and letting the stories of such groups as African Americans, women, Native Americans, and the laborers of all nationalities be told in their own words.
"Thank you, Howard Zinn. Thank you for telling us what none of our leaders are willing to: The truth. And you tell it with such brilliance, such humanity. It is a personal honor to be able to say I am a better citizen because of you." —Michael Moore, director of Fahrenheit 9/11
"This strong, incisive book by Howard Zinn provides us with a penetrating critique of current U.S. policies and embraces the sweep of history. . . . A Power Governments Cannot Suppress leaves us with the faith that citizens have what it takes to confront power and to reverse the dangerous and unjust acts of our government." —Jonathan Kozol, author of The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America
"Find here the voice of the well-educated and honorable and capable and humane United States of America, which might have existed if only absolute power had not corrupted its third-rate leaders so absolutely." —Kurt Vonnegut, author of A Man Without a Country
"Howard Zinn is a unique voice of sanity, clarity, and wisdom who reads history not only to understand the present but to shape the future . . . . Profoundly insightful . . . A Power Governments Cannot Suppress should be read by every American, over and over again." —Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine
"Zinn writes with an enthusiasm rarely encountered in the leaden prose of academic history. . ." —New York Times Book Review
"Zinn collects here almost three dozen brief, passionate essays that follow in the tradition of his landmark work, A People's History of the United States . . . Readers seeking to break out of their ideological comfort zones will find much to ponder here." —Publishers Weekly
Howard Zinn was an acclaimed historian, playwright, and combat veteran of World War II. He was the author of more than two dozen books, including his masterpiece A People's History of the United States, and The Historic Unfulfilled Promise (City Lights).
Simultaneous publication this August in the U.S. and Japan commemorates the 65th anniversary of the USA's two atomic bombings of Japan by calling for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and an end to war as an acceptable solution to human conflict.
"Zinn writes with an enthusiasm rarely encountered in the leaden prose of academic history …"—New York Times Book Review
"This collection of essays is a great book for anybody who wants to be better informed about history, regardless of their political point of view."—O, The Oprah Magazine
"Zinn collects here almost three dozen brief, passionate essays … Readers seeking to break out of their ideological comfort zones will find much to ponder here."—Publishers Weekly
"A bomb is highly impersonal. The dropper can kill hundreds, and never see any of them. The Bomb is the memoir of Howard Zinn, a bomber in World War II who dropped bombs along the French countryside while campaigning against Germany. After learning of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Zinn now speaks out against the use of bombs and what it can do to warfare. Thoughtful and full of stories of an old soldier who regrets what he has done, The Bomb is a fine posthumous release that shares much of the lost wisdom of World War II."—James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review
"Throughout his academic career, his popular writings and work as an activist Zinn consistently, and often successfully, threw a wrench in the works of the US war machine. He may be gone, but through his powerful and passionate body of work—of which The Bomb is an excellent introduction—thousands of others will be educated and inspired to work for a more humane and peaceful world."—Ian Sinclair, Morning Star
"The path that Howard Zinn walked—from bombardier to activist—gives hope that each of us can move from clinical detachment to ardent commitment, from violence to nonviolence."—Frida Berrigan, WIN Magazine
Howard Zinn (1922 –2010) was raised in a working-class family in Brooklyn, and flew bombing missions for the United States in World War II, an experience he now points to in shaping his opposition to war. Under the GI Bill he went to college and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. In 1956, he became a professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, a school for black women, where he soon became involved in the civil rights movement, which he participated in as an adviser to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and chronicled, in his book SNCC: The New Abolitionists. Zinn collaborated with historian Staughton Lynd and mentored a young student named Alice Walker. When he was fired in 1963 for insubordination related to his protest work, he moved to Boston University, where he became a leading critic of the Vietnam War.
In his liftetime, Zinn received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award. He is perhaps best known for A People's History of the United States. City Lights Booksellers and Publishers previously published his essay collection A Power Governments Cannot Suppress.
From that celebration, this book was born. Collected here under one cover is a brief history of America told through dramatic readings applauding the enduring spirit of dissent.
Here in their own words, and interwoven with commentary by Zinn, are Columbus on the Arawaks; Plough Jogger, a farmer and participant in Shays' Rebellion; Harriet Hanson, a Lowell mill worker; Frederick Douglass; Mark Twain; Mother Jones; Emma Goldman; Helen Keller; Eugene V. Debs; Langston Hughes; Genova Johnson Dollinger on a sit-down strike at General Motors in Flint, Michigan; an interrogation from a 1953 HUAC hearing; Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper and member of the Freedom Democratic Party; Malcolm X; and James Lawrence Harrington, a Gulf War resister, among others.