Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A People's History of the United States


I'm not sure if Howard Zinn has sanctioned this on-line version of his book, but here it is in its most recent form with chapters on the Clinton Administration and The 2000 Election and the War on Terror.  I've only read pieces from it.  Zinn doesn't let anyone off the hook, but at the same time I'm left wondering how much this is his opinion and how much is actual history.  Lack of footnotes is a concern, but maybe the persons who made the on-line copy chose not to include them.

12 comments:

  1. What a great resource you are, Gintaras. many thanks!

    Oddly enough, I'd never heard of this work until I saw the movie "Good Will Hunting" where Matt Damon's Will extols it to the shrink played by Robin Williams. How's that for a peculiar way for an old History major/teacher to come to a source?

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  2. I remember that scene as well. Kind of amusing in retrospective seeing Matt Damon as a polymath and janitor, spouting out what he learned from Howard Zinn and a few other sources. I guess that was supposed to contrast with the conservative history they learned at Harvard.

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  3. Black Day in history as the Supreme Court interceded on the Florida handcount and allowed Harris to certify Bush's "victory." One can only wonder how much different things would be today if Gore had won, although I can't say I was a big fan of Al at the time.

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  4. Who should turn up on Bill Moyers' Journal last night but Zinn himself, and great it was to see him, too. The first half of the show had activists and organizers (one from Chicago, ahem) working with those angry about bailouts, CEO bonuses, lack of help for those in foreclosure, etc., so he fit right in. He was also promoting a presentation on the History Channel Sun. night of "The People Speak" a number of actors doing readings from activists of history such as Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth (whose "Ain't I A Woman" speech never fails to give me chills) and others. I've seen this before on PBS, but I'll still be tuning in: http://www.history.com/content/people-speak

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  5. Sounds like a fun program. I miss PBS over here.

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  6. Well, I sure missed PBS, too, when I watched this on the History Channel with approximately 4,923 commercials in the two hour period--argh! I hope no one else watched on my recommendation and was similarly aggravated. Poor Zinn, so not a commercial dude, yet his work got abused. If you can find the program on DVD, that would be the way to go. I'll say no more about the sad fate of a fine work.

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  7. I believe Bill Moyers recorded shows are available at PBS's website.

    Has a decision been reached on the next reading?

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  8. Nope. Seems like there are several suggestions ranging from Zinn's People History, the continuation of Schlesinger's Age of Roosevelt, Zeitoun, and Garry Wills' Henry Adams.

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  9. For some reason, I have trouble reading a book online and my eyes suffered quite a bit of strain in reading Zinn on my pc screen. If we are going to read it or another, I'm definitely getting a book!

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  10. It takes some getting used to, but I like these on-line texts as background material on a subject. Anyway, I'm up for Zinn if others are game. We can take it one chapter at a time since he deals with his subjects thematically.

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  11. Howard Zinn, a true American hero, RIP:


    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29zinn.html?ref=obituaries


    Howard Zinn, historian and shipyard worker, civil rights activist and World War II bombardier, and author of “A People’s History of the United States,” a best seller that inspired a generation of high school and college students to rethink American history, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass.

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  12. This is a very nice tribute to Zinn:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/opinion/30herbert.html

    My favorite line:

    "In the nitwit era that we’re living through now, it’s fashionable, for example, to bad-mouth labor unions and feminists even as workers throughout the land are treated like so much trash and the culture is so riddled with sexism that most people don’t even notice it."

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