A People's History of the United States, Present. By Howard Zinn .. In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas (who at first urged replacing. Fourth impression British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. Zinn, Howard. A people's history of the United States. 1. United States-History. I. Title. The full text of Howard Zinn's superb people's history of the United States, A People's History of the Unite - Howard, MB.

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A People's History Of The United States by Howard Zinn. Presented by History Is A Weapon. A Note and Disclaimer are below. Return to History Is A Weapon. 1. ALSO BY HOWARD ZINN. The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy, second edition (). A Young People's History of the United States . Zinn, Howard - A People's History of American Empire (a graphic adaptation, comic book form).pdf - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online.

They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane.

They would make fine servants. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. These Arawaks of the Bahama Islands were much like Indians on the mainland, who were remarkable European observers were to say again and again for their hospitality, their belief in sharing.

These traits did not stand out in the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by the religion of popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money that marked Western civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus.

Columbus wrote: As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts. The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold?

He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he expected would be on the other side of the Atlantic—the Indies and Asia, gold and spices. For, like other informed people of his time, he knew the world was round and he could sail west in order to get to the Far East.

Spain was recently unified, one of the new modern nation-states, like France, England, and Portugal. Its population, mostly poor peasants, worked for the nobility, who were 2 percent of the population and owned 95 percent of the land. Spain had tied itself to the Catholic Church, expelled all the Jews, driven out the Moors. Like other states of the modern world, Spain sought gold, which was becoming the new mark of wealth, more useful than land because it could download anything.


There was gold in Asia, it was thought, and certainly silks and spices, for Marco Polo and others had brought back marvelous things from their overland expeditions centuries before. Now that the Turks had conquered Constantinople and the eastern Mediterranean, and controlled the land routes to Asia, a sea route was needed. Portuguese sailors were working their way around the southern tip of Africa.

Spain decided to gamble on a long sail across an unknown ocean.

In return for bringing back gold and spices, they promised Columbus 10 percent of the profits, governorship over new-found lands, and the fame that would go with a new title: Admiral of the Ocean Sea. He set out with three sailing ships, the largest of which was the Santa Maria, perhaps feet long, and thirty-nine crew members.

Columbus would never have made it to Asia, which was thousands of miles farther away than he had calculated, imagining a smaller world. He would have been doomed by that great expanse of sea. But he was lucky.

A People's History of the Unite - Howard Zinn.pdf - A...

One-fourth of the way there he came upon an unknown, uncharted land that lay between Europe and Asia—the Americas. It was early October , and thirty-three days since he and his crew had left the Canary Islands, off the Atlantic coast of Africa. Now they saw branches and sticks floating in the water.

They saw flocks of birds. These were signs of land.

Then, on October 12, a sailor called Rodrigo saw the early morning moon shining on white sands, and cried out. It was an island in the Bahamas, the Caribbean sea. The first man to sight land was supposed to get a yearly pension of 10, maravedis for life, but Rodrigo never got it.

Columbus claimed he had seen a light the evening before. He got the reward. So, approaching land, they were met by the Arawak Indians, who swam out to greet them.

The Arawaks lived in village communes, had a developed agriculture of corn, yams, cassava. They could spin and weave, but they had no horses or work animals. They had no iron, but they wore tiny gold ornaments in their ears. This was to have enormous consequences: it led Columbus to take some of them aboard ship as prisoners because he insisted that they guide him to the source of the gold. He then sailed to what is now Cuba, then to Hispaniola the island which today consists of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

New York: Bibliography and index.

Zinn-bashing is by no means a new phenomenon. In fact, the first Zinn-bashing quote HNN posted above the online comments on the anti-Zinn vote was from an essay by Michael Kazin that initially appeared in Dissent magazine in Historians rarely engage in empirical classroom research and often seem incapable of remembering how readers new to history experience the reading of introductory texts. They come away inspired by the resistance, not demoralized by the outcome.

Zinn's people's history is passionate, probing, and partisan. Zinn begins from the premise that the lives of ordinary people matter — that history ought to focus on those who too often receive only token attention workers, women, people of color , and also on how people's actions, individually and collectively, shaped our society.

And it's a people's history in that it's a perspective on the past that is usable today, that can instruct and inspire and caution as we try to make the world a better place.

Contrast Zinn's approach with a traditional textbook history. As anyone who has ever cracked a history textbook can affirm, they're boring. The prose reads like words and ideas have first been run through a blender. Passionless, story-poor, the books feign Objectivity. There is a lot of "us," and "we," and "our," as if the texts are trying to dissolve race, class, and gender realities into the melting pot of "the nation.

Zinn's writing presents no such illusions. Societies are dynamic, conflict-ridden, with power played out in every aspect of life. Historians cannot remain outside or "above" these struggles, Zinn argues. None of us can. Our lives, our occupations, our consumer choices — and, yes, how we tell history — all take sides, and help move the world in one direction or another.

It is partial in that it is only a tiny part of what really happened. That is a limitation that can never be overcome. And it is partial in that it inevitably takes sides, by what it includes or omits, what it emphasizes or deemphasizes.

It may do this openly or deceptively, consciously or subconsciously. As Zinn suggests, the authors may even be unaware of them. War with Mexico in two bland paragraphs, out of its 1, pages see p.

It never mentions widespread U. It was during this war that Henry David Thoreau went to jail and coined the term "civil disobedience," in defense of his refusal to pay taxes to support U. Today, as the United States wages two wars in foreign lands and engages in military actions in many more, isn't a textbook biased when it fails to alert students to the long antiwar and anti-imperialist traditions in our country's history? And with so much conversation about "protecting our borders," isn't it biased not to explore where those borders came from in the first place?

In the first chapter of A People's History of the United States, Zinn notes how so much history-telling concentrates on those at the top — the presidents and diplomats, the generals and industrialists.

It's a winner's history, and implicitly tells students: Pay attention to the victors and disregard the rest. Zinn flips the script, as the kids say.

Howard Zinn’s History Lessons

He writes that, "I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks, of the Constitution from the standpoint of the slaves, of Andrew Jackson as seen by the Cherokees, of the Civil War as seen by the New York Irish, of the Mexican War as seen by the deserting soldiers of Scott's army, of the rise of industrialism as seen by the young women in the Lowell textile mills, of the Spanish-American war as seen by the Cubans, the conquest of the Philippines as seen by the black soldiers on Luzon, the Gilded Age as seen by southern farmers, the First World War as seen by socialists, the Second World War as seen by pacifists, the New Deal as seen by blacks in Harlem, the postwar American empire as seen by peons in Latin America.

When we look at history from the standpoint of the workers and not just the owners, the soldiers and not just the generals, the invaded and not just the invaders, we can begin to see society more fully, more accurately. So often, history books describe a flattened world of "U. As Zinn writes, "Nations are not communities and never have been. The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest sometimes exploding, most often repressed between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex.

Zinn, Howard - A People's History of American Empire (a graphic adaptation, comic book form).pdf

Thus the more clearly we see the past, the more clearly we'll see the present — and be equipped to improve it. None of this is to argue for a history that exaggerates the crimes of the powerful, inflates the heroism of "the people," or invents victories for social movements. But history- writing that begins with a belief in the possibility of a fundamentally egalitarian society will necessarily make alternative selections from our nation's past.

Zinn's commitments and work in civil rights and peace movements have led him to propose that history be put to the service of working and teaching for a better world. History is about and for human beings. Commitment and justice, critique and hope.

It seems to me that it's all of this that draws people — and especially teachers — to Howard Zinn's scholarship. I know that early in my career, this is what drew me to Zinn's work.

From Manifest Destiny to Empire

A People's Pedagogy A people's history requires a people's pedagogy to match. The activities included in this booklet are not a chapter-by-chapter guide to Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Instead, they feature teaching strategies that illustrate how a people's history can be brought to life in the classroom.

A fundamental problem with traditional history and with traditional history teaching is that it can appear that each event leads inexorably to the next: this happened then this happened then this happened, like dominoes lined up and falling. Social changes can seem almost inevitable. Laid out in neatly sequenced chapters, textbooks present social reality as if it were unfolding rather than being created by people.I know that early in my career, this is what drew me to Zinn's work.

Click here for the guide. A Note and Disclaimer are below. Not only do students readily note the missing perspectives, they also spot things that are less obvious. No institutional affiliation. Brighton hotel worker successfully resists wage theft. Info The libcom library contains nearly 20, articles.

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