Analysis of a People's History of the United States

Topics: Social class, Working class, Pequot Pages: 1 (1971 words) Published: August 20, 2013
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn Howard Zinn’s retelling of America’s past  shocks audiences with it stark honesty and brutality. Heroes that have been idolized for hundreds of years are ripped from their pedestals and the audience sees revolutionary events from the eyes of the ignored and voiceless. Columbus, the sinless hero that is credited for the discovery of the new world, is publicized as a heartless, conscienceless, executioner who maliciously annihilated native american communities due to a blinding greed for gold and power. An unedited account of what everyday life was like for slaves in pre­revolutionary America. The book goes on to portray one of the impactful and inspiring events in American and World history as a scheme for the upper­class in the colonies to acquire more wealth while controlling the lower classes. Modern day American’s were told the story in a completely different way. Many historians and readers have criticized Zinn’s work, David Flynn states, “Zinn utters perhaps the most honest words of A People’s History of the United States in the conclusion of the book’s 1995 edition, conceding that his work is “a biased account”(Flynn 6). But if Zynn knows that his work is biased, then why would he write it? Howard Zynn wrote A People’s History of the United States  with one goal, to show the perspective of the story that has been ignored or unknown. He says in the introduction to his book, “ Thus, in that inevitable taking of sides which comes from selection and emphasis in history, 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... I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past's fugitive moments of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare” (Zynn 7­8). Zynn choose to retell the history of the US that was previously swept under the rug. Zynn writes...
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