Customer Reviews for

A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

51 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

History of the Underdoog

Written with the extensive use of primary quotes allowing the reader to experience American history from the perspective of those who lived it, 'A People¿s History...' is one of the best books on American history that I have read. Zinn¿s use of language makes it excitin...
Written with the extensive use of primary quotes allowing the reader to experience American history from the perspective of those who lived it, 'A People¿s History...' is one of the best books on American history that I have read. Zinn¿s use of language makes it exciting to read and easy to side with the oppressed groups of people throughout history. Zinn tells the story from the perspective of the underdog, which is a nice break from the normal history of the conqueror. Those who criticize the book as ¿socialist¿ need to open their minds and realize that the sugar-coated version of American history that they received during primary and secondary school was inaccurate and biased towards the status quo. Of course this is only one book, but one that is absolutely necessary to read for anyone who truly wants to understand our nation¿s past.

posted by Anonymous on October 23, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

48 out of 153 people found this review helpful.

Instead, read "A Patriot's History of the United States"

I highly recommend Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen's "A Patriot's History of the United States". You get all the history and none of Mr. Zinn's obvious Marxist disdain for capitalism and traditional American values.

posted by 1923684 on September 14, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    History of the Underdoog

    Written with the extensive use of primary quotes allowing the reader to experience American history from the perspective of those who lived it, 'A People¿s History...' is one of the best books on American history that I have read. Zinn¿s use of language makes it exciting to read and easy to side with the oppressed groups of people throughout history. Zinn tells the story from the perspective of the underdog, which is a nice break from the normal history of the conqueror. Those who criticize the book as ¿socialist¿ need to open their minds and realize that the sugar-coated version of American history that they received during primary and secondary school was inaccurate and biased towards the status quo. Of course this is only one book, but one that is absolutely necessary to read for anyone who truly wants to understand our nation¿s past.

    51 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    I'll be the first to admit that no history book offers up 'the straight facts' as our civics teachers of old would like us to believe. Books are written to educate, to entertain, and above all - thanks to publishing houses - to sell. Professor Zinn's work has managed and (with this new edition) hopefully will continue to manage to be different from the majority of history texts in the fact that it does all three of these things spectacularly well. While some readers will claim that there is a strong anti-capitalist bias, there is no denying that Professor Zinn has done his research and consequently presents a compellingly fresh view of the evolution of the United States of America. If you are offended by the idea that the founders of our great nation had more in mind than noble speeches of revolution and a burning desire for an untaxed cup of tea, then by all means, curl up by the fire with a text that will convince you George Washington never told a lie. If, however, you can accept the idea that there might be more to the story, Professor Zinn's book is an excellent place to start.

    47 out of 58 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2009

    A great text if you're open minded.

    This is the text used in my current college U.S. History class; I read it cover to cover before the class started.<BR/><BR/>It really is a well researched and captivating read. Very informative, yet intertaining.<BR/><BR/>This book has a bad wrap as being "socialist" and "antigovernment" and that may be true, however when one looks at the history of our governmental crimes and downfall, it's impossible to write anything other and a cold, clinical text without "slamming" the goverment. I also feel the need to point out that much of our history centers around socialist movements so it's really no surprize the socialist tone of the book.<BR/><BR/>Over all, Zinn is very clear about the spin, if you can even call it that, of the book straight from the title! The book is titles "A People's History Of The United States." This is a text of the have-nots. A historical book from the view of the nonaristocratic and nonpolitical society. Those of you who feel the need to put down the book because of it's perspective should ask yourselves. Am I being fair? Is Zinn really telling tails an wrongly slamming the government? Or is he telling history from a perspective which, while everyone may not understand/enjoy, is in fact historically correct and insitefull to the lives of those who were disadvantaged? <BR/><BR/>In conclusion, it's a great book that everyone should take the opportunity to read. Though I also think, because of it's perspective, it is innappropriate to base one's entire historical education/opinion on.

    43 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2007

    For those who want the truth

    We learn our history through our textbooks. But it is controlled and limited. We are taught what only what they want to teach. Often times the struggles of the daily lives of those whom are affected the most are never heard or limited to a paragraph in a chapter of a history book. This is their voice. A different perspective that should make us all rethink our 'proud' american history. I recommend this to anyone who wants to extend their knowledge beyond the textbooks.

    33 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    A People's History of the United States

    A fundamental, precious book not only for American People, especially including also central and south American People, but also worldwide. Based on the precise, detailed reconstruction of the other side of the History, from the point of view of victims, clearly uncover the true nature of the dominating class and the mechanisms of accumulation of capital. Especially timely rigth now where many federal resources are allocated to save corporations first.

    17 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    A peoples history of the united states

    While I knew that the history books used in schools did not tell the whole and truthful version of events throuhout history, I was mildly shocked by the information in this book. The author presents an eye opening view of the buliding of a country on the backs of its people in a not to kindly fashion.Through out history people have been exploited, and trod upon for the good of corporate america. When the populus becomes restless and tries to better thier position in any county, the people in power will try to prevent it in any manner posible, legal or not, as shown in this book. While we live in which I believe is the greatest country in the world, This book shows we could do better, The skirts of liberty and justice are not lily white. This book should be required reading in all schools along with the regular curiculum and let the reader decide.

    17 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    teach this in high school

    the sad but unfortunately true version of our history.

    17 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read!

    This is a refreshing take on history from the point of view of the people of America who acted as a catalyst to change, rather than from that of the leaders and the government that acted on it. It is quite inspiring and is a testament to the power one person's words can carry. Highly recommended.

    16 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    BROAD SCALE HISTORY OF THE US

    Makes an excellent gift for an advanced highschool student or university student of American history.

    12 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    A new look at US History, how to prepare people for dealing with

    This liturature excels where others fail. As Americans we strive to find our "roots" both as a nation and as a country in this ever changing world. In order to assess what options we have as a nation today, we must first understand in which context we were created, and matured. This history helps us re-discover what actually happened, as well as the struggles and sacrifices many of our citizens have made to make this nation what it is today.

    I wish this book was read and used when I went to High School, it would have given me a better preperation in dealing with the many nations I have done business with in the last 20 years.

    I warmly suggest that anyone who is interested in "re-discovering" our history and place on this planet, to read the book.

    A critic does things because he or she loves thier country, and wants it to endure the ages intact.

    7 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

    Best history book ever

    No matter what the conservatives may say, this is quality history. Just because it doesn't bow to the conservative agenda, does not denigrate the research and facts contained. This book will change the way you feel about history. Sorry Glenn Beck, this is the REAL history of the US.

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A great work

    I just recently discovered this book and it was an eye opener, highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in American history. A view of America far too little known.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Makes me want to retake American History

    Wow, what an eye-opening read. If I had had this text book for American History I may have gotten much higher grades. It gets into the real depth of just how we got where we are today in this country. You may think that Zinn is very negative, but keep reading. He does present a silver lining.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2008

    Not the boring history you learned in school

    Zinn writes with the revolutionary spirit that would make writers of the Declaration of Independence proud.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Everyone should read this book.

    Those who criticize this book as being slanted or one-sided are missing the point. Zinn tells the other side of history - the side they didn't teach us in school. Instead of history from the sanitized point of view of the rich, the powerful, and the politicians, it tells us the story of the United States by telling the stories of the masses. Zinn's book does not avoid or skim over those parts of our history that are not so honorable. It may not always be easy to hear, but keep an open mind, and you might just learn something.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    The dirty truth about our past!

    This is the dirty truth about our past! I am not american so I had the opportunity to learn the real history of America when I was growing up, as Zinn tells it, from different sources. The fact that americans seem surprised when they read this book, just shows the way education has been manipulated by the elites in the US to make it look like their intentions have always been pure and philanthropic... yeah right! ...the millions of victims from their interventionist attacks do not lie! e.g. Philippines, Mexico, Korea, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Albania, Sudan, Somalia, Japan, Bosnia, Bolivia, Honduras, Libyia, Angola, Cambodia, Laos, Oman, Indonesia, China, Egypt, Iraq, Guatemala, Panama, Grenada, Cuba, Dom. Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Colombia, Pakistan, Macedonia, Yemen, Greece, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Uruguay, Guam, Samoa, Argentina Venezuela, Brazil, Lebanon etc

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2007

    A neutral POV is not the point of this book.

    There's more than one way to revisit history. There is no doubt that this book contains the author's own bias, but that's just what this book is about: a nontraditional perspective on US history. If you are going to complain about the blatant 'Marxist spin' in this book, you are missing the point. Zinn knows that this book will not be the ultimate book of American history. The point of the book is get readers to rethink about what they heard in the history classrooms and it does just that. And that's why this book deserves five stars.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2007

    4.5 star eye-opener for most

    discard the review below. Clearly the individual either did not read the book or read it through a thoroughly discriminating lens / with a completely closed mind. Zinn does not claim originality, his goal is to put in print the possible other side and open the readers eyes to another interpretation of American History. He does so in a very readable manner. Enjoy-

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2006

    amazing view of truth and the American way

    Love it Or hate it, zinn brings to the table a new high in American literature. this book Took a long time to read due to the amount of comprehension involved in understanding the fact that your 'popular' American history is tainted. you will enjoy it

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    Dare to See the Truth

    Suck it up and dare to have the courage to examine the history of America, warts and all. I also recommend Walking the Trail, One Man's Journey Along the Cherokee of Tears by Jerry Ellis. The book, a Native American Classic, has been in print for fifteen years and was nominated for a Pulitzer and National Book Award.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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