A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States


Book - 2003
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
A revised edition of the American Book Award-nominated chronicle of U.S. history is told from a grassroots perspective and provides an analysis of important events from 1492 through the current war on terrorism.

“It’s a wonderful, splendid book—a book that should be read by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future.” —Howard Fast, author of Spartacus and The Immigrants

“[It] should be required reading.” —Eric Foner, New York Times Book Review

Library Journal calls Howard Zinn’s iconic A People's History of the United States “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those…whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories.” Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn’s award-winning classic continues to revolutionize the way American history is taught and remembered. Frequent appearances in popular media such as The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Good Will Hunting, and the History Channel documentary The People Speak testify to Zinn’s ability to bridge the generation gap with enduring insights into the birth, development, and destiny of the nation.

& Taylor

Chronicles United States history from a grassroots perspective and provides an analysis of important events from 1492 through the current war on terrorism.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2003
Edition: New ed.
ISBN: 9780060528423
Characteristics: 729 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 10, 2018

A must read for anyone interested in the actual history of America

Oct 30, 2018

A better title would have been "A Losers' History of the United States".

The fundamental flaw to this book is the same you'll find everywhere in the 'white people are the most evil race in history' argument. In fact it is the most popular title in this anti-white series.

The flaw is the asymmetrical comparison between whites/europeans/western civilization and anyone else. There is no other racial group that has ever existed with as much prominence, influence, power, and sheer dominance since the birth of the West.

So my challenge to Zinn's followers is this: find me a group that is even remotely similar to Europeans in terms of importance and then tally up the number of atrocities they committed and then compare it to Europeans and see who has more. THAT is the evidence needed to justify the "people's history...." scam and other anti-white nonsense.

Of course there is no other group like this so no comparison can be done. This whole argument collapses on per capita analysis. Take any native american group in the U.S before we arrived. None of those groups committed atrocities in India or Africa because they rarely left their own zip code. They murdered men, women, and children but it never was larger than a smallish body count because they didn't have European technology to a.) sail all over the world b.) inflict heavy casualties with technologically advanced weaponry. No they stayed in their own backyard, killed their enemies viciously and brutally but because they were small time that means so were their atrocities. Is this really nobility? A higher degree of morality? Of course not. They were not as successful as Europeans and so we have confused a lack of accomplishment, comparatively speaking, as a demonstration of the the Indian's purposeful expression of their inherent ethno-moral supremacy. This is a misidentification. This is a misrecognition. Everything about your life that is good or better than it would otherwise be comes from Western Civilization and its proponents and participants (europeans). To believe whites are uniquely evil is not intellectual in any way (please prove me wrong). It is a theological argument to say that they are - some sort of Gnostic framework where the world entered into a fallen state when the whites appeared. How did young euros suddenly start sounding like the members of the nation of islam??? well you have this book to thank i guess.

And also yes please understand just to be clear I don't want to re-run colonialism at all. To be against the colonial relationship is the view everyone should hold and Zinn and anyone else who argues that this was a mistake is 100% correct. The whole thing was a total horrid disaster. Why bother trying to help people who can't help themselves? Just to have them blame you for their failures?

Don't get me wrong life in the modern world today is not going particularly well....the globalists have made life twice as long but also 2x less worth living. And it is only on the post-1945 decline that I say yes please blame europeans for the terminal decline of the once great West. But that being true doesn't mean that A PRIORI all whites are demons! Their disproportionate amount of atrocities in the world is a side effect of their disproportionate success. And every work of art, and all technology, science and beauty in the world that you enjoy should also be "blamed" on europeans as well.

CMLibrary_akeller Mar 24, 2018

It was interesting to read about the side of American history we don't usually hear about. Well worth the read.

Mar 28, 2017

Love this book so much I am going to buy my own copy. Gives a totally different perspective on U.S. history.

cals_joe Mar 25, 2017

Probably did as much to inform my view of the world as anything I've ever read.

Nov 14, 2016

@ Twiggzette - You won't tell us what to read, but you will tell us what NOT to read.

Jul 27, 2015

twiggsette, it is not extreme political correctness to point out truth, simply because you do not agree. You give no specific examples for any of your declarations to make a point or for anyone to disagree with any of your charges. Therefore it is difficult to consider your review.

Mar 19, 2015

Nobody likes to look in the mirror and see a big zit. Zinn makes us do so and a lot of people don't like that (it's not polite to point out zits). America has seen itself as perfect for a long time and we are taught that all the way from grade school through college (and every day on Fox News). People say Zinn blames America for everything. Honestly the nonsense of American Excemptionalism has been so steeped the other way for so long, it forced his hand to go over the top in pointing our our flaws. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but without making people take a look at the horrors committed, the overwhelming ideology of America right or wrong will continue. Howard loves America and hates what our government has done in our name, from the beginning to the present.

Mar 17, 2015

I will not recommend Zinn’s History except for two groups of readers --- students NOT included. First, adults who are deeply concerned by, or are studying, the highly destructive effects that extreme political correctness & radical activism and their resulting historical revisionism (and other revisionist disciplines like English, political science, economics, and sociology) are having upon the relevance of K-12 and university educations in the USA. (Whew! That’s a run-on sentence. My bad!) Second, people who already agree with Zinn and who want a “rollicking good yarn” to inspire them and to validate their revisionist beliefs and their reasons for existence, whatever they are worth in the real scheme of things.

For those who want to study REAL US history, there are far better texts than this, most of them written before the ‘60’s. I suggest that you go to your public libraries and browse the history shelves for books that are far more accurate and relevant than this well-written but academically biased screed. I have my favorites and you should find yours. To each his own. I won’t tell you what to read. You decide of your own free volition. Unlike at school or university, it's a free world, not a politically correct one.

As for Zinn and his books, there is a quotation I learned to heart while at university. “No one is ever a complete failure. He can always serve as a bad example.” That quote sums up this book and its author.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at SCL

To Top