A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
Introduction by Anthony Arnove
Thirty-fifth anniversary updated edition
HarperCollins / Perennial (orig. 1980; updated ed. 2015)
Trade Paper • ISBN-13: 9780062397348 • US $19.99 • 784 pgs.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
With a new introduction by Anthony Arnove, this updated edition of the classic national bestseller reviews the book’s thirty-five-year history and demonstrates once again why it is a significant contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.
Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace.
Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People’s History of the United States is the only volume to tell America’s story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America’s women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country’s greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women’s rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.
Covering Christopher Columbus’s arrival through the September 11, 2001 attacks, A People’s History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.
“A brilliant and moving history of the American people.”
“Howard Zinn’s work literally changed the conscience of a generation. And the series of ‘people’s histories’ derived from this great work have provided new understanding of who we are and what we should aspire to be. As the thirty-fifth anniversary edition reminds us, this is a remarkable legacy.”
“[Howard Zinn] wrote to the people, for the people: ‘My intention is … to light a flame under the rest of us.’ And that is exactly what Howard Zinn did—in the dozens of books he wrote and edited, in the hundreds of speeches he gave in his teachings and activism, and, later in life, in his role as the muse of history and politics for a new generation of freethinkers and organizers.”
“Few historians manage to reach a broad nonacademic audience…. Zinn’s public learned about ordinary Americans’ struggles for justice, equality, and power. I have long been struck by how many excellent students of history first had their passion for the past sparked by reading Howard Zinn.”
Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Howard Zinn (1922–2010) was a historian, playwright, and activist. He wrote the classic 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” (Library Journal). The book, which has sold more than 2.6 million copies and been translated into 23 foreign editions, has become a cultural touchstone, encouraging interest in “people’s histories” in universities and activist meetings alike. In 2009, History aired The People Speak, an acclaimed documentary co-directed by Zinn, based on A People’s History and a companion volume, Voices of a People’s History of the United States. As Noam Chomsky wrote, “Howard Zinn’s work literally changed the conscience of a generation.”
Zinn grew up in a working-class, immigrant household in Brooklyn. At eighteen, he became a shipyard worker and flew bomber missions over Europe during World War II, experiences which helped to shape his opposition to war and his interest in the lives of working people. After attending college under the GI Bill and earning a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, he taught at Spelman College, a historically black women’s college, where he became active in the civil rights movement. After being fired by Spelman for his support for student protesters, Zinn became a professor of Political Science at Boston University, where he taught until his retirement in 1988. He wrote more than forty books.
OTHER TITLES BY THIS AUTHOR
A People’s History of the United States: Abridged Teaching Edition (with Kathy Emery and Ellen Reeves)
A People’s History of the United States: The Wall Charts (with George Kirschner)
Howard Zinn On Democratic Education (with Donaldo Macedo)
Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches, 1963–2009 (ed. Anthony Arnove)
Indispensable Zinn: The Essential Writings of the “People’s Historian” (ed. Timothy Patrick McCarthy)
Original Zinn: Conversations on History and Politics (with David Barsamian)
Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century (with Dana Frank and Robin D. G. Kelley)
Uncommon Sense: From the writings of Howard Zinn (eds. Dean Birkenkamp and Wanda Rhudy)
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