Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up.
Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People’s History 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 President Clinton’s first term, A People’s History of the United States features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.
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, like 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. [Publisher’s description.]
More than two million copies sold.
The 35th anniversary edition, published in November of 2015, includes a new introduction by Anthony Arnove. He begins,
Howard Zinn fundamentally changed the way millions of people think about history with A People’s History of the United States. He would be the first to say, however, that he didn’t do so alone. The book grew out of his awareness of the importance of social movements throughout U.S. history, some of which he played an active role in during the 1960s and 1970s and beyond, namely the Civil Rights Movement, mass mobilizations to end the Vietnam War, as well as other antiwar movements, and the many movements for higher wages and workers’ rights and the rights of women, Latinos, Native Americans, gays and lesbians, and others.
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, for the New York Times Book Review
Along with the book, students read primary sources from many sources, including Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. These sources have even inspired their own anti-war protest signs.
My students focus particularly on the primary sources therein to discuss perspectives of history, and how history is recorded and retold. Who decides which history is learned?
The way in which Howard Zinn makes history compelling for students is undeniable and a resource that I have decided I — and my students — cannot be without. Many students who find themselves in alternative programs will often say that teachers never made school interesting. Zinn's work gave me the resource I needed to capture the internal sense of justice so many urban students have. As an educator, I am filled with excitement that although I opened the window with the help of Howard Zinn, they have made the effort to examine what is outside.
Read more quotes from teachers about the impact of Howard Zinn and A People’s History of the United States on their work.
ISBN: 9780062397348 | Published by HarperCollins.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress
Chapter 2. Drawing the Color Line
Chapter 3. Persons of Mean and Vile Condition
Chapter 4. Tyranny Is Tyranny
Chapter 5. A Kind of Revolution
Chapter 6. The Intimately Oppressed
Chapter 7. As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs
Chapter 8. We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God
Chapter 9. Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom
Chapter 10. The Other Civil War
Chapter 11. Robber Barons and Rebels
Chapter 12. The Empire and the People
Chapter 13. The Socialist Challenge
Chapter 14. War Is the Health of the State
Chapter 15. Self-help in Hard Times
Chapter 16. A Peoples War?
Chapter 17. Or Does It Explode?
Chapter 18. The Impossible Victory: Vietnam
Chapter 19. Surprises
Chapter 20. The Seventies: Under Control?
Chapter 21. Carter-Reagan-Bush: The Bipartisan Consensus
Chapter 22. The Unreported Resistance
Chapter 23. The Coming Revolt of the Guards
Chapter 24. The Clinton Presidency
Chapter 25. The 2000 Election and the “War on Terrorism”