Books: Non-Fiction

A Young People’s History of the United States

Book - Non-fiction. By Howard Zinn with Rebecca Stefoff. 2009. 464 pages. A young adult version of the best-selling A People’s History of the United States.
Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, All US History
Themes: African American, Asian American, Civil Rights Movements, Democracy & Citizenship, Immigration, Imperialism, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, LGBTQ, Native American, Organizing, Racism & Racial Identity, Slavery and Resistance, Social Class, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, Women's History

Note: We were pleased to promote the special offer by Seven Stories Press for free copies of the e-book version of A Young People’s History of the United States for two days in March. That offer has ended, however the e-book can be purchased for $11.97 from the publisher and may also be available from your public library.

youngphIn paperback with illustrations, this is the young adult edition of Howard Zinn’s classic telling of American history. A Young People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn with Rebecca Stefoff brings to U.S. history the viewpoints of workers, people who are enslaved, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people.

Beginning with a look at Christopher Columbus’ arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians; then leading the reader through the struggles for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism, Zinn presents a radical way of understanding America’s history. In so doing, he reminds readers that America’s true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals. [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9781583228692 | Published by Seven Stories Press.

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Teacher Quotes

I knew A Young People’s History of the United States book was working when students started to come into upper-level classes talking about Claudette Colvin before Rosa Parks was mentioned!

The book is very accessible to my students and it’s a great way to differentiate the class materials.

—Ashley Lock
High School Social Studies Teacher, St. Louis, Missouri

6 comments on “A Young People’s History of the United States

  1. Kristen on

    I really wish there was a third version of the book like this that was more high school leveled. A People’s History is too much for average reader in the classroom and A Young People’s is too low. I would love to see a more middle approach for my general level students who could be slightly challenged but not have to either struggle too much or too little.

  2. It's SOUTH Carolina friends on

    I really hope the error on page 143, referring to “Fort Sumter, North Carolina” has been corrected.

  3. Rhonda Feder on

    Zinn is sometimes used in lessons from Reading Like a Historian (, along views that may contrast or take a different point of view — a good way to challenge kids to think for themselves. Zinn tends to resonate with students – almost all of mine have asked for copies of the book — wish I could give it to each of them! I teach 8th grade.

  4. Star Jossy on

    I would love to know if anyone has written study guides or even lesson plans for this book. I want to teach this to my 11 year old son and would love some help.

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