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A People's History of the United States [Kindle Edition]

Howard Zinn
3.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)

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“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.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1294 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 756 Seiten
  • Verlag: HarperCollins e-books; Auflage: 1 (26. Januar 2010)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00338QF46
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #107.031 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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3.8 von 5 Sternen
3.8 von 5 Sternen
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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Kindle-Edition 1. Oktober 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I was thoroughly disappointed when I bought the Kindle-Edition, because it is incomplete. The whole bibliography and the index have been omitted. If you don't care about the bibliography, then this edition will be just fine for you. For me, and certainly for numerous other readers as well, the bibliography is an indispensable part of the book. I cannot work properly with it without its bibliography and there should be at least some indication in the article's description that the bibliography has been omitted.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Learn the truth about America's past. 22. Oktober 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Things you you won't find in most history books, about America's past. An eye opener on US policy throughout history.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
wichtige Ergänzung zur vorherrschenden einseitigen Mythologie der amerikanischen Geschichte
Empfehle es Jeden, der sich um Erweiterung seines politischen und geschichtlichen Horizonts bemüht und Fakten braucht. Trotzdem muss man bei diesem Buch auch wachsam bleiben, nicht leichtgläubig einer "Gegenideologie" zu verfallen.

Peter Hasenknopf
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5 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Unglaublich lesenswert 27. August 2005
Von Ein Kunde
Dieses Buch hat mich geaergert, gefreut und letztendlich zutiefst
beruehrt. Die heutige US Administration ist nach der Lektuere
dieses Buches leider nichts als eine logische Fortsetzung der Geschichte.Kritiker die den Autor mit der einfaeltigen rechts-links Analyse als linkslastig diffamieren moechten, uebersehen die Tatsache dass der Autor alles immer wieder mit Fakten unterstreicht. Lesenswert und fuer mich in jeder Hinsicht eine
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.9 von 5 Sternen  510 Rezensionen
581 von 666 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Highly Entertaining 24. Dezember 2004
Von N. Aviles - Veröffentlicht auf
While there is no doubt that Mr. Zinn is a communist at heart, there is also no doubt that Zinn's view and presentation is very entertaining not to mention pretty factual. Let us not fool ourselves here my friends, every writer who writes about politics or history is going to have a bias and that bias is going to present itself in that author's work.

I am a Republican, born again Christian and I had no problem with Zinn's views, simply because I am a realist. For years we were fed that nonsensical view of Christopher Columbus being a pious man coming to the Americas to bring salvation and religion to the indigenous people or simply just omitting the facts in American history studies that would show a very negative side of our founding fathers.


I don't agree with everything Mr. Zinn has said in this book but it is refreshing to see history told more correctly so than in our public school system which are suppose to educate not indoctrinate.

To my dear republican brethren out there, do not feel that you have to put our fore fathers on a pedestal in order for you to feel patriotic and zealous for your country. The reason I can be a conservative Republican and still agree with a lot of what Zinn has to say is (1. I do not allow a party to think for me, I always keep an open mind, without an open mind we are no different then the followers of David Koresh and other cultic fanatics. (2. We have come a long way in this great country of ours and have much to be proud of regardless of your race or back ground. Let us not view things as liberal or right wing, just be open minded and sift through the facts in different history books and find the truth somewhere in the middle.

I recommend this book. 4 out of 5 stars (-1 star for the indoctrinating tone)
128 von 151 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Important stuff... 28. März 2005
Von K. Mills - Veröffentlicht auf
First of all, it's important to keep in mind that this isn't a history textbook. It's more a lengthy editorial refuting all those Hooray For America history books we suffered through in school. Its purpose is to be as biased to the negative/socialist as your schoolbook was to the positive/capitalist. The point here is that if you're new to the subject of American history, this wouldn't be a good choice.

For the most part, these pages ring depressingly true. If you ever look at the state of America today and shake your head in bafflement, People's History will clear it up for you. There is no mistake being made now that hasn't been made numerous times before, for exactly the same reasons.

Zinn is truly in his element during America's earlier history, and from Columbus through Vietnam he succeeds wonderfully in his goal to create a masterpiece of contrarian bias. He paints a vivid and important picture of a country built on genocide, slavery, oppression, and war; railing endlessly against the `corporate elite' and sympathizing with the common worker, minorities, etc.

Unfortunately, those sympathies sometimes degenerate into outright romanticizing. His statement that indigenous people's wars were more ritualized than violent has been thoroughly debunked, the working man was taken advantage of for so long because his lack of cohesiveness and racism were easy to manipulate, and many of our enemies (i.e. the North Vietnamese) weren't the swell guys Zinn makes them out to be.

All this bias makes for brilliant, eye-opening stuff, but it also creates a bizarre disconnect. In reading Zinn's interpretation of our history, there is no sense at all of progress. The country he describes would have collapsed beneath the weight of its own corruption and brutality. And yet, here we are, two hundred years later, the only hyperpower on the block. Seems like he might have left a few things out...

After Vietnam, Zinn seems to get completely lost. As we push into an era where most of our oppressive hobgoblins have been slain and the interests of the corporations have largely merged with those of the working man, the narrative gets a little forced.

An example from page 652: "In the early 90s...the American system was out of control-a runaway capitalism, a runaway technology, a runaway militarism, a running away of government from the people it claimed to represent. Crime was out of control, cancer and AIDS were out of control. Prices, taxes, and unemployment were out of control. The decay of cities and the breakdown of families was out of control."

Is that how you remember the nineties? Geez, I feel lucky to have just survived.

From page 640: "The United States, with 5% of the [world's] population, consumed 30% of the world's production. But only...the richest 1% of [Americans] benefited."

Oh, come on. I actually know a guy on the Fortune 400 and I can personally guarantee you that when he sits down for dinner he doesn't eat a six point three million steaks. Nor does he own forty eight million pairs of bikini briefs. And his car does not consume six hundred thousand barrels of oil for every mile it travels.

Zinn then gets downright loopy with his idea that there is a brewing revolution of the middle class in America against that pesky Corporate Elite. His theory seems to be that the problems of the middle class stem from the fact that we are being kept down by the man. Not sure where he's going with this. Is he saying that our, uh, desperation is derived from the fact that, as average Americans, we can only afford two SUVs that we don't need instead of two thousand like Bill Gates?

His answer to our horrifying condition is to increase tax rates on the wealthy to 90%, do away with defense spending (which he always refers to in dollar numbers instead of percentages to make it seem like it's 95% of the budget) and give it all to the poor. The fact that he thinks this would work in the U.S suggests that he didn't read his own book.

Bottom line? It's one of the best books I ever read, but only because of the mountain of God Bless America propaganda that it attempts to balance. As a stand-alone history book, it wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on.

So maybe it deserves 5 stars, but I had to knock one off for all that aging hippy `let's start a commune and wear hemp' nonsense at the end. Particularly because Zinn missed an amazing opportunity to explore thoroughly what he only hinted at: that our oppressive tendencies haven't gone away, they've just been refocused on the goal of becoming (sigh) the Robber Barons of the world. I suppose, though, that line of reasoning would force him to acknowledge that his beloved working-man is just as willing to work Cambodian children to death for a sweet pair of sneakers as Rockefeller was willing to work American children to death for a gold plated toilet...
84 von 98 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Great polemic, lousy history 12. August 2003
Von K. Collins - Veröffentlicht auf
Zinn presents his case clearly and consistently for 688 pages. I enjoyed his POV, especially his attention to the property interests of the founding fathers that set the outer limit of their revolutionary zeal. Zinn is up front about this sympathies from the beginning, and shouldn't be faulted for making his case.
However, I was unhappy with the "history" itself. Zinn often jumps around from event to event and he's sparing with his dates. When he could be specific he's nearly always vague, favoring phrases like "that summer" rather than giving a month or day. It suggests to me that he's drawing from memory or old notes rather than directly from his sources.
He's consciously loose with his sources, giving a bibliography rather than endnotes or footnotes. Granted, there would be a lot of them, but they'd substantiate his claims, especially his statistics. I was often surprised by them and wanted to quote them, but it would be nearly impossible to sort through his book list and track down his reference to, say the percentage of literate white males in 1740. He says he tries to credit his sources in the text where possible, but he never gives a page number, and for periodicals, he doesn't give the date.
I got the feeling, especially in the later chapters that he was drawing heavily on just having read the paper for the last 30 years. In the end, he admits that his history shorts the West, and he draws from East Coast papers of record for much of his analysis. As he nears the present day, he totally loses perspective, and he veers off into what could have been, rather than telling what was. He should have cut the book short after the Vietnam war.
I can't vouch for the factual basis of what he reports, one way or the other, but I was deeply disturbed by his poor referece on page 662 to Barbara Ehrenreich's recent work. He misquotes the title as "Nickeled and Dimed", and goes on to state that she spent a year working at various jobs, including as a factory worker. She only spent three months working odd jobs, and she wasn't a factory worker. After 662 pages, I was left doubting the veracity of everything I read before.
281 von 341 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A note to all those critical. 20. April 2004
Von Alex Degus - Veröffentlicht auf
I have noticed a lot of critics saying that this book neglects to mention America's achievments, that it is biased, liberal, radical, revisionist, communist..ect. But the point that these people are missing is that this book is intended to be biased. It is intended to be read as a supplement to the standard textbook American history. For my High Schol U.S. history course, we read this book as well as a more traditional and general text. This allows us to view American history with a very open and critical mind. It allows us to question history as well as the historian reciting it. What Mr. Zinn is trying to do is give us an alternate perspective upon America. A perspective that many of us are blind to. This book is to read with an open mind. Not with a liberal or conservative one. Whether you agree with Howard Zinn or not (I know I have disagreeded with him many times during the course of this reading as well as been in total concensus with) this book provides insight into America's past that many people need to hear. One certainly shouldn't jump to the conclusion that this book is the true American history because it is a very specific and biased one. The book should be read with a traditional history in mind. But one should also not disregard the ideas that this text has to offer. Obviously it has flaws. It was writen by a singal person with his own perspective on America. But every history book I have ever read (as a high school student that is many) has its flaws and its bias. That doesn't invalidate what information it has to offer though. I believe this book should be a standard in classrooms to be read with a more standard U.S. text.
79 von 100 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good critic sense, mediocre history 6. Oktober 2003
Von Fabio - Veröffentlicht auf
First of all I'm not american and I lack what Zinn often criticizes, a classic american hero-history, so my opinion on this book could be slightly different from an usual american reader review.
One of the reasons I bought A People's History is simply because I received a typical european education very focused on every aspect of main euro countries, say Western ones, with scarce notions about american history; for instance I was taught about the Revolution and the Intervention during the WorldWarII but not much more, and I was curious to learn something more specific especially about the epic figures of the Presidents and the Supreme Court, so I bounced on this book with absolute no clue about Zinn's political view.
I have just finished to read the 2003 edition, and this is what I think about this huge book,
1)If you don't feel shocked and indignated by criticizing classic american heroes such as the Founding Fathers, Lincoln, etc or by talking openly especially about their mistakes and their bad decisions or policies, the book is indeed a good approach to build a true critic sense, for it makes you ask important questions and seek difficult answers, and this is crucial in history teaching. This is indeed important I repeat.
2)Zinn tried to write in a novelist-style, concentrating on a topic and climating from the least to the most important things to say about, while commenting and drawing consequences, but at the same time forgetting completely about the time-line stream, the thing that probably most gives sense to history itself.
This can lead to a very frustrating reading, when you try to find out what happens before and what next, but you simply can't because here he talks about 1887, a line below about 1900, five lines below about 1870 and so on.
3)There are topics very well described along with most incomplete references, last ones especially about the 'rich and powerful' facts, who anyway still remain facts. So if you don't have a classic american education it's sometimes difficult to understand what's going on because everything's focused only and always on the same topics. Along with this you can't find a single note or precise account especially about statistics and statements, so you can never be sure if you can buy what Zinn says.
4)The last chapters of the book tend to fall either in utopistic dreams or melanconic complaining, and Zinn never gives a valid and possible alternative choice; I'll give you just an example: you can't criticize Clinton's policy of reducing the deficit if you omit what are the consequences in the long run of an increasing deficit caused by social either military expenses; it's not so easy as Zinn often says to spend money on social programs and yet promoting an economic growth while creating new jobs! In matter of fact, even if you can't accept this on a political or moral point of view, the economy grows and creates jobs as long as the corporations earn money so they can later invest.
In conclusion I can say I was disappointed from the book from a pure technical historic approach, but I consider anyway the book excellent, and I really mean it, to develop an independent and critic mentality, for actual national american media don't help in this, nor the history class the way is done in american schools, all this not depending on which political party you believe in.
My rating: 3 stars, good but not too much, don't make the mistake neither to be too much impressed nor to consider it junk
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