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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Story Ever Told?
How do you simplify such a great book in such a short space? I am not a great reader, something has to grab me and say read me and keep reading me. I am about 60 pages from finishing this and its an amazing tale. It's not just history but pure story telling. An amazing account. It tells the the story from the other side of town. The effect decisions made by richer more...
Published on 27 Mar 2010 by Mr. Christopher Limb

versus
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative not gripping
Not an easy read as some reiews suggest, however it is a refreshing and informative antidote to the sickening americanism regularly pushed and preached in the media over the last 100 years. You're not the world's greatest democracy, you're a very naughty country...
Published on 4 Aug 2010 by horsewasblack


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Story Ever Told?, 27 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. Christopher Limb "Chris" (Nottingham, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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How do you simplify such a great book in such a short space? I am not a great reader, something has to grab me and say read me and keep reading me. I am about 60 pages from finishing this and its an amazing tale. It's not just history but pure story telling. An amazing account. It tells the the story from the other side of town. The effect decisions made by richer more powerful people had on the less fortunate. I can't begin to précis this work as its its truly outstanding. It will make your mind draw parallels with your own country and change your mind about how you have been told things really happened. Incredible!

Buy and enjoy now!
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jaw-dropping stuff, 20 May 2002
By A Customer
I found this book a fascinating and accessible read; it makes you want to read excerpts to anyone who happens to be in the same room as you. Zinn does not claim to be unbiased; in fact, he freely admits that he has written the book from the viewpoint of ordinary American people.
Zinn clearly expounds his theory on American government and its control over American society and how this control dates right back to the founding fathers. Zinn explores how many different groups have been manipulated and exploited: native American indians, negros, the working class, draftees, women, farmers, unionists, the middle class, etc., etc.
Further, he argues that the purpose of American foreign policy is, and has been, to protect and expand America’s commercial interests behind a mask of protecting democracy and freedom. Zinn explores America’s military interference in Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and others.
This is one history book which is not in the least turgid and I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in history, politics or people.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revolutionary to the point of life-changing book, 7 May 2009
By 
James Symington (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Although I have read a few histories of the United States this one had the scales falling from my eyes and smashing to smithereens on almost every page.

Never have I read an historical account that exposes the self-serving, elitist and hypocritical actions of government in such a brutal and frank way. That it happens to be about the USA is almost irrelevant given that most countries are guilty of the same hypocrisies and double standards that the US has been - certainly the UK has over its long history.

A book that leaves you shocked and angry about past and present deeds and embarrassed about the status quo.

It is a 'must read' book - even for non-Americans.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb, 18 Mar 2010
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Mr. A. W. Bishop (uk) - See all my reviews
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a brilliant read from start to finish. written with authority and care to engage the reader. superb.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did not tell me what I thought I wanted to know, 25 April 2011
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I consider myself well informed on world events and history, however I had a nagging embarrassment of my lack of 'knowledge' about American history. I grew-up in the Reagan years and have followed events since then, but I didn't really know what a founding father was, the events that triggered the civil and independence wars or what the Gettysburg address was. So I bought this book to inform me of the 'facts', I choose it because it had a left/liberal perspective and I knew a right-wing (winners) book would make me very angry.

Frankly it didn't help, Zinn is barely interested in isolated events and concerns himself with broad movements and long term trends. Now I feel embarrassed I cared about the founding fathers, Zinn is absolutely right to dismiss the historical facts of the leaders, history is made by the balance of class forces. The leaders themselves rarely present the truth in their public conduct the real history is beneath the surface.

Whatever your perspective this is a book worth reading, it is biased (as are all histories), Zinn states that very clearly throughout the text, but you cannot understand American history only from the 'offical' texts. It is unlikely any reader will agree with everything Zinn says (I have some issues regarding the Cold War) but no reader with a heart can deny the inner truth of Zinn's core argument; Amercian is and always has been the champion of the rich and powerful and anything in the way the of the pursuit of profit is pushed aside.

It is a tough read, at times I felt Zinn over laboured the point with anecdotal detail and dates jump backwards and forwards and can leave you a little confused; but overall my understanding of American history is greatly bought in to focus. I felt I knew the facts of the Reagan years, but now I feel I understand how America got there. As for the embarrassing lack of historical factual knowledge I filled those in with Wikipedia which wasn't as interesting but may improve my trivial pursuit performance.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Telling it how it is, and was..., 19 Feb 2010
By 
DP Smyth "Dermot Smyth" (Matlock, UK) - See all my reviews
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The only time I have seen or heard Howard Zinn's 'People's History' mentioned in mainstream US media was in the film, 'Good Will Hunting', where Will (Matt Damon) looks through all the books in the office of his psychiatrist (Robin Williams) and tells him, `This is the only book worth reading here.'
The tragedy is that it is relatively unknown in the USA. Corporate control of the media (and legislature) means that the majority of US citizens seem to have very little idea of what their Government and military have been up to in the last two centuries.
'Peoples History' exposes with meticulous research and great clarity how the ruling elite of USA have single-mindedly pursued a policy of Americanisation of the whole planet. They have also used decidedly undemocratic methods to maintain their control over the political and economic institutions inside America itself. The irony is, the increasing use of invasion and occupation of sovereign countries is killing that very project, as well as hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
Up until the Vietnam War, a considerable degree of Americanisation took place by `peaceful osmosis'. This was fine, it was not being imposed by force. And so many aspects of US society are progressive - visitors to USA invariably report Americans to be particularly open and hospitable people. USA does enjoy many social freedoms not found elsewhere. The problem is, too many Americans seem to be pretty ignorant of their own history and their government's foreign policy. This is equally true of every country in the world, like the UK where I live. But, in what is still the only economic and military superpower, it is much more dangerous.
Reading Zinn's brilliant book is crucial to rectifying this situation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great so far, 5 Oct 2011
I have recieved this book in excellent condititon...... and staretd it straight away. I am an regular reader of Irish and European history books but my interest in this book arose from reading a book in isreal lobby in the USA. Hearing uses of word american liberty, freedom forefathers fredom etc etc and in general taking the high moral ground in modern history, it is interesting to see how this was developed over the relative short history of the USA. This books offers not an review of how things happened and why. It provides an in depth review of people at the time on both wining USA, as a country, farm owners, industry,war) and losing side
(British,Indians,mexico, woman,slaves, poor)

Overall a great book to read for either knowledgeable of interested party with mediocre knowledge of US history from start until recent times!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 5 Oct 2011
Even the very first paragraph show that the book is unique and a very fair approach to the history of the US.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, highlights all the overlooked controversies., 10 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Zinn does very well in exposing the details of America's historical roots, highlighting controversial issues, explaining opposing theories and giving a balanced view of the conflicts that have ravaged its' history. However, the first few chapters, in which we learn of the blood-thirsty nature of the Spanish 'Discovery', seem more intent on telling the reader how 'un-biased' this book is. All in all though, a recommended read for any history buffs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be read in all schools, 3 April 2013
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The book was recommended. I did not really want to read it, thought it was one of those boring books tha talk of ''great nations and heroic deeds, etc'' but OI was wrong. The book is a gem. Recommended to readers who are interested in finding out ehat our (Sic!) was like.
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A People's History of the United States (Modern Classics)
A People's History of the United States (Modern Classics) by Howard Zinn (Paperback - 1 Nov 2010)
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