Zinn's A People's History Of The United States: The Oppressed



Dr. Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States might be
better titled A Proletarian's History of the United States. In the first three
chapters Zinn looks at not only the history of the conquerors, rulers, and
leaders; but also the history of the enslaved, the oppressed, and the led. Like
any American History book covering the time period of 1492 until the early
1760's, A People's History tells the story of the “discovery” of America, early
colonization by European powers, the governing of these colonies, and the rising
discontent of the colonists towards their leaders. Zinn, however, stresses the
role of a number of groups and ideas that most books neglect or skim over: ...

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credits as being the
root of many of the problems that we as a nation have today. It is refreshing to
see a book that spends space based proportionately around the people that lived
this history. When Columbus arrived on the Island of Haiti, there were 39 men on
board his ships compared to the 250,000 Indians on Haiti. If the white race
accounts for less than two hundredths of one percent of the island's population,
it is only fair that the natives get more than the two or three sentences that
they get in most history books. Zinn cites population figures, first person
accounts, and his own interpretation of their effects to create an accurate and
fair depiction of the first two and a half centuries of European life on the
continent of North America.
The core part of any history book is obviously history. In the first
three chapters of the book, Zinn presents the major historical facts of the
first 250 years of American history starting from when Christopher Columbus's ...

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as Columbus had done.
They were outnumbered, and while, with superior firearms, they could massacre
the Indians, they would face massacre in return. They could not capture them and
keep them enslaved; the Indians were tough, resourceful, defiant, and at home in
these woods, as the transplanted Englishmen were not.
“White servants had not yet been brought over in sufficient quantity....
As for free white settlers, many of them were skilled craftsmen, or even men of
leisure back in England, who were so little inclined to work the land that John
Smith... had to declare a kind of martial law, organize them into work gangs,
and force them into the fields for survival.....
...

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Added: 8/10/2006 01:54:05 PM
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