Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present

Author: Howard Zinn

First line: Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages on the island's big beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange boat.

Why you should read this book: One of the most important books ever written, A People's History seeks to correct the mistakes of official history by restoring the perspective of Native Americans, African-Americans, women, immigrants, pacifists, the working class, and all others (the vast majority of Americans) who are not represented by the wealthy, heterosexual, white men who have been running the show for five hundred plus years in a country where government policy caters to corporate greed, the almighty military-industrial complex, and the minuscule percentage of families controlling the majority of the nation's wealth. At seven hundred pages, it is densely packed with cases of outrageous class inequality as well as positive uprising in the name of social justice, and still, the author feels compelled to apologize, in the afterword, for those people whose points of view remain underrepresented in his massive history. This book ought to be required reading for every American.

Why you shouldn't read this book: As a single mother working eighty hours a week at minimum wage who still can't afford health care, you just don't have time to read.

1 comment:

Dragon said...

And yes, in case you're wondering, this book is the reason I haven't been able to update regularly.