Howard Zinn looks at not only the history of the conquerors, rulers, leaders; but also the history of the enslaved, the oppressed, and the led. Like any American history book covering the time period of 1942 until the early 1760's, what is said in thefirst chapter of A People's History tells the story of the "discovery" of America. However, Zinn stresses the roles of a number of groups and ideas most books neglect or skim over. It is refreshing to see a book that spends space based around people that lived this history.
Onfirst read, Zinn’s work sometimes seems mired in a simplistic dialectic between “victims and executioners.’ But it’s a soft dialectic; his moral outrage never comes unmoored from a sense of humanism and of the possibility of change. “The prisoners of the system will continue to rebel,’ he writes in A People’s History. But “the new fact of our era is the chance that they may be joined by the guards.
When Columbus arrived on the Island of Haiti, there were 39 men abroad 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.
The core part of any history book is obviously history. Zinn presents major historical facts of American history starting with Christopher Columbus's Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria landed in the Bahamas on October 12, 1942. It was there that Europeans and Native Americansfirst came into contact; Arawak natives came out to greet the whites, and the whites were only interested in finding the gold. From the Bahamas, Columbus sailed to Cuba and Hispaniola, the present-day home of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. One hun…

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