Howard zinn book analysis

To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do--only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy.

Howard zinn book analysis

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….

In substituting one buttoned-up interpretation of the past for another, Wineburg finds, A People's History and traditional textbooks are mirror images that relegate students to similar roles as absorbers — not analysts — of information.

The rich oppress the poor. Another argument made by Zinn is that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not necessary, as the U.

howard zinn on history

Improvements for the common person are permitted only as a way of blunting social revolution. To which I say: Golly, gee willikers, what a surprise!

European "industrial" culture met a hunter gatherer culture and we got the predictable result. For him, the solution to oppression is to somehow get rid of the powerful and put everyone on the same level. Zinn writes that the large-scale violence of the war was used to end slavery instead of the small-scale violence of the rebellions because the latter may have expanded beyond anti-slavery, resulting in a movement against the capitalist system.

There is no thought of the common good. No possibility for idealism. While the standard textbooks of that time presented a certainty about one view of the nation's history, from Manifest Destiny to the United States' moral superiority in the Cold War, Zinn put forward largely overlooked alternative perspectives, such as how slaves viewed the Constitution and how the Cherokees felt about President Andrew Jackson. Yes there were tragedies I am not taking them lightly, all human history is rife with tragedy but the continual self flagellation and the "let's all hate America and feel guilty about history-ism" has gotten silly. Zinn states that, despite popular belief, the s were not a time of prosperity, and the problems of the Depression were simply the chronic problems of the poor extended to the rest of the society. Many are far more likely to try and shout down any opposing thoughts rather than think about them. Slave owners concerned about the growing movement, decided to take the matter into their own hands and fight for their property rights. Zinn writes as if aggression and competition were sins that humans commit rather than key elements of the human makeup. If we don't get back to the "loyal opposition" and the ability to disagree logically and civilly we will soon reach a point of no return.

Now as historians look back and analyse slavery, many different ideologies are constituted. We would need — by a coordinated effort of local groups all over the country — to reconstruct the economy for both efficiency and justice, producing in a cooperative way what people need most….

Zinn writes of the methods by which he says racism was artificially created in order to enforce the economic system. Oh my goodness aren't we brave to tell re-tell American history this way?

In the end, Bacon died a natural death he caught a nasty virus and his friends were hanged, but for the first time ever, the government was forced to listen to the grievances of the underclass that had been for the most part largely ignorable up to that point.

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Analysis of A People’s History of the United States by