A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present

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Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has been chronicling U.S. history from the bottom up.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People’s History tells U.S. history from the point of view of—and in the words of—America’s women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country’s greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women’s rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance. Covering Christopher Columbus’s arrival through President Clinton’s first term, A People’s History of the United States features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.

Library Journal calls Howard Zinn’s iconic A People’s History of the United States “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those. . . whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories.” Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn’s award-winning classic continues to revolutionize the way American history is taught and remembered.

Frequent appearances in popular media, like The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Good Will Hunting, and the History Channel documentary The People Speak, testify to Zinn’s ability to bridge the generation gap with enduring insights into the birth, development, and destiny of the nation. [Publisher’s description.]

More than two million copies sold.

The 35th anniversary edition, published in November of 2015, includes a new introduction by Anthony Arnove. He begins,

Howard Zinn fundamentally changed the way millions of people think about history with A People’s History of the United States. He would be the first to say, however, that he didn’t do so alone. The book grew out of his awareness of the importance of social movements throughout U.S. history, some of which he played an active role in during the 1960s and 1970s and beyond, namely the Civil Rights Movement, mass mobilizations to end the Vietnam War, as well as other antiwar movements, and the many movements for higher wages and workers’ rights and the rights of women, Latinos, Native Americans, gays and lesbians, and others.


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Book Preview , 35th Anniversary Edition (2015)

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress

Chapter 2: Drawing the Color Line

Chapter 3: Persons of Mean and Vile Condition

Chapter 4: Tyranny Is Tyranny

Chapter 5: A Kind of Revolution

Chapter 6: The Intimately Oppressed

Chapter 7: As Long as Grass Grows or Water Runs

Chapter 8: We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God

Chapter 9: Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom

Chapter 10: The Other Civil War

Chapter 11: Robber Barons and Rebels

Chapter 12: The Empire and the People

Chapter 13: The Socialist Challenge

Chapter 14: War Is the Health of the State

Chapter 15: Self-help in Hard Times

Chapter 16: A Peoples War?

Chapter 17: Or Does It Explode?

Chapter 18: The Impossible Victory: Vietnam

Chapter 19: Surprises

Chapter 20: The Seventies: Under Control?

Chapter 21: Carter-Reagan-Bush: The Bipartisan Consensus

Chapter 22: The Unreported Resistance

Chapter 23: The Coming Revolt of the Guards

Chapter 24: The Clinton Presidency

Chapter 25: The 2000 Election and the “War on Terrorism”


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Voices of a People's History, 10th Anniversary Edition
Voices of a People’s History of the United States

Voices of a People’s History is the companion volume to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States featuring selected testimonies to living history—speeches, letters, poems, songs—left by the people who make history happen but who usually are left out of history books. Voices of a People’s History is a symphony of our nation’s original voices, rich in ideas and actions, the embodiment of the power of civil disobedience and dissent wherein lies our nation’s true spirit of defiance and resilience. Read more.


The People Speak – Extended Edition

The People Speak, the feature documentary inspired by A People’s History of the United States and based on live readings of Voices of a People’s History of the United States, offers readings and performances of letters, diary entries, speeches, and songs from throughout U.S. history. Read more.

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