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  • Word Count: 2075
  • Approx Pages: 8

             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: the
             plight of the Native Americans that had their numbers reduced by up to
             90% by European invasion, the equality of these peoples in many regards
             to their European counterparts, the importation of slaves into America
             and their unspeakable travel conditions and treatment, the callous
             buildup of the agricultural economy around these slaves, the
             discontented colonists whose plight was ignored by the ruling
             bourgeoisie, and most importantly, the rising class and racial struggles
             in America that Zinn correctly 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 hal...

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