Monday, November 9, 2020

Review of A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

This review is written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = History, Empires

Elaborate Description

Tells the other side of historic events. The side that does not get told often with an emphasis on the effects of policies envisioned and created that have more or/and different effects other than intended. Howard Zinn claimed that a learned sense of proportion, that the those that make policies matter and everything that gets in their way only gets partial attention if at all, affects the way we make judgements. This book places the people affected by policies as the main source of observation and information.

It seems that the only reason the U.S. ever provides policies for the people is to create a buffer between the people it helps and those that threaten their power. Whether it is politicians gaining power, or special interest groups asking government to protect their wealth or power, the government helps take advantage of the people while making it seem that the policies help the people and are against the special interest. Whether it is to free slaves without giving freed slaves any political or economical freedom, or providing workers protection without any sort of enforcement or at worst helping to reduce workers rights, the policies vision is contrary to its implementation and effects. Wars fought claim to protect the national interest but actually protect the interest of the few. Opposition to the United States borne of intervention policies.

When the author discerns incentives and underlying interests alongside those affected, the book is extremely interesting and hold true to the main point of the book. When the author makes a claim about a portion of those affected and provides an overwhelming amount of events, the book becomes a bit dull as to belabor an idea. When the author belabors particular events that have already been made, it creates a disproportion view of the affected wrongly. When describing events, the author rarely states the other side of the story or if he does, only in passing.


Book Details

Edition ISBN:  9780060838652
Pages to read:   688
Publication:     2005
1st Edition:      1980
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    4
Content          5
Overall           5