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Dock

The Peoples History of the United States - Howard Zinn

Five hundred years of a nations history in eight hundred plus pages. Quite a bold quest and one that Zinn has carried off in a fine style. He rewards the reader with a story that's as vast as the land mass it chronicles. From Columbus first setting foot in The Bahama's right through to George W. Bush's War on Terror. The 'People' of the books title are those who tend to be left out of other flag-waving hand-on-heart histories of America. The poor immigrants, the white and black farmers, the slaves, the Indians, and the overall general population.

Zinn writes from a very leftist viewpoint which even though I'm a socialist doesn't give the kind of 100% objective picture that I would personally want from political or historical biographies but that aside this is an amazing read. I'd go as far as to say a book that has changed the way I view America and the world more so than anything else I have read in a long time. †

It would be hard to list everything that intrigued me in this book without a list akin to the one the popular beat combo Billy Joel rattles through in his foray into the hit parade with 'We Didn't Start the Fire' but some of the highlights for me were The War of Independence, the framing of the U.S. Constitution including fascinating stuff about James Madison, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, the early twentieth century expansionism into Cuba and South America, the countless socialist movements and gargantuan workers strikes of the nineteenth century, and especially the 300 year history of slavery which is thoroughly horrifying.

The fortunes that were made by the Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan's, and Carnegies at the end of the nineteenth century-early twentieth century are totally fucking mind-blowing. This kind of wealth has to be read to be believed. Zinn charts the ebb and flow of the relationship between big business, government, and the population of workers like no other historian I have read. All the presidencies are covered, as is every aspect of human life that make up this huge and very new nation. As are the crimes committed by the U.S. Government to other nations and their own population. The Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger, and Reagan chapters beggar belief regarding what the American government was able to get away with by the rest of the global community regarding foreign policy.

With a book as huge regarding subject matter it's hard for a review to do it justice but I really enjoyed reading it and feel better for having read it.

The book was originally published in 1980 but the recent Kindle version was updated before Zinn's death a few years ago. This book is an amazing achievement. Educational, interesting, shocking, inspiring, brilliantly-researched, †and most importantly accessible. £2.32 for the Kindle version. An absolute fucking steal for the book buying public if you ask me.....I know you won't.

Grind

I've a (paperback) copy here, but have never got around to reading it.

I guess I should, eh?
Late Doors

Sounds fecking ace, cheers

Quote
The 'People' of the books title are those who tend to be left out of other flag-waving hand-on-heart histories of America. The poor immigrants, the white and black farmers, the slaves, the Indians, and the overall general population.



Every fucker except the  Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan's and Carnegies then
Dock

Late Doors wrote:
Sounds fecking ace, cheers

Quote
The 'People' of the books title are those who tend to be left out of other flag-waving hand-on-heart histories of America. The poor immigrants, the white and black farmers, the slaves, the Indians, and the overall general population.



Every fucker except the †Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan's and Carnegies then


Frankly, yes. I think at one point 90% of the nations wealth was owned by 4% of the population. Not far off that these days probably.
Grind

Dock wrote:
Late Doors wrote:
Sounds fecking ace, cheers

Quote
The 'People' of the books title are those who tend to be left out of other flag-waving hand-on-heart histories of America. The poor immigrants, the white and black farmers, the slaves, the Indians, and the overall general population.



Every fucker except the †Rockefellers, J.P. Morgan's and Carnegies then


Frankly, yes. I think at one point 90% of the nations wealth was owned by 4% of the population. Not far off that these days probably.


That wouldn't surprise me in the least.

* If you only knew my mother's maiden name......

** Not as related as I would like though, sadly. **
Late Doors

Grind Van Rothschild ?
Dock

Late Doors wrote:
Grind Van Rothschild ?


Grind Bummerfella
Grind

Both oh so close.

It's Grind Bummerfella-van Rothschild.

* My mother was (really) J P Morgan. I've no idea what my grandparents were thinking when they did that to her - but I'm sure it made for some amusing interactions.

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