A People's History of the United States

Version: Abridged
Author: Howard Zinn
Narrator: Matt Damon
Genres: North America, Public Policy
Publisher: HarperAudio
Published In: February 2003
# of Units: 7 CDs
Length: 7 hours, 30 minutes
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For much of his life, historian Howard Zinn has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version taught in schools -- with its emphasis on great men in high places -- to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, Zinn's A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of -- and in the words of -- its women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. Here we learn that many of our country's greatest battles -- labor laws, women's rights, racial equality -- were carried out at the grassroots level, against steel-willed resistance. This edition of A People's History of the United States features insightful analysis of some of the most important events in this country in the past one hundred years.

Featuring a preface and afterword read by the author himself, this audio continues Howard Zinn's important contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

Reviews (8)

History from below

Written by Anonymous on April 30th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

It was okay. Seemed like a narration of random events rather than an explanation of over-arching themes and currents. Nonetheless, a view of "history from below" with compassion for the weak and marginalized.

A People's History of the United States

Written by Anonymous on February 14th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

This is a great book to read, but I was disappointed in the audio version as the chapters are not presented in any logical order. Very strange considering it is a history book! I hope the other audio books available through simplyaudiobooks are not the same.

Eye Opener

Written by ML on February 13th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

WOW!! The most refreshing history book I've ever come across. Although Zinn gets a tad dramatic at times, taking quotes from the authors and political people of the time brings a whole new light onto the topics. Zinn spares no one in his accounts. I highly recommend this book.

Not what I expected.

Written by Ronald Defenbaugh on October 30th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I have the hardback book of "Peoples History...." The subtitle is 1492 to Present and thought the audio would be an easy way to "read" this great volume. The audio starts out in the 1950's which is OK, but that's not what I expected or wanted. Be aware this is not Zinn's original "Peoples History of the United States."

Peoples History of the United States

Written by Anonymous on October 24th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

This book was not to my liking. I appreciate all the history that it discusses, but it is a real bore. I tried, but could not listen to it all.

Starts off really well, then falls apart.

Written by Michael Lane on February 4th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

First of all, Matt Damon narrates and that itself makes for a very pleasant listening experience. The books starts off very well, taking us through the struggles of minorities, women, veterans and prisoners in the 20th century. I found this part of the book entertaining and very engaging. By the fifth CD, the author takes over reading and I completlely lost him. He was no longer retelling history, he was offering his political views in a rambling, incoherent fashion. I stopped and sent it back.

People's History of the United States

Written by J Tillman from Gilbert, AZ on November 30th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Zinn definitely has a slant on history, but I enjoyed it, since the history we are taught in school also had a slant. Intelligent readers will be able to determine a balance between the two. It would be wrong to simply dismiss this as propoganda. I learned a lot about historical events I lived through as a child (the Civil Rights movement, the Women's Liberation movement) and got some interesting persepectives on lesser-known aspects. I listened to the entire first part but stopped listening midway through the 2nd set of CDs - felt like I got the point by then.

Leftist Propaganda

Written by LPM on August 19th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 1/5

The book starts out with the author reading the introduction as this being a history book from the view of victims or the losers of popular history. That would have been fine, and even interesting if he had. Instead he goes on about the evils of Capitalist America and the treachary of all great men in history. He denies historical events happening but provides no proof. The lines begin to blur between describing a historical event and his biased opinion of what happened. "People's" in the title was apparant as he lauds Socialism as the innocent victim of the Twentieth Century.

Author Details

Author Details

Zinn, Howard

"Howard Zinn is a historian, playwright, and social activist. He was a shipyard worker and Air Force bombardier before he went to college under the GI Bill and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has taught at Spelman College and Boston University, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. He has received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award, and the Lannan Literary Award. He lives in Auburndale, Massachusetts.