The saying goes that “history is written by the winners.” Indeed, most history books are still written by the winners. Howard Zinn, the son of immigrant workers in New York, realized this. Growing up in a working class family, Zinn saw the world from that perspective and, after a stint in the Army Air Force fighting fascism in the Second World War, he attended New York University on the GI Bill, and did his graduate work at Columbia University. He went on to teach at Spellman College (where he was active in the Civil Rights Movement and taught, among others, Alice Walker). He later moved to Boston University. Through all of this, Zinn kept his working class perspective and critical analysis of the world around him.
That perspective is one of the things that made Howard Zinn’s People’s History of United States a radical departure from the norm when the book was published in 1980. Zinn writes history from the viewpoint of the largely ignored classes and populations that make up the great majority of the history of the United States. This is what set Zinn’s work apart from the vast majority of histories written.
Check out a different view of history with:
A People’s History of the United States
By Howard Zinn
Presents an alternative view of history by exploring seminal events and largely forgotten facets of the American experience from the perspective of indigenous tribes, slaves, immigrants, and working-class people. First published in 1980. Expanded edition covers the Clinton presidency and the contested election of 2000. Some violence. 2003.