A People’s History of the United States

Howard Zinn


It took me 20 years to get around to reading this book which has been printed in 75 editions by now! It is a great history of things not covered in our school books… unionizing the coal industry, women’ suffrage, anti-war protest and much more.

This updated version covered through the 2000 election, a much disputed one between Bush and Gore! Although the writer is biased toward socialism, it definitely gives us  a lot to think about.

Now I know the difference between the AFL ( a union for skilled workers) and the CIO, or Congress for Industrial Organization, a union of unskilled workers organized by industry. Sit-downs strikes in the 1930s achieved a minimum wage, a forty-hour week and child labor laws.

The red scare of the 1950s when school children were given air raid drills in fear of an atomic bomb attack from Russia is something I recall form my childhood. The McCarthy hearings, the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1950 and the Truman doctrine were all part of a widespread fear of Communism taking over hte world.

I’ll keep this on my bookshelf and will re-read parts of it I’m sure! 








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