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A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States

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Chapter 7, "As Long As Grass Grows or Water Runs" discusses 19th century conflicts between the U.S. government and Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 (such as the Seminole Wars
Seminole Wars
The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole — the collective name given to the amalgamation of various groups of native Americans and Black people who settled in Florida in the early 18th century — and the United States Army...

) and Indian removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

, especially during the administrations of Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 and Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

.

Chapter 8, "We Take Nothing By Conquest, Thank God" describes the Mexican-American War. Zinn writes that President James Polk agitated for war for the purpose of expansionism
Expansionism
In general, expansionism consists of expansionist policies of governments and states. While some have linked the term to promoting economic growth , more commonly expansionism refers to the doctrine of a state expanding its territorial base usually, though not necessarily, by means of military...

. Zinn argues that the war was unpopular, but that newspapers of that era misrepresented the popular sentiment.

Chapter 9, "Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom" addresses slave rebellion
Slave rebellion
A slave rebellion is an armed uprising by slaves. Slave rebellions have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery, and are amongst the most feared events for slaveholders...

s, the abolition movement
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

, the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, and the effect of these events on African-Americans. Zinn writes that the large-scale violence of the war was used to end slavery instead of the small-scale violence of the rebellions because the latter may have expanded beyond anti-slavery, resulting in a movement against the capitalist system. He writes that the war could limit the freedom granted to African-Americans by allowing the government control over how that freedom was gained.

Chapter 10, "The Other Civil War", covers the Anti-Rent movement
Anti-Rent War
The Anti-Rent War was a tenants' revolt in upstate New York during the early 19th century, beginning with the death of Stephen Van Rensselaer III in 1839....

, the Dorr Rebellion
Dorr Rebellion
The Dorr Rebellion was a short-lived armed insurrection in the U.S. state of Rhode Island led by Thomas Wilson Dorr, who was agitating for changes to the state's electoral system.- Precursors :...

, the Flour Riot of 1837
Flour Riot of 1837
The Flour Riot of 1837 was a riot that broke out in New York City in 1837. The riot was caused by a combination of poverty and the rising cost of flour, which had increased from $5.62 a barrel to $12 a barrel....

, the Molly Maguires
Molly Maguires
The Molly Maguires were members of an Irish-American secret society, whose members consisted mainly of coal miners. Many historians believe the "Mollies" were present in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania in the United States from approximately the time of the American Civil War until a...

, the rise of labor unions, the Lowell girls movement, and other class struggle
Class struggle
Class struggle is the active expression of a class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote "The [written] history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle"....

s centered around the various depression
Depression (economics)
In economics, a depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe downturn than a recession, which is seen by some economists as part of the modern business cycle....

s of the 19th century. He describes the abuse of government power by corporations and the efforts by workers to resist those abuses. Here is an excerpt on the subject of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Great railroad strike of 1877
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began on July 14 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, United States and ended some 45 days later after it was put down by local and state militias, and federal troops.-Economic conditions in the 1870s:...

:

Chapter 11, "Robber Barons and Rebels" covers the rise of industrial corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s such as the railroads and banks and their transformation into the nation's dominant institutions, with corruption resulting in both industry and government. Also covered are the popular movements and individuals that opposed corruption, such as the Knights of Labor
Knights of Labor
The Knights of Labor was the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s. Its most important leader was Terence Powderly...

, Edward Bellamy
Edward Bellamy
Edward Bellamy was an American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel, Looking Backward, set in the year 2000. He was a very influential writer during the Gilded Age of United States history.-Early life:...

, the Socialist Labor Party
Socialist Labor Party of America
The Socialist Labor Party of America , established in 1876 as the Workingmen's Party, is the oldest socialist political party in the United States and the second oldest socialist party in the world. Originally known as the Workingmen's Party of America, the party changed its name in 1877 and has...

, the Haymarket martyrs, the Homestead strike
Homestead Strike
The Homestead Strike was an industrial lockout and strike which began on June 30, 1892, culminating in a battle between strikers and private security agents on July 6, 1892. It was one of the most serious disputes in U.S. labor history...

rs, Alexander Berkman
Alexander Berkman
Alexander Berkman was an anarchist known for his political activism and writing. He was a leading member of the anarchist movement in the early 20th century....

, Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century....

, Eugene V. Debs
Eugene V. Debs
Eugene Victor Debs was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World , and several times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States...

, the American Railway Union
American Railway Union
The American Railway Union , was the largest labor union of its time, and one of the first industrial unions in the United States. It was founded on June 20, 1893, by railway workers gathered in Chicago, Illinois, and under the leadership of Eugene V...

, the Farmers' Alliance
Farmers' Alliance
The Farmers Alliance was an organized agrarian economic movement amongst U.S. farmers that flourished in the 1880s. One of the goals of the organization was to end the adverse effects of the crop-lien system on farmers after the American Civil War...

, and the Populist Party
Populist Party (United States)
The People's Party, also known as the "Populists", was a short-lived political party in the United States established in 1891. It was most important in 1892-96, then rapidly faded away...

.

The Twentieth Century


Chapter 12, "The Empire and the People", covers American imperialism during the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 and the Philippine-American War
Philippine-American War
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection , was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following...

, as well as in other lands such as Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The Teller Amendment. Zinn portrays the wars as being racist and imperialist and opposed by large segments of the American people.

Chapter 13, "The Socialist Challenge", covers the rise of socialism
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 as popular political ideologies in the United States. Covered in the chapter are the American Federation of Labor
American Federation of Labor
The American Federation of Labor was one of the first federations of labor unions in the United States. It was founded in 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor, a national labor association. Samuel Gompers was elected president of the Federation at its...

 (which Zinn argues provided too exclusive of a union for non-white, female, and unskilled workers; Zinn argues in Chapter 24 that this changes in the 1990s), Industrial Workers of the World
Industrial Workers of the World
The Industrial Workers of the World is an international union. At its peak in 1923, the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. Its membership declined dramatically after a 1924 split brought on by internal conflict...

 (IWW), Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, Joe Hill
Joe Hill
Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle , and also known as Joseph Hillström was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World...

, the Socialist Labor Party, W. E. B. Du Bois, and the Progressive Party
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

 (which Zinn portrays as driven by fear of radicalism).

Chapter 14, "War is the Health of the State", covers World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and the anti-war
Anti-war
An anti-war movement is a social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts. Many...

 movement that happened during it, which was met with the heavily enforced Espionage Act of 1917
Espionage Act of 1917
The Espionage Act of 1917 is a United States federal law passed on June 15, 1917, shortly after the U.S. entry into World War I. It has been amended numerous times over the years. It was originally found in Title 50 of the U.S. Code but is now found under Title 18, Crime...

. Zinn argues that the United States entered the war in order to expand its foreign markets and economic influence.

Chapter 15, "Self-Help in Hard Times", covers the government's campaign to destroy the IWW and the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. Zinn states that, despite popular belief, the 1920s were not a time of prosperity, and the problems of the Depression were simply the problems of the poor (who Zinn states are in permanent depression) extended to the rest of the society. Also covered is the Communist Party
Communist Party USA
The Communist Party USA is a Marxist political party in the United States, established in 1919. It has a long, complex history that is closely related to the histories of similar communist parties worldwide and the U.S. labor movement....

's attempts to help the poor during the Depression.

Chapter 16, "A People's War?", covers World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, opposition to it, and the effects of the war on the people. Zinn, a veteran of the war himself, notes that "it was the most popular war the US ever fought," but states that this support may have been manufactured through the institutions of American society. He cites various instances of opposition to fighting (in some cases greater than those during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

) as proof. Zinn also argues against the US' true intention was not fighting against systematic racism such as the Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 (leading to opposition to the war from African-Americans). Another argument made by Zinn is that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
During the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the first on August 6, 1945, and the second on August 9, 1945. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.For six months...

 were not necessary, as the US government had already known that the Japanese were considering surrender beforehand. Other subjects from WWII covered include Japanese American internment
Japanese American internment
Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on...

 and the bombing of Dresden
Bombing of Dresden in World War II
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force and as part of the Allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War...

. The chapter continues into the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. Here, Zinn writes that the US government used the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 to increase control over the American people (for instance, eliminating such radical elements as the Communist Party) and at the same time create a state of permanent war, which allowed for the creation of the modern military-industrial complex
Military-industrial complex
Military–industrial complex , or Military–industrial-congressional complex is a concept commonly used to refer to policy and monetary relationships between legislators, national armed forces, and the industrial sector that supports them...

. Zinn believes this was possible because both conservatives and liberals willingly worked together in the name of anti-Communism
Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.-Objections to communist theory:...

. Also covered is the US' involvement in the Greek Civil War
Greek Civil War
The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party , backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania...

, the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg and Julius Rosenberg were American communists who were convicted and executed in 1953 for conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war. The charges related to their passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union...

, and the Marshall Plan
Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948...

.

Chapter 17, "'Or Does It Explode?'" (named after a line from Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes
James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance...

's poem "Harlem" from "Montage of a Dream Deferred
Montage of a Dream Deferred
Montage of a Dream Deferred is a book-length poem suite published by Langston Hughes in 1951. Its jazz poetry style focuses on descriptions of Harlem and its mostly African-American inhabitants. The original edition was 75 pages long and comprised 91 individually titled poems, which were intended...

," referred to as "Lenox Avenue Mural" by Zinn), covers the Civil Rights movement
African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
The African-American Civil Rights Movement refers to the movements in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against African Americans and restoring voting rights to them. This article covers the phase of the movement between 1955 and 1968, particularly in the South...

. Zinn argues that the government began making reforms against discrimination (although without making fundamental changes) for the sake of changing its international image, but often did not enforce the laws that it passed. Zinn also argues that while nonviolent tactics may have been required for Southern civil rights activists, militant actions (such as those proposed by Malcolm X
Malcolm X
Malcolm X , born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz , was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its...

) were needed to solve the problems of black ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

s. Also covered is the involvement of the Communist Party in the movement, the Congress of Racial Equality
Congress of Racial Equality
The Congress of Racial Equality or CORE was a U.S. civil rights organization that originally played a pivotal role for African-Americans in the Civil Rights Movement...

, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee ' was one of the principal organizations of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It emerged from a series of student meetings led by Ella Baker held at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in April 1960...

, the Freedom Riders, COINTELPRO
COINTELPRO
COINTELPRO was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.COINTELPRO tactics included discrediting targets through psychological...

, and the Black Panther Party
Black Panther Party
The Black Panther Party wasan African-American revolutionary leftist organization. It was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982....

.

Chapter 18, "The Impossible Victory: Vietnam", covers the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 and resistance to it
Opposition to the Vietnam War
The movement against US involvment in the in Vietnam War began in the United States with demonstrations in 1964 and grew in strength in later years. The US became polarized between those who advocated continued involvement in Vietnam, and those who wanted peace. Peace movements consisted largely of...

. Zinn argues that America was fighting a war that it could not win, as the Vietnamese people
Vietnamese people
The Vietnamese people are an ethnic group originating from present-day northern Vietnam and southern China. They are the majority ethnic group of Vietnam, comprising 86% of the population as of the 1999 census, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from other ethnic groups in Vietnam...

 were in favor of the government of Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh , born Nguyễn Sinh Cung and also known as Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Marxist-Leninist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam...

 and opposed the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem
Ngo Dinh Diem
Ngô Đình Diệm was the first president of South Vietnam . In the wake of the French withdrawal from Indochina as a result of the 1954 Geneva Accords, Diệm led the effort to create the Republic of Vietnam. Accruing considerable U.S. support due to his staunch anti-Communism, he achieved victory in a...

, thus allowing them to keep morale high. Meanwhile, the American military's morale for the war was very low, as many soldiers were put off by the atrocities that they were made to take part in, such as the My Lai massacre
My Lai Massacre
The My Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass murder of 347–504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, by United States Army soldiers of "Charlie" Company of 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the Americal Division. Most of the victims were women, children , and...

. Zinn also tries to dispel the popular belief that opposition to the war was mainly amongst college students and middle-class intellectuals, using statistics from the era to show higher opposition from the working class. Zinn argues that the troops themselves also opposed the war, citing desertions and refusals to go to war, as well as movements such as Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Vietnam Veterans Against the War is a tax-exempt non-profit organization and corporation, originally created to oppose the Vietnam War. VVAW describes itself as a national veterans' organization that campaigns for peace, justice, and the rights of all United States military veterans...

. Also covered is the US invasions of Laos and Cambodia, Agent Orange
Agent Orange
Agent Orange is the code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth...

, the Pentagon Papers
Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967...

, Ron Kovic
Ron Kovic
Ronald Lawrence Kovic is an anti-war activist, veteran and writer who was paralyzed in the Vietnam War. He is best known as the author of the memoir Born on the Fourth of July, which was made into an Academy Award–winning movie directed by Oliver Stone, with Tom Cruise playing Kovic...

, and raids on draft boards.

Chapter 19, "Surprises", covers other movements that happened during the 1960s, such as second-wave feminism
Second-wave feminism
The Feminist Movement, or the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States refers to a period of feminist activity which began during the early 1960s and lasted through the early 1990s....

, the prison reform
Prison reform
Prison reform is the attempt to improve conditions inside prisons, aiming at a more effective penal system.-History:Prisons have only been used as the primary punishment for criminal acts in the last couple of centuries...

/prison abolition movement
Prison abolition movement
The prison abolition movement seeks to abolish prisons and the prison system. The movement advocates for the abolition of prisons and the prison system on the basis of it being ineffective. Prison abolitionists present a broad critique of the modern criminal justice system, which they believe to...

, the Native American rights movement, and the counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

. People and events from the feminist movement covered include Betty Friedan
Betty Friedan
Betty Friedan was an American writer, activist, and feminist.A leading figure in the Women's Movement in the United States, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the "second wave" of American feminism in the twentieth century...

's The Feminine Mystique
The Feminine Mystique
The Feminine Mystique, published February 19, 1963, by W.W. Norton and Co., is a nonfiction book written by Betty Friedan. It is widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States....

, Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, Patricia Robinson
Patricia Robinson
Patricia Rawlins Robinson was a Trinidadian economist and public servant. Robinson, the wife former President and Prime Minister A. N. R...

, the National Domestic Workers Union, National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women
The National Organization for Women is the largest feminist organization in the United States. It was founded in 1966 and has a membership of 500,000 contributing members. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S...

, Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade, , was a controversial landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. The Court decided that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion,...

, Susan Brownmiller
Susan Brownmiller
Susan Brownmiller is an American feminist, journalist, author, and activist. She is best known for her pioneering work on the politics of rape in her 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, Brownmiller argues that rape had been hitherto defined by men rather than women; and that men use,...

's Against Our Will, and Our Bodies, Ourselves
Our Bodies, Ourselves
Our Bodies, Ourselves is a book about women's health and sexuality produced by the nonprofit organization Our Bodies Ourselves...

. People and events from the prison movement covered include George Jackson
George Jackson (Black Panther)
George Lester Jackson was an American convict who became a left-wing activist, Marxist, author, a member of the Black Panther Party, and co-founder of the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang...

, the Attica Prison riots
Attica Prison riots
The Attica Prison riot occurred at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York, United States in 1971. The riot was based in part upon prisoners' demands for better living conditions...

, and Jerry Sousa. People and events from the Native American rights movement covered include the National Indian Youth Council
National Indian Youth Council
The National Indian Youth Council or "NIYC" is considered the nation’s second oldest American Indian organization and currently has a membership of more than 15,000 nationwide. It was the first independent Native student organization, and one of the first Native organizations to use direct action...

, Sid Mills, Akwesasne Notes, Indians of All Tribes
Indians of All Tribes
Indians of All Tribes may refer to one of two organizations:*Indians of All Tribes, based out of San Francisco, and responsible for the Occupation of Alcatraz...

, the First Convocation of American Indian Scholars, Frank James, the American Indian Movement
American Indian Movement
The American Indian Movement is a Native American activist organization in the United States, founded in 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota by urban Native Americans. The national AIM agenda focuses on spirituality, leadership, and sovereignty...

, and the Wounded Knee incident
Wounded Knee Incident
The Wounded Knee incident began February 27, 1973 when about 200 Oglala Lakota and followers of the American Indian Movement seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation...

. People and events from the counterculture covered include Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

, Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, Joan Baez
Joan Baez
Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician and a prominent activist in the fields of human rights, peace and environmental justice....

, Malvina Reynolds
Malvina Reynolds
Malvina Reynolds was an American folk/blues singer-songwriter and political activist, best known for her song-writing, particularly the songs "Little Boxes" and "Morningtown Ride".-Early life:...

, Jessica Mitford
Jessica Mitford
Jessica Lucy Freeman-Mitford was an English author, journalist and political campaigner, who was one of the Mitford sisters...

's The American Way of Death
The American Way of Death
The American Way of Death was an exposé of abuses in the funeral home industry in the United States, written by Jessica Mitford and published in 1963...

, Jonathan Kozol
Jonathan Kozol
Jonathan Kozol is a non-fiction writer, educator, and activist, best known for his books on public education in the United States. Kozol graduated from Noble and Greenough School in 1954, and Harvard University summa cum laude in 1958 with a degree in English Literature. He was awarded a Rhodes...

, George Dennison
George Dennison
George Dennison was an American novelist and short-story author best known for The Lives of Children, his account of the First Street School. He also wrote fiction, plays, and critical essays, most notably his novel Luisa Domic and a collection of shorter works, Pierrot and Other Stories...

, and Ivan Illich
Ivan Illich
Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, and "maverick social critic" of the institutions of contemporary western culture and their effects on the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, transportation, and economic development.- Personal life...

.

Chapter 20, "The Seventies: Under Control?", covers American disillusion with the government during the 1970s and political corruption that was exposed during the decade. Zinn argues that the resignation of Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and the exposure of crimes committed by the CIA and FBI during the decade were done by the government in order to regain support for the government from the American people without making fundamental changes to the system; according to Zinn, Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

's presidency continued the same basic policies of the Nixon administration. Other topics covered include protests against the Honeywell Corporation, Angela Davis
Angela Davis
Angela Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. Davis was most politically active during the late 1960s through the 1970s and was associated with the Communist Party USA, the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party...

, Committee to Re-elect the President
Committee to Re-elect the President
The Committee for the Re-Election of the President, abbreviated CRP but often mocked by the acronym CREEP, was a fundraising organization of United States President Richard Nixon's administration...

, the Watergate scandal
Watergate scandal
The Watergate scandal was a political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement...

, International Telephone and Telegraph's involvement in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état, the Mayagüez incident
Mayagüez incident
The Mayaguez incident between the Khmer Rouge and the United States from May 12–15, 1975, was the last official battle of the Vietnam War. The names of the Americans killed, as well as those of three Marines who were left behind on the island of Koh Tang after the battle and who were subsequently...

, Project MKULTRA
Project MKULTRA
Project MKULTRA, or MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a covert, illegal CIA human experimentation program, run by the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence. This official U.S. government program began in the early 1950s, continued at least through the late 1960s, and used U.S...

, the Church Committee
Church Committee
The Church Committee is the common term referring to the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a U.S. Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church in 1975. A precursor to the U.S...

, the Pike Committee, the Trilateral Commission
Trilateral Commission
The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973 to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan.-History:...

's The Governability of Democracies, and the People's Bi-Centennial.

Chapter 21, "Carter-Reagan-Bush: The Bipartisan Consensus", covers the Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, and George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 administrations and their effects on both the American people and foreign countries. Zinn argues that the Democratic and Republican parties keep the government essentially the same (that is, they handled the government in a way that was favorable for corporations rather than for the people) and continued to have a militant foreign policy no matter which party was in power. Zinn uses similarities between the three administrations' methods as proof of this. Other topics covered include the Fairness Doctrine
Fairness Doctrine
The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission , introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable...

, the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

, global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

, Roy Benavidez
Roy Benavidez
Raul Perez Benavidez was a member of the Studies and Observations Group of the United States Army. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat near Lộc Ninh, South Vietnam on May 2, 1968....

, the Trident submarine
Ohio class submarine
The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered submarines used by the United States Navy. The United States has 18 Ohio-class submarines:...

, the Star Wars program
Strategic Defense Initiative
The Strategic Defense Initiative was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic...

, the Sandinista National Liberation Front
Sandinista National Liberation Front
The Sandinista National Liberation Front is a socialist political party in Nicaragua. Its members are called Sandinistas in both English and Spanish...

, the Iran-Contra Affair
Iran-Contra Affair
The Iran–Contra affair , also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or Iran-Contra-Gate, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials and President Reagan secretly facilitated the sale of...

, the War Powers Act, US invasion of Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

, the Invasion of Grenada
Invasion of Grenada
The Invasion of Grenada, codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, was a 1983 United States-led invasion of Grenada, a Caribbean island nation with a population of about 100,000 located north of Venezuela. Triggered by a military coup which had ousted a four-year revolutionary government, the invasion...

, Óscar Romero
Óscar Romero
Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Chávez. He was assassinated on 24 March 1980....

, the El Mozote massacre
El Mozote massacre
The El Mozote Massacre took place in and around the village of El Mozote, in Morazán department, El Salvador, on December 11, 1981, when Salvadoran armed forces trained by the United States military killed at least 200 and up to 1000 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during the Salvadoran...

, the 1986 Bombing of Libya, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States invasion of Panama
United States invasion of Panama
The United States Invasion of Panama, code-named Operation Just Cause, was the invasion of Panama by the United States in December 1989. It occurred during the administration of U.S. President George H. W...

, and the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

.

Chapter 22, "The Unreported Resistance", covers several movements that happened during the Carter-Reagan-Bush years that were ignored by much of the mainstream media. Topics covered include the anti-nuclear
Anti-nuclear
The anti-nuclear movement is a social movement that opposes the use of nuclear technologies. Many direct action groups, environmental groups, and professional organisations have identified themselves with the movement at the local, national, and international level...

 movement, the Plowshares Movement
Plowshares Movement
The Plowshares Movement is an anti-nuclear weapons movement that gained notoriety in the early 1980s when several members damaged government property and were subsequently convicted.-History:...

, the Council for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze, the Physicians for Social Responsibility
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Physicians for Social Responsibility is the largest physician-led organization in the USA working to protect the public from the what they consider threats of nuclear proliferation, climate change, and environmental toxins...

, George Kistiakowsky
George Kistiakowsky
George Bogdan Kistiakowsky was a Ukrainian-American chemistry professor at Harvard who participated in the Manhattan Project and later served as President Eisenhower's Science Advisor...

, The Fate of the Earth
The Fate of the Earth
The Fate of the Earth is a 1982 book by Jonathan Schell. This "seminal" description of the consequences of nuclear war "forces even the most reluctant person to confront the unthinkable: the destruction of humanity and possibly most life on Earth". The book revitalized the anti-nuclear movement ...

, Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman is an American activist for the rights of children. She is president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund.-Early years:...

, the Citizens' Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes, the Three Mile Island accident
Three Mile Island accident
The Three Mile Island accident was a core meltdown in Unit 2 of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania near Harrisburg, United States in 1979....

, the Winooski 44
Winooski 44
The Winooski 44 were a group of Vermont citizens from Winooski, Vermont, United States, that obstructed and refused to leave a hallway outside Senator Robert Stafford's office in 1984....

, Abbie Hoffman
Abbie Hoffman
Abbot Howard "Abbie" Hoffman was a political and social activist who co-founded the Youth International Party ....

, Amy Carter
Amy Carter
Amy Lynn Carter is the fourth child and only daughter of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter. She entered the limelight as she lived as a child in the White House during the Carter presidency.-Early life:...

, the Piedmont Peace Project, Anne Braden
Anne Braden
Anne McCarty Braden was an American advocate of racial equality. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in rigidly segregated Anniston, Alabama, Braden grew up in a white middle-class family that accepted southern racial morals wholeheartedly...

, César Chávez
César Chávez
César Estrada Chávez was an American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers ....

, the United Farm Workers
United Farm Workers
The United Farm Workers of America is a labor union created from the merging of two groups, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee led by Filipino organizer Larry Itliong, and the National Farm Workers Association led by César Chávez...

, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee
Farm Labor Organizing Committee
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee , AFL-CIO, is a labor union representing migrant farm workers in the Midwestern United States and North Carolina.-History:...

, Teatro Campesino
Teatro Campesino
El Teatro Campesino , is a theatrical troupe founded in 1965 as the cultural arm of the United Farm Workers. The original actors were all farmworkers, and El Teatro Campesino enacted events inspired by the lives of their audience...

, LGBT social movements
LGBT social movements
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender social movements share inter-related goals of social acceptance of sexual and gender minorities. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies have a long history of campaigning for what is generally called LGBT rights, also called gay...

, the Stonewall riots
Stonewall riots
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City...

, Food Not Bombs
Food Not Bombs
Food Not Bombs is a loose-knit group of independent collectives, serving free vegan and vegetarian food to others. Food Not Bombs' ideology is that myriad corporate and government priorities are skewed to allow hunger to persist in the midst of abundance...

, the anti-war
Anti-war
An anti-war movement is a social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts. Many...

 movement during the Gulf War, David Barsamian
David Barsamian
David Barsamian is an Armenian-American radio broadcaster, writer, and the founder and director of Alternative Radio, the Boulder, Colorado-based syndicated weekly talk program heard on some 125 radio stations in various countries....

, opposition to Columbus Day
Columbus Day
Many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday...

, Indigenous Thought, Rethinking Schools, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009....

.

Chapter 23, "The Coming Revolt of the Guards", covers Zinn's theory on a possible future radical movement against the inequality in America. Zinn argues that there will eventually be a movement made up not only of previous groups that were involved in radical change (such as labor organizers, black radicals, Native Americans, feminists), but also members of the middle class who are starting to become discontented with the state of the nation. Zinn expects this movement to use "demonstrations, marches, civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

; strikes and boycotts and general strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

s; direct action
Direct action
Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. This can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action...

 to redistribute wealth, to reconstruct institutions, to revamp relationships."

Chapter 24, "The Clinton Presidency", covers the effects of the Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 administration on the US and the world. Zinn argues that, despite Clinton's claims that he would bring changes to the country, his presidency kept many things the same as in Reagan-Bush era. Topics covered include Jocelyn Elders, the Waco Siege
Waco Siege
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located east-northeast of Waco,...

, the Oklahoma City bombing
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19...

, the Crime Bill of 1996
Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, , , was an act of Congress dealing with crime and law enforcement that became law in 1994. It is the largest crime bill in the history of the US at 356 pages and will provide for 100,000 new police officers, $9.7 billion in funding for prisons and...

, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, is an act of Congress signed into law on April 24, 1996...

, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the 1993 bombing of Iraq, Operation Gothic Serpent
Operation Gothic Serpent
Operation Gothic Serpent was a military operation conducted by special operations forces of the United States with the primary mission of capturing warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid...

, the Rwandan Genocide
Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

, the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

, the 1998 bombing of Afghanistan and Sudan, the Impeachment of Bill Clinton
Impeachment of Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton, President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on December 19, 1998, but acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of...

, Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich
-Early life:Ehrenreich was born Barbara Alexander to Isabelle Oxley and Ben Howes Alexander in Butte, Montana, which she describes as then being "a bustling, brawling, blue collar mining town."...

's Nickel and Dimed
Nickel and Dimed
Nickel and Dimed: On Getting By in America is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. Written from the perspective of the undercover journalist, it sets out to investigate the impact of the 1996 welfare reform act on the "working poor" in the United States...

, Stand for Children
Stand for Children
Stand for Children is an American organization that is an independent and non-partisan advocate for American children's education. Founded in 1996 following the largest rally for children in American history, the non-profit helps organize and mobilize citizen activists who care about children to...

, Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

, the Million Man March
Million Man March
The Million Man March was a gathering of social activists, en masse, held on and around the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on October 16, 1995...

, Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and sentenced to death. He has been described as "perhaps the world's best known death-row inmate", and his sentence is one of the most debated today...

, John Sweeney
John Sweeney (labor leader)
John Joseph Sweeney was the president of the AFL-CIO from 1995 to 2009.-Early years:Born in The Bronx, New York, Sweeney is the son of Joseph and Agnes , both Irish immigrants. The family moved to Yonkers in 1944, where Sweeney attended St. Barnabas Elementary School and graduated from Cardinal...

, the Service Employees International Union
Service Employees International Union
Service Employees International Union is a labor union representing about 1.8 million workers in over 100 occupations in the United States , and Canada...

, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees
Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees
The Union of Needle trades, Industrial, and Textile Employees was a labor union in the United States, formed in 1995 as a merger between the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union...

, the Worker Rights Consortium
Worker Rights Consortium
The Worker Rights Consortium is an independent labor rights monitoring organization focused on protecting the rights of workers who sew apparel and make other products sold in the United States, particularly those bearing college or university logos...

, the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign
Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign
The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign ' is a coalition of grassroots organizations, community groups, and non-profit organizations in the United States of America committed to uniting the poor across color lines as the basis for a broad movement to abolish poverty...

, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Telecommunications Act of 1996
Telecommunications Act of 1996
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first major overhaul of United States telecommunications law in nearly 62 years, amending the Communications Act of 1934. This Act, signed by President Bill Clinton, was a major stepping stone towards the future of telecommunications, since this was the...

, Spare Change News, the North American Street Newspaper Association
North American Street Newspaper Association
The North American Street Newspaper Association is an organization of street newspapers papers that provide employment opportunities, community, and a voice to homeless and other economically vulnerable people. it has 28 members in the United States and Canada with a total monthly circulation of...

, the National Coalition for the Homeless, anti-globalization
Anti-globalization
Criticism of globalization is skepticism of the claimed benefits of the globalization of capitalism. Many of these views are held by the anti-globalization movement however other groups also are critical of the policies of globalization....

, and WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 protest activity
WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 protest activity
Protest activity surrounding the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999, which was to be the launch of a new millennial round of trade negotiations, occurred on November 30, 1999 , when the World Trade Organization convened at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington,...

.

Chapter 25, "The 2000 Election and the 'War On Terrorism'", covers the 2000 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

 and the War on Terrorism
War on Terrorism
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

. Zinn argues that attacks on the US by Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 terrorists
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 (such as the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

) are not caused by a hatred for our freedom (as claimed by President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

), but by grievances with US foreign policies such as "stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

... sanctions against Iraq
Iraq sanctions
The Iraq sanctions were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on the nation of Iraq. They began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, stayed largely in force until May 2003 , and certain portions including reparations to Kuwait...

 which... had resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children; [and] the continued U.S. support of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

's occupation of Palestinian
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 land." Other topics covered include Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

, the War in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

, and the USA PATRIOT Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

.

Critical reception


When A People's History of the United States was published in 1980, Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 historian Eric Foner
Eric Foner
Eric Foner is an American historian. On the faculty of the Department of History at Columbia University since 1982, he writes extensively on political history, the history of freedom, the early history of the Republican Party, African American biography, Reconstruction, and historiography...

 reviewed it in The New York Times:
Foner called for "an integrated account incorporating Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 and his slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

, Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 and the Indians
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 and the Wobblies.

Taking a negative view of the book, Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 historian Oscar Handlin
Oscar Handlin
Oscar Handlin was an American historian. As a professor of history at Harvard University for over 50 years, he directed 80 PhD dissertations and helped promote social and ethnic history...

 wrote in a review in The American Scholar
The American Scholar (magazine)
The American Scholar is the literary quarterly of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, founded in 1932. The magazine has won fourteen National Magazine Awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors from 1999 to present, including awards for General Excellence...

:
Writing in the Washington Post Book World, reviewer Michael Kammen
Michael Kammen
Michael Kammen is a professor of American cultural history in the Department of History at Cornell University. He was born in 1936 in Rochester, New York, grew up in the Washington, DC area, and was educated at the George Washington University and Harvard University . He has taught at Cornell...

, a professor of American History, wrote:
Writing in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, columnist Bob Herbert
Bob Herbert
Robert “Bob” Herbert is an American journalist op-ed columnist who wrote for The New York Times. His column was syndicated to other newspapers around the country. Herbert frequently writes on poverty, the Iraq war, racism and American political apathy towards race issues...

 wrote:
Writing in Dissent
Dissent (magazine)
Dissent is a quarterly magazine focusing on politics and culture edited by Michael Walzer and Michael Kazin. The magazine is published for the Foundation for the Study of Independent Social Ideas, Inc by the University of Pennsylvania Press....

, Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

 history professor Michael Kazin
Michael Kazin
Michael Kazin is a professor of history at Georgetown University. He is co-editor of Dissent magazine. See his website: http://michaelkazin.com- Early life :...

 argued that Zinn is too focused on class conflict
Class conflict
Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

, and wrongly attributes sinister motives to the American political elite. He characterized the book as an overly simplistic narrative of elite villains and oppressed people, with no attempt to understand historical actors in the context of the time in which they lived. Kazin wrote:
Kazin argued that A People's History fails to explain why the American political-economic model continues to attract millions of minorities, women, workers, and immigrants, or why the socialist and radical political movements Zinn favors have failed to gain widespread support among the American public.

Writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Christopher Phelps
Christopher Phelps
Christopher Phelps is an American political and intellectual historian of the twentieth century. The subjects of his research and writing include philosophical pragmatism, concepts of class and labor in social thought, the fate of the American Left and the socialist ideal, and ideas of race in...

, associate professor of American studies in the School of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

 wrote:
Writing in The New York Times Book Review
The New York Times Book Review
The New York Times Book Review is a weekly paper-magazine supplement to The New York Times in which current non-fiction and fiction books are reviewed. It is one of the most influential and widely read book review publications in the industry. The offices are located near Times Square in New York...

in a review of A Young People’s History Of The United States, volumes 1 and 2, novelist Walter Kirn
Walter Kirn
Walter Kirn is an American novelist, literary critic, and essayist. His latest book is the 2009 memoir Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever.-Overview:...

 wrote:

Other editions and related works


A version of the book titled The Twentieth Century contains only chapters 12-25 ("The Empire and the People" to "The 2000 Election and the 'War on Terrorism'"). Though it was originally meant to be an expansion of the original book, recent editions of A People's History now contain all of the later chapters from it.

In 2004, Zinn and Anthony Arnove
Anthony Arnove
Anthony Arnove is a freelance literary editor, agent and activist based in Brooklyn. He is on the board of directors of Haymarket Books, and is active in the National Writers Union and the International Socialist Organization.- Early life :...

 published a collection of more than 200 primary source documents titled Voices of a People's History of the United States, available both as a book and as a CD of dramatic readings. Writer Aaron Sarver notes that although Kazin "savaged" Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, "one of the few concessions Kazin made was his approval of Zinn punctuating 'his narrative with hundreds of quotes from slaves and Populists
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

, anonymous wage-earners and ... articulate radicals.'"

Whether Zinn intended it or not, Voices serves as a useful response to Kazin’s critique. As Sarver observes, "Voices is a vast anthology that tells heartbreaking and uplifting stories of American history. Kazin will be hard-pressed to charge Zinn with politicizing the intelligence here; the volume offers only Zinn’s sparse introductions to each piece, letting the actors and their words speak for themselves."

In 2008, Zinn worked with Mike Konopacki
Mike Konopacki
Mike Konopacki is an American political cartoonist from Wisconsin, specializing in labor issues.- Background and early career :A 1974 graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Mike Konopacki (1951? - ) is an American political cartoonist from Wisconsin, specializing in labor issues.-...

 and Paul Buhle
Paul Buhle
Paul Merlyn Buhle is a Senior Lecturer at Brown University, author or editor of 35 volumes including histories of radicalism in the United States and the Caribbean, studies of popular culture, and a series of nonfiction comic art volumes. He is the authorized biographer of C. L. R...

 on creating A People's History of American Empire
A People's History of American Empire
A People's History of American Empire is a 2008 graphic history by Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle. The book combines material from Zinn's history book A People's History of the United States and his autobiography You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train with new material from other...

, a graphic novel
Graphic novel
A graphic novel is a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format...

 that covers various historic subjects from A People's History of the United States as well as Zinn's own history of involvement in activism and historic events as covered in his autobiography You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train.

Zinn worked as the series editor for a series of books under the A People's History label. This series expands upon the issues and historic events covered in A People's History of the United States by giving them in-depth coverage, and also covers the history of parts of the world outside the United States. These books include:
  • A People's History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons with Foreword by Zinn
  • A People's History of Sports in the United States by Dave Zirin
    Dave Zirin
    Dave Zirin is an American political sportswriter who is currently the sports editor for The Nation, a weekly published liberal magazine dedicated to politics and culture.- Career :...

     with an introduction by Howard Zinn
  • A People's History of American Empire (American Empire Project) by Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle
  • The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World by Vijay Prashad
    Vijay Prashad
    Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. He is the author of eleven books, most recently The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World...

  • A People's History of the American Revolution by Ray Raphael
    Ray Raphael
    Ray Raphael is an American historian and author of fourteen books. He is noted for his work on the American Revolution and the regional history of Northern California.-Books: The American Revolution and the Founding Era:...

  • A People's History of the Civil War by David Williams
    David Williams
    -Musicians:* David Williams , Aboriginal musician and artist* David Williams , Welsh bassist* David Williams , Welsh guitarist and bassist in Son of Dork...

  • A People's History of the Vietnam War by Jonathan Neale
  • A People's History of Australia from 1788 to the Present edited by Verity Burgmann
    Verity Burgmann
    Verity Burgmann is Professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne.Burgmann was born in Sydney, Australia, the daughter of Victor Burgmann and Lorna Bradbury. In 1971 she ran away from home to attend the London School of Economics, where she completed a B.Sc with a major in politics...

    . A four volume series that looks at Australian history thematically, not chronologically.
  • A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks by Clifford D Connor. His book emulates Zinn's style of historiography but is unrelated to the series that Zinn edited.
  • A People's History of the World by Chris Harman
    Chris Harman
    Chris Harman was a British journalist and political activist, and a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party...

     also borrows from the title of the series and is endorsed by Zinn
  • The Mexican Revolution: A People's History by Adolfo Gilly
    Adolfo Gilly
    Adolfo Atilio Gilly Malvagni , is an author of various books on the history of and politics of Mexico and Latin America and professor of History and Political Science at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City where he has been...


Younger readers' version


In July 2007 Seven Stories Press
Seven Stories Press
Seven Stories Press is an independent publishing company. Located in New York City, the company was founded by editor Dan Simon in 1995 after he parted company with Four Walls Eight Windows. The company was named for its seven founding authors: Annie Ernaux, Gary Null, the estate of Nelson Algren,...

 released A Young People's History of the United States, an illustrated, two-volume adaptation of A People's History for young adult readers (ages 10–14). The new version, adapted from the original text by Rebecca Stefoff, is updated through the end of 2006, and includes a new introduction and afterword by Howard Zinn.

In his introduction, Zinn writes, "It seems to me it is wrong to treat young readers as if they are not mature enough to look at their nation's policies honestly. I am not worried about disillusioning young people by pointing to the flaws in the traditional heroes." In the afterword, "Rise like lions", he asks young readers to "Imagine the American people united for the first time in a movement for fundamental change."

In addition, the New Press released an updated (2007) version of The Wall Charts for A People's History — a 2-piece fold-out poster featuring an illustrated timeline of U.S. history, with an explanatory booklet.

Lessons for the classroom


In 2008, the Zinn Education Project was launched to promote and support the use of A People's History of the United States (and other materials) for teaching in middle and high school classrooms across the U.S. The goal of the project is to give American students accurate and complete versions of U.S. history, with full historical complexity. With funds from an anonymous donor who had been a student of Zinn, the project began by distributing 4,000 packets to teachers in all states and territories. The project now offers teaching guides and bibliographies that can be freely downloaded.

Current editions

  • Zinn, Howard (2003). The Twentieth Century. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-053034-0
  • A Young People's History of the United States, adapted from the original text by Rebecca Stefoff; illustrated, in two volumes; Seven Stories Press
    Seven Stories Press
    Seven Stories Press is an independent publishing company. Located in New York City, the company was founded by editor Dan Simon in 1995 after he parted company with Four Walls Eight Windows. The company was named for its seven founding authors: Annie Ernaux, Gary Null, the estate of Nelson Algren,...

    , New York, 2007
    • Vol. 1: Columbus to the Spanish-American War. ISBN 978-1-58322-759-6
    • Vol. 2: Class Struggle to the War on Terror. ISBN 978-1-58322-760-2
  • Teaching Editions
    • A People's History of the United States: Teaching Edition
    • A People's History of the United States, Abridged Teaching Edition, Updated Edition
    • A People's History of the United States: Volume 1: American Beginnings to Reconstruction, Teaching Edition
    • A People's History of the United States, Vol. 2: The Civil War to the Present, Teaching Edition
  • A People's History of the United States: The Wall Charts; designed by Howard Zinn and George Kirschner; New Press (2007). ISBN 978-1-56584-171-0

See also

  • People's history
    People's history
    A people's history or history from below is a type of historical narrative which attempts to account for historical events from the perspective of common people rather than political and other leaders.-Description:...

  • Chris Harman
    Chris Harman
    Chris Harman was a British journalist and political activist, and a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party...

    's A People's History of the World a more general volume, cited by Zinn as a global companion to his book
  • A Patriot's History of the United States
    A Patriot's History of the United States
    A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror is a 2004 book on American history by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen...

    written as a conservative response to A People's History of the United States.
  • Page Smith
    Page Smith
    Charles Page Smith , who was known by his middle name, was a U.S. historian, professor, author, and newspaper columnist....

    was the author of an eight volume history of the same name, the first volume of which appeared in 1976, four years before Zinn's book was published.

External links