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Announcing: The People's History of the United States: a 4-part Series

From: Meghan
Sent on: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:11 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Politically Inspired Bay Area Book Club!

What: The People's History of the United States: Part 1 of 4-part Series

When: Monday, October 4,[masked]:00 PM

Where: (A location has not been chosen yet.)

Announcing a 4 part series that will occur once every 3 months over the next year! Over the past year, the request/idea of reading The People's History of the United States has come up again and again!

So here we go!

This is a classic text on United States history written by Howard Zinn-- turning history on its head, Howard Zinn infuses the often-submerged voices of blacks, women, American Indians, war resisters, and poor laborers of all nationalities into this thorough narrative that spans American history from Christopher Columbus's arrival to an afterword on the Clinton presidency.

For Part One, we will be reading the first 8 chapters starting with Chapter 1: Columbus, the Indians and Human Progress through to Chapter 8: We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God.

Here is the layout of the 4-part series:

October- Part 1: Chapters 1-8
January- Part 2: Chapters 9-13
April- Part 3: Chapters 14-18
July- Part 4: Chapters 19-25

From Publishers Weekly
According to this classic of revisionist American history, narratives of national unity and progress are a smoke screen disguising the ceaseless conflict between elites and the masses whom they oppress and exploit. Historian Zinn sides with the latter group in chronicling Indians' struggle against Europeans, blacks' struggle against racism, women's struggle against patriarchy, and workers' struggle against capitalists. First published in 1980, the volume sums up decades of post-war scholarship into a definitive statement of leftist, multicultural, anti-imperialist historiography. This edition updates that project with new chapters on the Clinton and Bush presidencies, which deplore Clinton's pro-business agenda, celebrate the 1999 Seattle anti-globalization protests and apologize for previous editions' slighting of the struggles of Latinos and gays. Zinn's work is an vital corrective to triumphalist accounts, but his uncompromising radicalism shades, at times, into cynicism. Zinn views the Bill of Rights, universal suffrage, affirmative action and collective bargaining not as fundamental (albeit imperfect) extensions of freedom, but as tactical concessions by monied elites to defuse and contain more revolutionary impulses; voting, in fact, is but the most insidious of the "controls." It's too bad that Zinn dismisses two centuries of talk about "patriotism, democracy, national interest" as mere "slogans" and "pretense," because the history he recounts is in large part the effort of downtrodden people to claim these ideals for their own.

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