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“A People’s History of the United States”

344. ”A People’s History of the United States”

I have just this moment finished reading A People’s History of the United States—1492 – Present by Howard Zinn. It is not a fast read. It is a fascinating read. It tells history from the viewpoint of the oppressed and consequently is different from some of the history books young people study in school. I recommend the reading of this book.

I have never been good about knowing and/or understanding history. I still am not. But one of the things this book convinced me of, is that the current reality of division of people in this country into very rich, fairly rich, middle class, very poor is nothing new. That has been with us since our beginnings.

However, I think that Howard Zinn believed strongly that the middle class and the poor could turn the tables and accomplish the ideals. He ends the book with a quote from the poet Shelley and says that it was recited by “women garment workers in New York to one another at the start of the twentieth century.

Rise like lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number!

Shake your chains to earth, like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you—

Ye are many; they are few!

Howard Zinn encourages me to not despair, to not give up, to not say “there is nothing I can do.” But rather Zinn says over and over again that it is possible to turn this country and its leadership around—not easy—possible.

Read the book.

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