Critical Review of A People's History of the United States.
Many historians choose to depict historical events from the point of view of powerful, yet sometimes tyrannical nations by arguing that certain atrocities against individuals and sufferings of the people were unfortunate, however, necessary for human progress and the advancement of mankind. Howard Zinn on the other hand, takes a different outlook on the history of the United States. He tells the story from the point of view of the oppressed peoples from Columbus" time all the way up to the "war on terrorism." "I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks, of the Constitution from the standpoint of the slave, of Andrew Jackson as seen by the Cherokees . . . the postwar American empire as seen by peons in Latin America.".
Zinn is very understanding and compassionate towards the people who have been the target of the US government's oppression, including the African Americans in their fight for freedom and equality, women in their struggle for suffrage, the lower working class in its attempts to unionize and rebel against the ruling elite, and the Native Americans in their battle to prevent their land from being stolen from them. Zinn is also extremely sympathetic to civilians of foreign countries that often became collateral damage in the many wars fought by the United States. Zinn comes to the defense of almost every oppressed or subjugated group of people over the past 500 years.
In his book, Zinn supplies countless primary source documents and quotations that compliment and support his contentions. Zinn view of history is often contrary to what is normally taught in schools. People have thought that the reason for the enslavement of the African people was caused by their inferiority and their helplessness to resist the white men and their superior weapons. The statement about the Africans not being able to resist the powerful weapons of the Europeans might be true, but according to Zinn, the declaration that Africans were an inferior race, was entirely false.