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Professor Howard Zinn’s purpose for writing “A People’s History of the United States”

Essay Topic: ,

1. In a nutshell, Professor Howard Zinn’s purpose for writing “A People’s History of the United States” was to offer a history of the United States (from the first settlers all the way to the mid­1970’s at the time of publishing) that did not outright lie or “sugar coat” our country’s past. Furthermore, Zenn seeks to avoid manipulating our history as a means to calm the reader, albeit causing controversy when his book first debuted.

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Additionally, in the word’s of the author himself, “If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possibilities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, occasionally to win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past’s fugitive moments of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare.”

By this, I’m confident one of his goals was to demonstrate the impact of the human spirit and how even though “A People’s History of the United States” is filled with the sad reality that conflict is always present in our society, it also shows that sometimes good triumphs over evil and that maybe history doesn’t have to repeat itself once more. 2.

The thesis for pages 1­11 of, “A People’s History of the United States” essentially revolves around the statement, “It is enough to make us question, for that time and ours, the excuse of progress in the annihilation of races, and the telling of history from the standpoint of the conquerors and leaders of Western civilization. ” This is a concise summary of pages 1­11, stating the claim of Zenn’s underlying argument in regards to all the information presented in the first chapter. 3. Howard Zinn held the now­mainstream idea that traditional (school) history