In Chapter 1, Zinn argues that most history texts pretend there is such a thing as “The United States” – a community of people with common interests.  What are the “communities” that...

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akannan's profile pic

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The essence of Zinn's work is that he focuses on "communities" as opposed to the United States as a singular community.  For Zinn, the problem with the standard read on history and the standard American History textbook is that it does not adequately reflect that "America" is comprised of different voices with different agendas.

The communities upon which Zinn focuses are individuals that feature different interests  than the single ruling class.  Zinn's emphasis are on the "minority" communities which, put together, "actually end up representing the majority."  Groups such as Native Americans, women, the working class, people of color, and those of different intellectual persuasions are the communities that Zinn identifies in his analysis.  He focuses on these groups because when seen as a "community of people," they actually represent a majority.  While their voices have been largely neglected by the traditional history text, Zinn believes that these voices are the "people's voices" in American consciousness.  To focus on these voices is where Zinn's emphasis lies and one that he believes reveals a greater understanding on what it means to be "American."


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hellovivian's profile pic

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So if the communities that he is referring to is the different minorities or the different social classes, is the interest that they all share representing a majority or that their voices have been neglected in the past?

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