A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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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 Zinn...

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 Zinn identifies? 

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In chapter one of his indictment of the United States and the United States’ European progenitors, titled “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress,” Howard Zinn attempts to demolish the notion of American exceptionalism and the notion of the United States of America as a single unified entity. In this opening chapter, after depicting the victimization of North America’s earliest known settlers, Zinn argues against categorizing the United States or any “nation” as a community of like-minded individuals unified in a common system of beliefs:

“Nations are not communities and never have been. The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex.”

As A People’s History of the United States continues, Zinn repeatedly emphasizes the concept of “community” for the...

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