Is there anyone who understands History Is A Weapon chapter one, “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress,” by Howard Zinn and can briefly explain it to me?

In the first chapter, “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress,” Howard Zinn reveals the murder and brutality committed by the Christopher Columbus expeditions and the English settlers. Zinn also reveals the primary aim of his book. His goal is to present a history from the viewpoint of common, ordinary people, not from the perspective of high-powered government leaders and their associates.

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History Is a Weapon is the website for Howard Zinn’s book A Peoples’ History of the United States. It’s a place where you can read the entire book for free. The title of the site links to his belief that history holds a lot of power. A skewed interpretation of history could be used to maintain harmful policies and beliefs. While a less partial view of history could confront past representations and change present conditions.

In the first chapter, “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress,” Zinn details Christopher Columbus’s expedition to the Americas. He uses history to challenge the notion that Columbus intentionally set out to discover America. Zinn writes Columbus intended to go to Asia. Zinn also counters the belief that the land Columbus stumbled upon was vacant or populated by savages.

Citing Bartolome de las Casas, Zinn clearly demonstrates that the indigenous people were civilized, generous, and even pro-choice. Using herbs, indigenous women had the freedom to give...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 813 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on September 28, 2020
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