A People's History of the United States cover image

A People's History of the United States

by Howard Zinn
Start Free Trial

Please summarize chapter 25 of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Chapter 25, the last chapter in Howard Zinn's book, deals with two topics: the disputed presidential election of 2000 and America's reaction to the terrorist attack of 9/11.

The presidential election was a contest between Albert Gore and George W. Bush, Jr. Gore was serving as Vice President under Bill Clinton. Bush, Governor of Texas, was the Republican candidate.

Zinn is highly critical of Bush and only slightly less critical of Gore. Specifically, Zinn disparages Bush's record as Governor and his pro-oil business policies. He is also critical of Gore's selection of Senator Joseph Lieberman as his running mate. The Democrats, Zinn contends, were only slightly less pro-business and pro-military than their Republican opponents.

Zinn also criticizes the two-party system which prevented the third-party candidate, Ralph Nader, from participating in the television debates. Because neither of the two main parties represented most voters' interests, voter turnout on election day was not strong. In addition, Zinn strongly condemns the Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore case, which awarded the presidency to Bush.

Zinn also disapproves of Bush's response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A "war on terror" cannot be won. Bombing innocent civilians in Afghanistan does not address the issues that motivated 9/11—such as America's support of Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. He criticizes the "jingoism" that was prevalent in post-9/11 America. Finally, America's reaction to 9/11 was motivated by revenge rather than by logic.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 5, 2019
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial