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

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What evidense does Howard Zinn provide that "some people in the United States" always fought for justice?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that Zinn's construction of American History is one where he presents how there has been the development of power as a part of the narrative.  Yet, at the same time, Zinn wants to reveal a part of this narrative whose dialectic shows people who wanted change, as well.  Zinn believes that these individuals "always fought for justice" despite the fact that the power construction tilted against them.  Consider this in his chapter "Robber Barons and Rebels."  For Zinn, people like Bellamy who wrote books that extolled the virtues of socialist ideas are individuals that are consistently committed to justice in a setting that might not appreciate it fully.  At the same time, Zinn points to the striking workers at sites like the Pullman strike as well as Haymarket Square strike represent individuals that Zinn believes "always fought for justice."  In the chapter entitled on "War is the Health of the State," Zinn ends the chapter with the narrative of Sacco and Vanzetti, individuals who Zinn believes represent a travesty of justice. Zinn believes that the hopes and promises of America lie in people like Sacco and Vanzetti whose presence represents how individuals must fight for justice when it comes under pressure from the power structure.

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