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

A People's History of the United States book cover
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Why did Zinn choose to write A People's History of the United States and take the perspective that he did?

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First, Zinn wrote in this way because he fervently believed in the ideological perspective he took in the book. Zinn was active in social justice issues throughout his long life and academic career, including civil rights protests, unionization efforts, and attempts to reform academic curricula to reflect what he viewed as a more critical perspective. Second, Zinn thought that academic history had, for many years, tended to overlook the experiences of ordinary people in favor of a narrative that was primarily intended to glorify nations. While this perspective was becoming obsolete among historians by the time A People's History was first published in 1980, he sought to use the book to expose a broader readership to a historical narrative that emphasized the struggles of ordinary people and the ways that most Americans had experienced oppression along race, class, and gender lines. In A People's History , Zinn argues that the history of the United States, like that of other nations, is...

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