diverse group of people with an image of the United States superimposed on a large part of the group

A People's History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

Start Free Trial

How does Zinn in A People's History of the United States relate freer exchange of knowledge to “the permanent adversarial culture”?

Expert Answers

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

Zinn presents the idea of the "permanent adversarial culture" in Chapter 22.  There, he says that there is a group of people who will not accept the ideas that mainstream Americans of both parties hold.  Zinn says that there were millions and probably tens of millions of Americans who would not go along with the status quo 

which set limits on American reform, making sure that capitalism was in place, that national military strength was maintained, that wealth and power remained in the hands of a few...

The free exchange of knowledge that we enjoy in the US (particularly since the explosion of the internet and of social media) helps to keep this group of permanent dissenters alive.  In the past, their actions and beliefs were not much reported by the media.  Today, there is much less need for the media to report their actions because they can publicize themselves on the internet or via Twitter.  The internet has allowed dissenters to find out about one another and connect to one another, thus making it easier to maintain the "permanent adversarial culture" Zinn speaks of.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial