A People's History of the United States

  • by Howard Zinn
  • Narrated by Matt Damon, Howard Zinn
  • 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For much of his life, historian Howard Zinn has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version taught in schools - with its emphasis on great men in high places - to focus on the street, the home, and the workplace.
Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, Zinn's A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of - and in the words of - its women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. Here we learn that many of our country's greatest battles - labor laws, women's rights, racial equality - were carried out at the grassroots level, against steel-willed resistance. This edition of A People's History of the United States features insightful analysis of some of the most important events in this country in the past 100 years.
Featuring a preface and afterword read by the author himself, this audio continues Howard Zinn's important contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Howard Zinn's history is not what we are accustomed to, but it deserves a place on every iPod. Zinn chronicles the struggles of the oppressed, the minorities, the activists. He offers them up as both a history and a call to strive for equality. Matt Damon (who dropped a reference to Zinn's book in Good Will Hunting) perfectly captures Zinn's tone and maintains a fine continuity despite the many quotes and occasional footnotes. - Chris Doheny

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What the Critics Say

"Matt Damon's reading captures the spirit of the text. Like the book, Damon's voice has an edge to it. He expresses the author's outrage regarding the exploitation of certain groups in American history. He also communicates Zinn's admiration for the courage and determination demonstrated by protest leaders." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

the second half is better

As much as I like Matt Damon, I really didn't like him reading this book. It sounds like he's falling asleep reading a long list of atrocities. The book gets much better when the author takes over about half way through. The message is pretty dark, that this country is on evil auto-pilot, and that it takes huge movements of people to change its course. My feeling is that we'll only change when someone takes away our TV's and french fries.
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- Michael

Missing Something

Having read the full text version of Zinn's book in my high school government class 10 years ago, I was really looking forward to revisiting it. Narrator Matt Damon does an outstanding job with the book, and gives it a lot of feeling and flavor. But, I found that this abridged version was simply too abridged. The title for this watered-down version should be "An Overview of A Few Important Trends in Recent US History" not "A People's History of the United States", which promises something broad and ambitious in scope which is simply not delivered.
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- Heather

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-26-2004
  • Publisher: HarperAudio