Book Review



by Howard Zinn




A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn was first published in 1980. This is the 2003 - and last - edition. Zinn was a radical propagandist masquerading as a historian. Zinn only gives you one side of a story in order to lead you to a distorted - and inaccurate - picture of America. There are many factual errors in this book as well. Zinn’s goal is to brainwash readers - not inform them.  

Download a pdf of A People's History of the US, 2003 edition, introduction to share with others.

This review starts at Chapter 4 as the first 3 chapters concern the history of the New World prior to the founding of America. Chapters 4 and 5 cover the same ground so they are reviewed together.

Chapters 4.Tyranny is Tyranny and 5. A Kind of Revolution

Chapter 6 Review

Zinn exhibits a profound misunderstanding of the American people. Logic alone proves this textbook is mostly propaganda. Since 1790, over 76 MILLION people have immigrated to the United States. Why would all these people come to a country that was so horrible? Why would millions fight to save our country? Why didn’t all blacks go back to Africa after the creation of Liberia in 1847? Why would millions of Americans celebrate the Bicentennial of the United States in 1976? Even the socialist magazine Dissent has bashed Zinn over his phony history book.(1) Zinn's history of the US is fraudulent - based on his own delusions and prejudices. 

Quotes from this phony history book are in red.

Zinn divided Americans into two perpetually competing groups - “. . . conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves . . .”(p10). Yet the fact is millions of Americans for over 200 years started with nothing and became successful through hard work and smarts in our market economy. Millions of people became poor due to laziness or other self destructive habits. Zinn refuses to recognize the role of self initiative - or lack of - in our society. In Zinn’s world, we are all pawns controlled by the elites without any hope.

No matter what time period of America Zinn examines, whether the country is prosperous or not, he always finds something wrong with America. Somehow, someway, America is ALWAYS wrong.

The most amazing thing about this book is who Zinn admires: Indians (close to perfection), bolsheviks, anarchists and Mao-Tse-Tung (“In January 1949, Chinese Communist forces moved into Peking, the civil war was over, and China was in the hands of a revolutionary movement, the closest thing, in the long history of that ancient country, to a people’s government, independent of outside control.” - p.427). 

Another trick of Zinn’s is to pick quotes out of context from books written by other historians so they appear to support Zinn, but in fact they disagree with Zinn. Most historical authors do NOT share Zinn’s viewpoints.


The Howard Zinn model

So how does Zinn write such horrible books? It’s called the Howard Zinn Model and here is how it works: For the next year, keep a daily record of 3 national stories and 3 local stories that are negative - murders, riots, economic problems, unemployment, suicides, demonstrations, shootings, etc. Now, using all this information you have compiled, write a history of the US from this perspective for the past year. Then give your book to an impressionable student or let someone from a foreign country read it. What do you think they will think about America? This is the Howard Zinn model.


Go to a state prison and interview about 200 inmates. All the inmates who admit they did the crime and got what they deserve - throw their interviews out. Publish the interviews from inmates that tell you they didn’t really do the crime, society is unfair/racist and it’s not their fault. Now, using the interviews from inmates who blame society for their issues, write about how terrible the US justice system is. Then give your book to an impressionable student or let someone from a foreign country read it. What do you think they will think about America? This is the Howard Zinn model.