adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $56.95

Buy for $56.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

"A wonderful, splendid book - a book that should be ready by every American, student or otherwise, who wants to understand his country, its true history, and its hope for the future." (Howard Fast)

For much of his life, historian Howard Zinn chronicled 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, 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 - America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles - the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality - were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.

Covering Christopher Columbus' arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.

©2009 Howard Zinn (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Zinn's work is a vital corrective to triumphalist accounts." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about A People's History of the United States

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,342
  • 4 Stars
    1,323
  • 3 Stars
    526
  • 2 Stars
    260
  • 1 Stars
    461
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,077
  • 4 Stars
    1,408
  • 3 Stars
    671
  • 2 Stars
    234
  • 1 Stars
    286
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,720
  • 4 Stars
    991
  • 3 Stars
    410
  • 2 Stars
    171
  • 1 Stars
    401

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An effective advocate for a suppressed perspective

It certainly challenges the traditional narrative for US History. In my opinion, it was absolutely fascinating, tragic, and eye-opening. One of my all-time favorite books. Offers a completely different perspective on US History, that left me with a much greater appreciation for being an American, despite it shining a light on pieces of our history that are much more complicated and messy than the story that’s traditionally told.

86 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This should be a textbook

This book gives a raw description of the United States' history. It doesn't lionize the founding fathers or other American historical figures; rather, it shows them through a more objective lens. Excerpts of this book should be taught throughout American history classes. It highlights perspectives and events that tend to not get much mention in US history.

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Invisible Hand in American Politics

Howard Zinn lived from 1922 till 2010, meaning that his life encompassed nearly a quarter of all American history. In short, this history is Zinn’s attempt to explain the economic forces that have influenced American politics since before the founding of this country and that still exist today in more subtle forms. The book’s central thesis is that most (if not all) American wars were fought not in the name of democracy, but in order to achieve American economic dominance abroad and at home. Zinn’s history is unapologetically socialist, but his research and arguments are strong enough to survive any discrediting claims of bias on his part. Agree or disagree with Zinn, the ideas in this book are well worth the thought and consideration asked for.

As for the narration, this audiobook is read by Howard Zinn’s son, Jeff Zinn. Jeff is very clear, but also a bit dry at times. Still, the respect and passion he has for his father’s legacy shines through. Highly recommended.

72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Amateur hour in the production booth

This has to be the most poorly produced audiobook of all time. With a work of this length - roughly 35 hours - I understand there are several challenges in putting everything together, but here it's like whoever was doing the recording wasn't even trying. Consider. 1) Starting sometime between the 90 minute and 2 hour mark, a number of obvious and jarring cuts, with the narrator dropping out suddenly, and then resuming speech in the middle of a different sentence. This issue seems to settle down after roughly the 5 hour mark. 2) Different audio levels for different recording sessions. After a cut, the narrator returns notably louder or quieter, and with a different level of white noise in the background. 3) At the 5 hour and 46 minute mark, the narrator says "hold on", and then engages in a conversation with the recording engineer, and this was never edited out of the final product. This means the publishers didn't listen to this audiobook even one time for quality control before putting it out in the wild. Shameful, and this is a product of unacceptably low quality. 2 stars for the wealth of content and Jeff Zinn's effort in recording well over 30 hours of speech, but minus 3 stars for a final product that could have been put together better by a motivated middle schooler.

798 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Horrible Editing Ruins Experience

I was looking forward to listening to this audiobook, but as I worked my way through it, the horrible production quality ruined the experience for me.

Jeff Zinn's narration is fantastic, the subject matter interesting, but there are numerous spots where the audio editor chopped off half of a word. On a long car trip, these jarring "jump cuts" were too much to tolerate. Did nobody quality-check this audiobook before releasing it?

538 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

focused on the ignored history of America.

my only complaint is how Zin frames social progress as more intricate forms of control as opposed to the hard-won concessions of power that they are. If they were more intricate forms of control, then the establishment wouldn't be constantly trying to subtly undermine them while we aren't looking.

Other than that a great book that all true American Patriots should read.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

history from the masses perspective

if you have not read or studied any history beyond what you learned in school this book was written for you. while it is not Secrets it is also not widely known that history is written for and by the dominant class and cultures of society. needless to say this paint over many things that are integral into what makes us us today. this book tells history from the average person's perspective which is really more indicative of how most people experience life as opposed to a small wealthy and Powerful minority.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible Production

I write only in regard to the production of the audiobook, not as to the text itself, which is great and worthy. The slovenliness of the recording, with gaps, repeats, and periods where the reader is obviously having a conversation with a third party (editor? recording technician?) are beyond the minor and forgivable. Are these things not edited? Vetted by quality control? Does no one bother to listen to an audiobook before it is mass-produced and distributed? If no one at the publisher does, then someone at Audible ought to.

300 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Blueprint for a rigged game

The first thing you need to know when deciding to read or listen to this book, is to understand that the author has used first hand accounts of nearly every event detailed in the book. From Christopher Columbus through colonial times, the Civil War, the so-called Gilded Age through to the 21st century, there's nothing more damning than the brutal truth spoken by contemporaries. It tells the story of the abuse of power and money against those without. And how liberty and freedom have been nothing more than buzzwords to frighten the masses and influence the less secure to act against their own interest, and stoking fears to suppress minority and women's voices.

The second thing to realize is that virtually all of the negative reviews are by people who clearly have never even bothered to open the book. Here's a test if you ever run into one of them. Ask them what Zinn thinks of the Carter or Clinton Presidencies (or any other strawman used as the bane of conservatism). Hint: it's not flattering, but they wouldn't know that.. Which is not to say, as many knee jerk right-wingers might suggest, that the author hates everything about America.

What the author does is lay bare the obvious and continuing hypocrisy inherent in the nation. We joke about it all the time, but the author takes these thoughts and lays out the true history. "How could Columbus discover someplace in which people already lived?", "How can all men be considered created equal when millions are in chains?", "How is it that the Europeans/Americans considered themselves civilized and natives savages, when the former engaged (by their own acknowledgement, no less) in biological and military genocide, and the latter, such as the Iroquois and Lakota, were far more democratic in their governance and military?". (The Native American experience is woefully underrepresented in the text, I have to say. My one criticism.

The sad truth is that since this book was first published, the problems have only gotten worse, evidenced by the menace currently residing in the country's top office. Since the original publishing. we've trillions of dollars (that's a "T") spent for corporate bailouts, Yet, somehow people refuse to acknowledge systemic failure. It's been a long time coming, and this book lays out how it has been inevitable.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Distrubingly Fascinating History of the US

What made the experience of listening to A People's History of the United States the most enjoyable?

The book is clearly narrated and the audio quality is perfect on my device unlike the listening experience some other people claim to have had.

What other book might you compare A People's History of the United States to and why?

I have never heard in such detail the "other side" of the history of the US which has been conveniently not taught in our public school system. And I wonder if the children of the elite private schools are taught about the history of the US that they have benefited from.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved all throughout the book, so much so that at times I had to cut it off.

Any additional comments?

For anyone who wants a well rounded education this is a must read (I mean listen).

32 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael Rowan
  • Michael Rowan
  • 10-03-19

Tough going

Well written and narrated. Tough going though and quiet depressing throughout. Should be called tales of misery of the United States

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sören
  • Sören
  • 08-26-18

Very interesting

I would recommend this history book, this is the version of you hardly ever hear about. The history of struggle of people at the bottom of society.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-20-20

Must read

A really great book. Fascinating peformance.
Sometimes the audio had minor editing problems. Must read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for bilal
  • bilal
  • 08-12-20

best book i ever read

i highly recommend this book for students of history.
an honest history of united states.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ray Glasheen
  • Ray Glasheen
  • 08-10-20

A brilliant book

This book is a must read/listen for anyone who wishes to look beyond the white veil of American history. A retelling of the country’s history taken from the viewpoint of those unlucky to be on the side of wealth and power. It is an incredibly important book that has at many times horrified and inspired me. Brilliantly researched and written, while also accessible to both occasional readers and academics.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-13-20

Great book. Awful performance/production.

Audio levels change throughout. Reader sounds like it's the first time they read the material.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Priyaranjan Padhi
  • Priyaranjan Padhi
  • 11-22-18

Essential reading for everyone

This book should be on everyone’s reading list , people both inside and outside the US. The reason for this statement will become evident in the course of reading this masterpiece. To the critics, to err on the side of humanity is no error at all.