hits counter A People's History of American Empire - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

A People's History of American Empire

Availability: Ready to download

Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People’s History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People’s History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up. Now Howard Zinn, historian Paul Buhle, and cartoonist Mike Konopacki have collaborated to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People’s History: the centuries-long story of America’s actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. The book also follows the story of Zinn, the son of poor Jewish immigrants, from his childhood in the Brooklyn slums to his role as one of America’s leading historians. Shifting from world-shattering events to one family’s small revolutions, A People’s History of American Empire presents the classic ground-level history of America in a dazzling new form.


Compare

Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People’s History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People’s History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up. Now Howard Zinn, historian Paul Buhle, and cartoonist Mike Konopacki have collaborated to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People’s History: the centuries-long story of America’s actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. The book also follows the story of Zinn, the son of poor Jewish immigrants, from his childhood in the Brooklyn slums to his role as one of America’s leading historians. Shifting from world-shattering events to one family’s small revolutions, A People’s History of American Empire presents the classic ground-level history of America in a dazzling new form.

30 review for A People's History of American Empire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    So, if there is a god, he/she/it/they doesn't hold my intellect in very high esteem. He/she/it/they must think I'm an idiot. See, a while back, I reserved Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, and what I ended up arriving on the holds shelf was the children's version, complete with funny illustrations to try and walk teenagers through the theory of relativity. Now, I thought I had placed a hold on A People's History of the United States, and I ended up with this graphic novel. It's qu So, if there is a god, he/she/it/they doesn't hold my intellect in very high esteem. He/she/it/they must think I'm an idiot. See, a while back, I reserved Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, and what I ended up arriving on the holds shelf was the children's version, complete with funny illustrations to try and walk teenagers through the theory of relativity. Now, I thought I had placed a hold on A People's History of the United States, and I ended up with this graphic novel. It's quite possible I just suck at placing holds. Anywho, I'll start with this graphic novel, and then launch into my rant. This is an adaptation of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States into graphic novel form. The art was aight, but nothing to write home about, and that’s pretty much how I felt about the whole adaptation: the form doesn’t add much in the way of substance, although I’m sure this makes it more likely that some people intimidated by the pictureless tome would read this. Speaking of, here’s a picture of a cute baby panda, in case your attention was drifting. I may be making shit up, but I’ve gotten a sense that conservatives dismiss Howard Zinn as a partisan who does nothing but poo-poo the U.S. of A., portraying it as politically corrupt. However, the same people who dismiss him for this join the Taxed Enough Already party, even though the party has no tea, nor any dancing or spiked punch. So, let us be consistent for a minute: IS the government overriding our freedoms or not? It doesn’t magically become invasive when a democrat’s in office, and then become Smokey the Safety Bear when a republican’s in office. These parties BOTH support constant foreign wars that are motivated by partially empirical motives. These parties BOTH supported big checks for the big banks as soon as they started whining. These parties BOTH agree on a lot of the big issues, and I think most of us disagree with both parties on these issues—or would, if these issues weren’t ignored by the media. That said, even if you know you reject socialism as a political structure, you should read this book. (In whichever form you prefer.) Even if you don’t agree with some of Zinn’s positions, that doesn’t make the research he’s done invalid, nor does it make the facts he discusses false. This is a history book that challenges a lot of the assumptions taken by the history textbooks we’re forced to read in schools. Zinn believes the U.S. is accountable for its actions in Vietnam, World War I, and…well, ALL of its actions. This doesn’t mean he hates this country. It means he refuses to be blinded by nationalism. If we wear blinders regarding our own nation’s actions, why on earth would we expect to NOT be taken advantage of by those in power? When we look at the history of any other country, in any other time period, we can see intrigue, corruption, and a power structure that disfavors the poor. Why would we assume without research that the same thing isn’t happening in the U.S. right now? It is. Howard Zinn was one of our great historians, because he challenged the mainstream and saw his job as more than teaching history: he was a social activist that fought against injustices. It’s for his books that he’ll be remembered hundreds of years from now, but it’s for the whole of his life that I will say this: Howard Zinn was badass.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Maddaford

    I didn't put it down because I disagreed with the presentation of history (although I do think it is a bit harsh). I put it down because it is a large book filled with a single version of historical events. While I do not think that the author is anti-America or anti-American, he is certainly anti-establishment, anti-expansionist, and rather bitter. He served in the military, which gives him more right to be upset with American foreign policy and military action (in my opinion). If I sat down wi I didn't put it down because I disagreed with the presentation of history (although I do think it is a bit harsh). I put it down because it is a large book filled with a single version of historical events. While I do not think that the author is anti-America or anti-American, he is certainly anti-establishment, anti-expansionist, and rather bitter. He served in the military, which gives him more right to be upset with American foreign policy and military action (in my opinion). If I sat down with the intention to read about one side of the debate's view of every conflict in which Americans acted more like terrorists and conquerors, then I would probably really enjoy this. The art is interesting and the panels are fairly varied. I just wasn't in the mood to read such an extreme view of history (even though I do agree that America needs to be more careful with how it deals with foreign nations). We probably should have learned to discontinue some of the patterns of violence and retaliation, but this is an awful big book to just say that.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I highly appreciate Howard Zinn, and thought I would know most of what was in the book. No, in fact there were quite a number of things that were either new or that expanded my knowledge. I have been very interested lately in that fork in the road taken in the 1890's when Teddy Roosevelt, William Randolph Hearst and others successfully argued for the imperialism road. This book expanded my knowledge of the US war in Cuba and in the Philippines. Also included is a fascinating section on Zoot Suits I highly appreciate Howard Zinn, and thought I would know most of what was in the book. No, in fact there were quite a number of things that were either new or that expanded my knowledge. I have been very interested lately in that fork in the road taken in the 1890's when Teddy Roosevelt, William Randolph Hearst and others successfully argued for the imperialism road. This book expanded my knowledge of the US war in Cuba and in the Philippines. Also included is a fascinating section on Zoot Suits and Jitterbug music, and how that music and the subsequent R & B music, scared authorities due to how it brought together white, black and brown youth. Finally, it was personally interesting to learn of Howard Zinn's role in the efforts to de-segregate Public libraries in the Atlanta, Georgia area in the early 1960's and the price he paid.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diz

    Howard Zinn is not afraid to point out the darker moments in American history. This graphic novel highlights some of those moments. These moments are shared so that readers may be aware of how America has not lived up to its potential in order that they may make changes to improve its future. The final message is hopeful, as long as citizens remain vigilant. The only negative point for me is that the art could have been better.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    A real disappointment. As a historian, probably I was hoping for too much, but I thought that the attempt to mix history and graphics could be interesting. It was not. Graphically the book was bland, historically it was highly tendentious, and as a work of literature it was poorly written and executed. Zinn is not a nuanced historian, this is understood from the get-go, but his flaws in distorting and simplifying a complex past for explicit political purpose are even more pronounced here because A real disappointment. As a historian, probably I was hoping for too much, but I thought that the attempt to mix history and graphics could be interesting. It was not. Graphically the book was bland, historically it was highly tendentious, and as a work of literature it was poorly written and executed. Zinn is not a nuanced historian, this is understood from the get-go, but his flaws in distorting and simplifying a complex past for explicit political purpose are even more pronounced here because a graphic history is by necessity simplified. Skip this, and read Zinn's A People's History of the United States, which is a good corrective to the triumphalist, nationalist history Americans most often are fed, but be sure to leaven even that book with other historical perspectives.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Raphaël

    When I picked it up, I thought it would be a good way to discover Zinn's vision of History, since I read bits and pieces of it before but no complete work. Well... Though being a leftist myself, I hope this is not a good example of Zinn's thought. All I've read in this book was heavily biased; the premise is clearly that the USA have tried for the last century to establish a world empire, through aggressive trade strategies, "liberation" wars, etc. It is undeniable, yes. But it is presented thro When I picked it up, I thought it would be a good way to discover Zinn's vision of History, since I read bits and pieces of it before but no complete work. Well... Though being a leftist myself, I hope this is not a good example of Zinn's thought. All I've read in this book was heavily biased; the premise is clearly that the USA have tried for the last century to establish a world empire, through aggressive trade strategies, "liberation" wars, etc. It is undeniable, yes. But it is presented through often unsubstantiated claims, with facts just thrown to the reader without any background or analysis -- as with the depression of 1896, called "the greatest the US ever known, but whose causes are not explained at all. These claims and facts are mixed with parallels that are at best uninteresting, at worst highly suspicious, for instance the anecdote that Sandino's watch was stolen by his murderers, just like it was done with Che Guevara... 1- who cares? 2- how is that relevant? 3- what do you imply by this parallel? Add to this a good deal of hypocrisy, with Zinn telling the story of how he became a radical leftist by seeing the way the US behaved during WW2, but completely omitting the fact that he got his higher education thanks to the GI Bill; there's nothing wrong with criticizing the country that educated you, but it is more honest to present all faces of your relation to said country. The absence of context is also quite problematic, as it sometimes makes the events look very different from what they were; the use of napalm in Royan for instance is presented as being a random act of cruelty, while it was part of a general, long-lasting battle against remaining nazi forces, just like in Brest and other cities of France. Another example of that it the sinking of the Lusitania, of which Zinn says "but what the general public didn't know is that the ship was filled with ammunitions and war supply", as if it lessened the fact that, by sinking this ship, the Germans killed close to 1.200 civilians... Some events are also surprisingly ommitted, the Korean War for instance -- which might have been more interesting imperialism-wise than Zinn's private life and childhood -- or the support given to many far-right terrorist movements in Europe through the "stay-behind" policy (Gladio in Italy for instance, or the Grey Wolves in Turkey). Finally, one of the worst issues of the book in my opinion is the complete lack of critical point of view on those who oppose American imperialism. Of course, those in the CIA and the Army who massacred civilians, staged coups and overthrew legitimately elected governments are evil and despicable. But Sandino is shown killing a man just because his man insulted him, and the act is presented as a mere "scandal" that forced Sandino to leave his country -- that was a f*cking murder, for Christ's sake, not just a scandal! Same goes with Khomeini, who is quoted saying that the American system is bad because it would give women the right to vote -- and this opinion goes completely unchallenged by the very men who pretend to be all for equal rights and democracy! In short: a debatable and heavily biased view of History and historical facts; a highly unthrilling writing; and an under-average drawing, that often looks like a really poor imitation of Tardi's drawing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I don't dispute that much of what is presented here is factual. I would however dispute that ALL of the facts are being presented. I understand that those who believe in "radical" politics feel that their viewpoints have been massively underrepresented - but that doesn't give you a pass on dealing with historical facts that don't support your overarching thesis. This is a polemic on American imperialism rather than an alternative look at American history... and that impression is reinforced by th I don't dispute that much of what is presented here is factual. I would however dispute that ALL of the facts are being presented. I understand that those who believe in "radical" politics feel that their viewpoints have been massively underrepresented - but that doesn't give you a pass on dealing with historical facts that don't support your overarching thesis. This is a polemic on American imperialism rather than an alternative look at American history... and that impression is reinforced by the pamphleteer-style art that you find in the graphic novel. While I appreciated hearing Zinn's story & personal connections both to WW2 and the Vietnam protest movement, I feel like a couple of things happen with those elements of the book: 1. It gives Zinn an opportunity to make his point without dealing with the whole history of either war. 2. It is painfully obvious that Zinn exalts in his friendships & associations with Father Berrigan & Daniel Ellsworth... that being on the stage of history around North Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers & the sit-ins in Atlanta validate his viewpoint on American history. Again, I don't deny that horrific things have been using American power for the benefit of American business... but I think it is simplistic to blame the last 120 years of world history on American imperialism.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    A lovingly constructed version of Zinn's A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present that leaves me wanting to dive into Zinn's entire bibliography. With Zinn as the ever-present narrator (with guest lectures from the likes of Mark Twain, OMG), I was thoroughly entertained, and informed. I had never understood the Spanish-American War before, for whatever reason. But, laying it out in a graphic novel format finally brought me understanding, along with increased understanding of conf A lovingly constructed version of Zinn's A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present that leaves me wanting to dive into Zinn's entire bibliography. With Zinn as the ever-present narrator (with guest lectures from the likes of Mark Twain, OMG), I was thoroughly entertained, and informed. I had never understood the Spanish-American War before, for whatever reason. But, laying it out in a graphic novel format finally brought me understanding, along with increased understanding of conflicts in the Philippines, and Iran-Contra, and sooooo many other instances of American assholery. I still think some of the art is a little shitty. The layout is A+ work, and the content, of course, is wonderful. I don't know, some of the art just looked cheap or underdeveloped. However, the overwhelming majority was beautifully done, and incorporated historical photos that helped to cement the chronology and history. Buy this title from Powell's Books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erok

    starting with mad magazine, then to the "big book" series, moving onto the "beginners" series, then onto other types of graphic novels and interpretations, the genre and pop-education in general has fascinated me for awhile. This is an amazing addition to the genre, although as a pop-ed tool, the rhetoric may be a bit too much for many people not versed in radical theory, ideology, or thought. i considered getting this for my dad for xmas, but then realized he may be a bit turned off from it and starting with mad magazine, then to the "big book" series, moving onto the "beginners" series, then onto other types of graphic novels and interpretations, the genre and pop-education in general has fascinated me for awhile. This is an amazing addition to the genre, although as a pop-ed tool, the rhetoric may be a bit too much for many people not versed in radical theory, ideology, or thought. i considered getting this for my dad for xmas, but then realized he may be a bit turned off from it and not read it or dismiss it. i felt it could have used a bit more of an intro rather than jumping right into the pool. with that said, i really loved it and got sucked in, wishing only that it was longer or that i got to see graphic interpretations of some of my favorite stories that had to be left out.

  10. 5 out of 5

    JJ

    If you have enjoyed Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, then A People’s History of an American Empire is just as enjoyable. Like the latter, it will piss you off but in a Howard Zinn appreciating way. Appreciating in the sense of an actual account of America’s past and not some anti-intellectual writing in service of the State to white-wash its history of crimes. The content in this book was a 5, the same rating his first book received but I’m giving this one a 3 due to the vibrant c If you have enjoyed Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, then A People’s History of an American Empire is just as enjoyable. Like the latter, it will piss you off but in a Howard Zinn appreciating way. Appreciating in the sense of an actual account of America’s past and not some anti-intellectual writing in service of the State to white-wash its history of crimes. The content in this book was a 5, the same rating his first book received but I’m giving this one a 3 due to the vibrant comics form. I really enjoyed the book and the comic nature but to give a comic related book a 5 would feel I’m doing an injustice to his first book or any 5 rating book for that matter. Regardless, I highly recommend this book to any lover of history. A must have in every man’s library.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paul Schulzetenberg

    This is a retelling of A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present in comic book form, with an emphasis on American foreign policy that downright imperial. And we're not talking classic American soft power here, where we send Coke and McDonald's in order to get people to buy American products in an effort to spread our cultural values. Rather, we're talking about a cynical examination of American international actions like the Spanish-American war, Manifest Destiny, Iran Contra, and This is a retelling of A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present in comic book form, with an emphasis on American foreign policy that downright imperial. And we're not talking classic American soft power here, where we send Coke and McDonald's in order to get people to buy American products in an effort to spread our cultural values. Rather, we're talking about a cynical examination of American international actions like the Spanish-American war, Manifest Destiny, Iran Contra, and other incidents that make the good old US of A look less than savory. I agree with Zinn's politics, for the most part. Zinn has an agenda, and he's clear about it. As such, it's the responsibility of the reader to take what he says with a grain of salt. But that aside, he does paint a pretty bleak picture of the USA's human rights record, one that We Americans like to pretend that we don't have many human rights violation, except for a few isolated incidents. What Zinn points out is that our violations are not restricted to a few isolated incidents, but rather are a systemic abuse, repeated over and over throughout history. If American policy results in significant human rights violations in nearly every decade, can we really claim to be the white knights that we like to pretend we are? Perhaps we owe it to ourselves to really evaluate our foreign policy and tell ourselves the truth. That said, this book is still a long, long way from perfect. I've never read Zinn's People's History, so I'm afraid I can't compare this volume to it. But whatever I would think about the parent title, this comic rendering has its issues. There's an extreme cult of personality surrounding Zinn in this book, which is ironic considering that Zinn spends so much iconoclastic effort tearing down politicians and generals. The image of Zinn, an old white guy, lecturing to an anonymous audience from a podium is repeated frequently, and without any kind of acknowledgement of just how strange this is in relation to the idea that this is "a people's history." Heck, some of the book is even autobiographical, in a way that seems very, very odd and stuck on there haphazardly. Perhaps the book should be called "Howard Zinn's History of American Empire?" Or "A People's History of American Empire and of Howard Zinn?" It certainly feels that way. And this cult of personality issue ties into a larger issue. Zinn's point in this book does not seem to be that the reader should think for herself, but rather that we should switch from the dictated version of history that we were taught in school to Zinn's more radical version. A lot of time is spent tearing down the old history and establishing a new point of view, but the evidence given is extremely one-sided. I'm no expert on most of these topics, but there are omissions that I caught, and points that the standard history espouses that are never addressed. The history that comes out of this book is not necessarily fuller, it's just a different viewpoint. So, for all of Zinn's criticism of the mainstream, his history is still not telling the whole story. And thus, it's implied that being dogmatic about history that isn't the problem, it's that we follow the wrong dogma. Finally, the comic art itself is lacking. It has a bit too much Sunday funnies feel, with stilted paneling and art that begins to feel repetitive. The caricatures are good, but the whole book is lacking soul. In some ways, this feels like Zinn said "I want to bring my work to more people, so I'm going to make it more accessible. And what's more accessible than comic books?" So, a comic book gets made, but somewhere in the process, the things that make a good comic book get lost. Maybe Zinn or somebody else in the process who was unfamiliar with making comics micromanaged the process too much, or maybe the studio didn't take enough liberties with the pacing and story, or maybe the dialogue wasn't cut down enough. Whatever happened, the comic turned out firmly mediocre. And so although you have a story that needs to be told, it is told in a misleading fashion, and the telling is flubbed. This isn't a book I'd recommend.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meepelous

    The first thing that I feel obliged to tell everyone is that this is a much easier read than I every anticipated. A challenging and thought provoking read certainly, but compared to many other political (and none political) comics I have struggled to slog through, this one was extremely accessible. The panels are even a bit on the too big side really, but this means the art and text were extremely clear and easy to follow. The text blocks never got too overly-long, and the pacing kept things mov The first thing that I feel obliged to tell everyone is that this is a much easier read than I every anticipated. A challenging and thought provoking read certainly, but compared to many other political (and none political) comics I have struggled to slog through, this one was extremely accessible. The panels are even a bit on the too big side really, but this means the art and text were extremely clear and easy to follow. The text blocks never got too overly-long, and the pacing kept things moving at a fairly engaging level. Focusing in on the art first, the choice to intermingle cartoons with historical photographs really grounded the work for me. This is certainly one of the strong points of nonfiction graphic novels, and does not work nearly as well in text focused works. The choice to apply some sort of photoshop filter to most of these photographs however, was generally not successful. While it certainly helped the visual flow for some pages, more often than not it made the pages seem rushed and cheap. Digging deeper into the subject matter of the book, I guess I should add the disclaimer that I am (at this point in my life) the sort of person who believes the sorts of things that Zinn is dishing out. So reading this was definitely preaching to the choir. That said, I do think that this book has a lot of merit so I will try and explain in as object a way as possible why I still think that everyone should read this book. First of all, I think that even if you ultimately disagree with this book, it provides a counter explanation for a history I would say we probably all already know about. While some may say that Zinn needs more of a balanced perspective, I would argue that not all books need to be all things to all people. Most history classes cover the material from this book from the "politically correct" perspective. Therefor, rehashing main stream ideologies would be a complete waste of time in most cases. Life is short, Zinn is very up front and honest about his agenda and aims to provide the thinking individual with a more balanced perspective of the world overall. Secondly, I would like to reiterate the fact that Zinn is totally up front with his agenda. Every single book you read has an agenda of some kind, even if sometimes the author themselves is not aware of it! Zinn is certainly not sneaking around and pretending to tell you one thing and indoctrinating you with another. In contrast to many more accepted works, being this obvious is a way in which he opens himself up to much more criticism. Thirdly, in the face of some of this very criticism I would like to point out that Zinn does in fact provide us with a fairly lengthy bibliography. It might have been nice to incorporate it more into the book's narrative, but putting it all in the back and sorting it out by chapter is certainly not unusual. Also, most of the agenda put forward by this book is in fact backed up by documented facts. Facts that are certainly not as well publicized as some other facts and half-facts, but almost nothing in this book is pure speculation, contrivance, or unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. Studies, research and investigations have been done into most of these actions and turned up the narrative that Zinn is presenting to us. Fourthly, I once again really appreciate how vulnerable and humble Zinn is throughout, particularly with how much more personal this book is than some of his other history books. His giving a speech was a very nice way of framing things and talking about his own mistakes really humanized him and made him more relatable. I also continue to appreciate people who are confident enough in their own opinions that they don't need to degrade and look down their noses at their critics. Even when it came to some seriously evil people, the book focuses more on letting people's actions speak for them rather than spending a lot of time tearing people down in a more personal, sneaky and/or subjective way. And to conclude, I will say again, I think that pretty much everyone should read this. Even if you don't end up agreeing. This book is very thought provoking and challenging. No one should hold to beliefs blindly.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    I enjoyed this graphic adaptation of Zinn's work. The drawings were effective though not particularly special but the writing and the conceit of having Zinn deliver the entire book as part of a lecture, was compelling, and definitely hooked me in to keep reading avidly. This book covers all aspects of US imperialism, deception, arrogance etc. throughout history, from Vietnam to Central America, and beyond. Here is a listing of actions covered: Wounded Knee, Antonio Maceo & the Cuban Revolution, I enjoyed this graphic adaptation of Zinn's work. The drawings were effective though not particularly special but the writing and the conceit of having Zinn deliver the entire book as part of a lecture, was compelling, and definitely hooked me in to keep reading avidly. This book covers all aspects of US imperialism, deception, arrogance etc. throughout history, from Vietnam to Central America, and beyond. Here is a listing of actions covered: Wounded Knee, Antonio Maceo & the Cuban Revolution, the Invasion of the Philippines, WWI & resistance to same, Sacco & Vanzetti, WWII/Atomic Age, Advent of R 'n' R, Civil Rights/Vietnam/war resistance/Wounded Knee II, Ellsberg & Pentagon Papers, Augusto Sandino & the Sandinistas/Covert War in Central America, Massacre @ El Mozote, Contra War, Iran/Contra, Overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran, Rise & Fall of Shah, Permanent War. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn without white-washing what the US has done to people that got in its way since at least the 19th Century.

  14. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    This is kinda like a distilled version of A People's History, with a bit of Zinn's autobiography thrown in, but in graphic novel form! So awesome! It's a quick read but very fun. This is kinda like a distilled version of A People's History, with a bit of Zinn's autobiography thrown in, but in graphic novel form! So awesome! It's a quick read but very fun.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carol Storm

    You know what I really hated about this book? It wasn't the cheap shots at America, Capitalism, and the United States Marine Corps. I mean, I know who Howard Zinn is. As Jim Garrison says in Oliver Stone's JFK, "What do you expect from a pig but a grunt?" No, what shocked me wasn't the mean cheap shots and lies. It was the sentimentality and hypocrisy. Because believe it or not, Howard Zinn and his punk grade school posse actually bend over backwards NOT to attack certain institutions. As tough a You know what I really hated about this book? It wasn't the cheap shots at America, Capitalism, and the United States Marine Corps. I mean, I know who Howard Zinn is. As Jim Garrison says in Oliver Stone's JFK, "What do you expect from a pig but a grunt?" No, what shocked me wasn't the mean cheap shots and lies. It was the sentimentality and hypocrisy. Because believe it or not, Howard Zinn and his punk grade school posse actually bend over backwards NOT to attack certain institutions. As tough as this "history" is on capital, it's very soft on the church. Now, Karl Marx once said that religion is the opiate of the people. The bosses and the priests work together to keep a working man down. In that spirit, you'd think that a book like this would explore -- or at least acknowledge -- the symbiotic relationship between capitalism and religion. But it never happens! There's tons of feel-good stuff about Zinn's old buddy Father Daniel Berrigan, the maverick anti-war activist from the Vietnam era. There's nothing about Father Coughlin, the mean Irish anti-Semite from Detroit who ruled the radio airwaves during the Depression. Surely one man is just as representative of the church as the other? But it's more subtle than that. The really fascinating chapter on Cuba's struggle for independence prior to 1898 shows the black peasants being exploited by Spanish landowners -- but where were the priests? The writers dig up a nasty quote from Winston Churchill, (who was just passing through as a young journalist) saying something like, "if Cuba gets independence and the blacks are part of the government, that could be really bad news for the civilized European nations!" I don't doubt that Churchill said that -- but why not a quote from the Bishop of Havana? Something like, "nobody is stealing the gold candlesticks off my altar so the poor can eat!" I mean, the cruelty of the Catholic church and the Spanish empire were hand in glove for about, oh, four hundred years. But it's not just the Catholic church that gets a pass. Zinn and his toddler crew have nothing to say about Islam as a force for evil, either. For example, they talk about a "secret" treaty England and France signed in World War One, dividing up the whole Middle East among the imperial powers. Only they don't mention that at the time the Middle East was not free anyway. Most of it was still the property of the Ottoman Empire, built by conquest and violence in the name of Islam, which was just as dirty and corrupt as the British Empire or expansionist America. Zinn doesn't care. The Middle East was the Garden of Eden until the Americans came! He doesn't confront the fact that the vast majority of Muslims in the Middle East aren't interested in socialism, or democracy. They want to live in a world they can understand, which happens to be the world of the ninth century. He's correct (and surprisingly insightful) when he links the 911 hijackers with the "Ghost Dancers" of Wounded Knee. But he doesn't understand what the terrorists do understand quite clearly -- that his secular, rich kid socialism is only possible in a modern, corporate nation powered by oil and protected by the United States Marines. It's easy to compare George W. Bush to George Armstrong Custer. The problem is, to the holy warriors of Islam Howard Zinn is Custer too. He's just too dumb to know it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I've had difficulty with reading A People's History and I'm really glad that this comic adaptation exists. It combines some of the 20th century content with information from Zinn's memoir to depict a bunch of key chapters in modern American history. Despite the epilogue, it's hard for me to see much cause for hope. The book focuses on the parts of history that are too often overlooked in schools, which means it's relentlessly bleak and shows horror after horror that's been perpetrated by the US I've had difficulty with reading A People's History and I'm really glad that this comic adaptation exists. It combines some of the 20th century content with information from Zinn's memoir to depict a bunch of key chapters in modern American history. Despite the epilogue, it's hard for me to see much cause for hope. The book focuses on the parts of history that are too often overlooked in schools, which means it's relentlessly bleak and shows horror after horror that's been perpetrated by the US government. I'm not sure what might've been lost in the adaptation to another medium, but I found some of the chronology confusing. The chapters are sort of in order, but to provide context, they sometimes jump backwards to explain how a particular person got into power. There are also a whole lot of names. Even though this is a lot less dense than a textbook, I think that I'd recommend reading chapters separately instead of trying to charge through the entire book. There are some interesting art choices, including the incorporation of actual news photos in some panels. I didn't think the photos worked well because they were distractingly low-res and grainy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book starts with 9/11 and goes back to how America started to gain an empire before the turn into the 1900s. It's a startling read for anyone, like myself, who doesn't realize just how much the American government and army has done around the world towards other countries, other people. This graphic novel adaptation puts things in picture form that words alone can't do justice. It makes me want to read the actual book by Howard Zinn, and others, to find out the darker side of American histo This book starts with 9/11 and goes back to how America started to gain an empire before the turn into the 1900s. It's a startling read for anyone, like myself, who doesn't realize just how much the American government and army has done around the world towards other countries, other people. This graphic novel adaptation puts things in picture form that words alone can't do justice. It makes me want to read the actual book by Howard Zinn, and others, to find out the darker side of American history that isn't taught in schools. I encourage anyone who wants to do the same to start here and branch out. It's eye opening.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris Miller

    What a great Graphic Novel using history as its basis. This takes a lot of Howard Zinn work as the basis for a readable, understandable, and entertaining look at the growth of the United States, warts and all. As with all of his work, there are elipses that undermine some arguments because they don't present the entire picture. It seems to me he does this because there is so much done on the other side of many arguments that it gets lost in the discussion. This was given to me as a gift, and I r What a great Graphic Novel using history as its basis. This takes a lot of Howard Zinn work as the basis for a readable, understandable, and entertaining look at the growth of the United States, warts and all. As with all of his work, there are elipses that undermine some arguments because they don't present the entire picture. It seems to me he does this because there is so much done on the other side of many arguments that it gets lost in the discussion. This was given to me as a gift, and I really appreciate it. Historians need to be doing more of this kind of work to draw in people to the concept that history is more than just dates.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jane Mueller

    A must read if you live in the United States. Condensed history that you need to know!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Krista Turner

    Talk about a throw down. This isn't the history we learned in school . . . I would classify this as a much-needed punch to the gut. Talk about a throw down. This isn't the history we learned in school . . . I would classify this as a much-needed punch to the gut.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    As a social studies teacher, this book blew my mind about how I was taught and teach history. I'm grateful I live in America with its freedoms and liberties, but holy smokes our country as a sordid past that makes me cringe at the injustices done to others. The graphic novel format was extremely well done. As a social studies teacher, this book blew my mind about how I was taught and teach history. I'm grateful I live in America with its freedoms and liberties, but holy smokes our country as a sordid past that makes me cringe at the injustices done to others. The graphic novel format was extremely well done.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nshslibrary

    As we all know, America is the land of the free, a land of wonder and pure accomplishments. It is the only country in the world that has never done wrong without a good reason. Or at least that’s what our political leadership wants us to think. In reality, America is a country like any other. It does good and it does bad, and if you’ve ever decided to read one of Howard Zinn’s books, you’re definitely not reading for the good. But that does not mean this book is bad. In fact, Howard Zinn’s A Peo As we all know, America is the land of the free, a land of wonder and pure accomplishments. It is the only country in the world that has never done wrong without a good reason. Or at least that’s what our political leadership wants us to think. In reality, America is a country like any other. It does good and it does bad, and if you’ve ever decided to read one of Howard Zinn’s books, you’re definitely not reading for the good. But that does not mean this book is bad. In fact, Howard Zinn’s A People's History of American Empire is a thought-provoking collection of some of America’s darkest secrets. Journeying through its past, readers will learn of the accomplishments America does not want you to know, and the reasons for which said deeds have been pushed so far out of our view. Illustrated in the simplistic design of Mike Konopacki’s brilliant cartoons, every page is rich with flavor and emotion. The book starts with its training wheels ripped off, with Zinn putting his views at the forefront of this text, and they are quite interesting. With our story starting at the beginning of the 21st century, we find Zinn outraged by the 9/11 bombings of the time, but not for the reasons one would normally expect. He didn’t curse the bombers or scream for some war of revenge. No he screams for a different reason altogether. He screams instead at the United States’ refusal to learn from their past. He screams, in all the honesty of his mind, that, “[The U.S. Government] learned nothing, absolutely nothing, from the [war and terrorism] of the 20th century!” (3). Zinn, of course, was commenting not on the bombings themselves, but instead the address President Bush would later give, an address that promised the bombing of the very same terrorists who bombed us. And with that, the horrors of the 20th century started once more. “But what horrors?” You may ask. “World War 1? 2? Afghanistan?” You ask again, and while you are correct in some ways, you still misunderstand. It’s not the wars themselves that caused the 20th century’s terror. No, it was much more. The true horror of the 20th century was caused by its leaders. In particular, it was its drunk leaders. Leaders so drunk on their own power and ambitions that they would do anything to climb the social ladder. Massacres and sabotage of innocent populations was but a small fraction of their misdeeds. They were the true horrors of the 20th century, and if you wish to learn more, about America, about secrets or about the 20th century in general, then this book is for you. But don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself and discover A People's History of American Empire. ~Student: Dan B.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This is a graphic novel adaptation of Zinn’s famous history book, “A People’s History of the United States.” It doesn’t cover everything in “A People’s History...”, but starts with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, when American soldiers killed or wounded 300 Native Americans in about an hour. In the 1890’s, America was going through a depression, so a foreign enemy was needed against which to rally the public (along with finding new markets to exploit). The Cuban Revolution was attempting to th This is a graphic novel adaptation of Zinn’s famous history book, “A People’s History of the United States.” It doesn’t cover everything in “A People’s History...”, but starts with the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, when American soldiers killed or wounded 300 Native Americans in about an hour. In the 1890’s, America was going through a depression, so a foreign enemy was needed against which to rally the public (along with finding new markets to exploit). The Cuban Revolution was attempting to throw off four centuries of Spanish rule. The sister of a Cuban rebel leader told the story of being searched for secret documents by a Spanish matron while on a US steamer. The American press turned it into an accusation by Spain that America was too weak to defend the honor of its women, and that women on American steamers were being strip searched. Calls were made to annex Cuba. The spark needed to start the Spanish-American War was the destruction of an American battleship in Havana harbor (“Remember the Maine”). Spain was blamed, but the US government was skeptical. During World War I, the Espionage Act was passed to criminalize any antiwar talk that could be interpreted as discouraging enlistment. The law also secretly empowered private associations to spy on “disloyal” Americans. After World War II was won, but not officially over, the new American empire decided to start testing its new weapons on defenseless people. Zinn was involved in a bombing raid on a French town where several thousand German soldiers waited for the end of the war. On that day, over 1200 planes dropped nearly 400,000 gallons of napalm on the town of Royan. Did you know that during the war, the wearing of zoot suits was considered dangerous, and was a kind of draft resistance? This book also looks at Vietnam, the Civil Rights era, the Pentagon Papers, the Contra War in Nicaragua, and the Iranian Revolution. It has a bibliography for those who want to read further. For those who have never read “A People’s History of the United States,” perhaps intimidated by its several hundred page length, this is a wonderful alternative. For those who have read Zinn’s book, this helps to put a face to the names, and is still very highly recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sonic

    Everyone should read this book! Going far far beyond the "official" versions of almost all historical events of America's imperialistic activities, this book finally tells it from the people's side. Yes "history" is written by the victors, even when the victors sought out and created the conflicts in the first place. Americans have been fed a long line of bullshit from day one! This book, while not going into too much detail about any one event (see the bibliography people! If you want to dig de Everyone should read this book! Going far far beyond the "official" versions of almost all historical events of America's imperialistic activities, this book finally tells it from the people's side. Yes "history" is written by the victors, even when the victors sought out and created the conflicts in the first place. Americans have been fed a long line of bullshit from day one! This book, while not going into too much detail about any one event (see the bibliography people! If you want to dig deeper please do!) outlines the basic imperialistic drives that have dominated most U.S. foreign policy, and indeed world history ever since America became a "super-power." To the people who did not like this book and wrote negative reviews,...I say, you people have the luxury of not liking this book, and that luxury was earned (or stolen rather) through the suffering and death of many billions of people, even... dare I say it *GASP* Americans! What Zinn, Konopacki, and Buhle have done is create a concise readable factual summary that explains America's place in the world why we are viewed the way we are. After 9/11 most all of the U.S. was left asking "WHY?" and "What did we do to deserve this?" And we learned that the so-called "History" classes that we had, were very far from the inconvenient truth. This book goes a long way towards answering such questions and really helps us piece together a much more realistic world view when we connect the dots.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emilia P

    Yeah. Two probs. Number one: The illustration style of this was hodgepodge, photo-collage/artsy/basic-routine all mixed up, with not that much attention to the effect of the switches on pacing, mood etc. So that was annoying. Problem two: Uh, I don't like this narrative of history. It was like wars of empire are bad, so here are the violent things people did to try to stop them, or the papers they stole from the government to prove how bad they were. There were a few hopeful words here and there, Yeah. Two probs. Number one: The illustration style of this was hodgepodge, photo-collage/artsy/basic-routine all mixed up, with not that much attention to the effect of the switches on pacing, mood etc. So that was annoying. Problem two: Uh, I don't like this narrative of history. It was like wars of empire are bad, so here are the violent things people did to try to stop them, or the papers they stole from the government to prove how bad they were. There were a few hopeful words here and there, but it basically gave the idea that those in power are completely corrupt and the only way to act about that is pissed... There's some truth to that, but ... government does good too. I could have had more about unions, etc. I liked learning about Daniel Berrigan and understanding the Dar Williams song lyrics! I found Zinn's placing himself in the story a little egotistical. And isn't ego the same thing that got us to empires in the first place? Yeah!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jose

    This is a wonderful graphic novel, condensing the book "A People's History of the United States" into a medium that opens the material and topic contained to a different audience. Covering alternate viewpoints of historical events in an American context, "A People's History of American Empire" looks at history from the 'losers' side, if one were to frame history into a model of winners and losers in order to use the quote "History is written by the winners." The graphic novel is a good read for This is a wonderful graphic novel, condensing the book "A People's History of the United States" into a medium that opens the material and topic contained to a different audience. Covering alternate viewpoints of historical events in an American context, "A People's History of American Empire" looks at history from the 'losers' side, if one were to frame history into a model of winners and losers in order to use the quote "History is written by the winners." The graphic novel is a good read for those interested in history and for graphic novel readers who like intellectually stimulating material, like the Sandman, Maus, and Persepolis. This came into my grasp when I was perusing the graphic novel section of my local library. I read it, and loved it. As I posted on my facebook about reading this, I found the source text in which this graphic novel came from and am currently reading it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    At one time I thought that graphic novels or graphic adaptations were rather childish and not true literature. This is the third one I have read and it is the best. It was very powerful and thought provoking. I think that the illustrations made an even more powerful statement than the written word. This book tells the history of the American Empire, but more from the point of view of the losers rather than the winners. It gives the "behind the scene" story of many of the wars and conflicts the U At one time I thought that graphic novels or graphic adaptations were rather childish and not true literature. This is the third one I have read and it is the best. It was very powerful and thought provoking. I think that the illustrations made an even more powerful statement than the written word. This book tells the history of the American Empire, but more from the point of view of the losers rather than the winners. It gives the "behind the scene" story of many of the wars and conflicts the United States has engaged in, beginning with some of the Native American conflicts and going up to the Iraq War. This is not your grade school or even your college history text book. It is not light reading, even in this format. It is a book I would highly recommend to anyone who is seeking "the rest of the story" regarding American history.

  28. 4 out of 5

    drbarb

    Okay, we all studied US history. Zinn's versions are always nuanced. Don't laugh because this one is a comic book -- it is GREAT. I gave my copy to Paul Rusesabagina, of Hotel Rwanda fame, for he and his kids. This one doesn't leave out those blots on our white-washed versions of history where our leaders conned the people or just oppressed the people and there was injustice and un-American activities alright. You will love it. Give it to all your younger sibs and relatives. Okay, we all studied US history. Zinn's versions are always nuanced. Don't laugh because this one is a comic book -- it is GREAT. I gave my copy to Paul Rusesabagina, of Hotel Rwanda fame, for he and his kids. This one doesn't leave out those blots on our white-washed versions of history where our leaders conned the people or just oppressed the people and there was injustice and un-American activities alright. You will love it. Give it to all your younger sibs and relatives.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Boooooo. I regret having to rate this book so poorly--I'm a big fan of Zinn and desparately wanted to love this book--but I was agitated the whole time I read it. The art is bad, and the format (mainly, Zinn lecturing) is boring and not at all compelling. It could have been so awesome (comics! history! Zinn!) but instead was a huge disappointment. Sad. Boooooo. I regret having to rate this book so poorly--I'm a big fan of Zinn and desparately wanted to love this book--but I was agitated the whole time I read it. The art is bad, and the format (mainly, Zinn lecturing) is boring and not at all compelling. It could have been so awesome (comics! history! Zinn!) but instead was a huge disappointment. Sad.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donkeykonguk Forero

    A heartbreaking and devastating history of America's imperial history, which will seem strangely similar to current events. Manufactured provocations, vicious cruelty, and utter hypocrisy abound. Told in a simple comic book style, this is a heartfelt plea from Zinn to all Americans to take a closer look at the often anti-democratic, inhumane, and even sickening behavior of their government. A heartbreaking and devastating history of America's imperial history, which will seem strangely similar to current events. Manufactured provocations, vicious cruelty, and utter hypocrisy abound. Told in a simple comic book style, this is a heartfelt plea from Zinn to all Americans to take a closer look at the often anti-democratic, inhumane, and even sickening behavior of their government.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...