Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Adapted by Rebecca Stefoff

A Young People's History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people. Beginning with a look at Christopher Columbus's arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians, then leading the reader through the struggles for worker's rights, women's rights, and civil rights during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism, Zinn presents a radical new way of understanding America's history. In so doing, he reminds readers that America’s true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals.

Check out our A Young People's History of the United States Lesson Plan here.

For more information about A Young People's History of the United States, and for access to a plethora of other resources about Howard Zinn's work and legacy, please visit The Zinn Education Project.

Watch Rebecca Stefoff on the history of the fight for student rights, read from A Young People's History of the United States:

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Howard Zinn for kids

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“Zinn has written a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those who have been exploited … the book is an excellent antidote to establishment history … While the book is precise enough to please specialists, it should satisfy any adult reader.”

“In many years of searching, we have not found one history book we would recommend to them—until [the] just published A Young People's History of the United States. This is the edition of A People's History that we have all been waiting for.”

“Zinn's work exemplifies an approach to history that is radical, regardless of its subject or geographical location. He tells us the untold story, the story of the world's poor, the world's workers, the world's homeless, the world's oppressed, the people who don't really qualify as real people in official histories. Howard Zinn painstakingly unearths the details that the powerful seek to airbrush away. He brings official secrets and forgotten histories out into the light, and in doing so, changes the official narrative that the powerful have constructed for us. He strips the grinning mask off the myth of the benign American Empire. To not read Howard Zinn is to do a disservice to yourself.”

“[Zinn] gives a real insight in to history that is often left out of text books. Highly recommended.”

blog — September 17

Teach A People's History

 
Who needs Trump's 1776 Commission? Certainly not us. Kids deserve more than nationalist propaganda. They deserve to learn a complete history of the United States of the people and for the people. And we can help.

 
To teach a people’s history is to consider the historical perspective of the marginalized and the oppressed. It is to acknowledge the historical impact of people from all backgrounds; to share the groundbreaking cultural and political contributions of everyday people, not just the stories promoted by (and beneficial to) those in power. When we teach history from this perspective, we can uncover a better understanding of how our present came to be. By sharing these stories, we equip children with the foundation needed to make lasting, meaningful change in our society –– for the good of all of us.

Young people have been making important contributions to history for centuries. To take a few examples from Howard Zinn's A Young People's History of the United States: There's Anyokah, the child who helped bring written language to her Cherokee people. There are the young laborers who—to the benefit of their peers toiling in cotton mills, canneries, and mines—stood up for themselves with the National Child Labor Committee's Declaration of Dependence. And there's John Tinker, the high school student who fought all the way to the Supreme Court for freedom of expression at school—and won. Our mission with the For Young People series is not to talk down to the young, but to make accessible versions of some of the best books around, and thereby giving young people the facts and inspiration they may need in order to lift their voices up.

For more teaching resources, visit:

Zinn Education Project

Teaching for Change

Free Teaching Guides, Lesson Plans, & Other Resources

A Young People's History of the United States Lesson Plan

1493 for Young People: From Columbus's Voyage to Globalization

A Different Mirror for Young People Teaching Guide

Eiffel's Tower for Young People Teaching Guide

A Road Map to Howard Zinn's Writings Published by Seven Stories Press

Ink Knows No Borders Teaching Guide

Martha and the Slave Catchers Teaching Guide 

  

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HOWARD ZINN’s (1922–2010) great subject isn’t war, but peace. After his experience as a bombardier in World War II, he became convinced that there could be no such thing as a “just war,” as the vast majority of modern warfare’s victims are made up of innocent civilians. In his books, including A People’s History of the United States and its companion volume, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, Zinn affirms the power of the masses to influence major events. Through a lifetime of pointed scholarship and principled civil disobedience, he has led and continues to lead generations in the ways of peace. Check out A Road Map to Howard Zinn's Writings Published by Seven Stories Press here.

Other books by Howard Zinn