Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States provides a historical point-of-view that will, unfortunately, come as a shock to most Americans. Many, most perhaps, will simply deny any analysis that contradicts the fairy-tale that America is a beacon of freedom and hope for the entire world. It’s important to understand that, for the most part, the American political system has grown rigid and unable to evaluate it’s own policies or institutions. Both the (political) right and left have surrendered the capacity to understand or change the terror of U.S. foreign policy in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine…the list goes on. And, increasingly, those political institutions are silent on domestic policies that effect the unseen 50% of the country that lack decent employment, education, healthcare and faces an increasingly reactionary surveillance state. The real question is, ”why”? A simple yet complex question.
First published is 1980, A People’s Histroyis one of the most important and eye opening building-blocks to understanding a coherent vision of American history. In other words, it’s a realistic and honest assesment. Which is particularly important with the Thanksgivingholiday just around the corner in the US. The rare truth of the holiday is a brutal history of invasion and imperialism. With Romans 13:2 providing the justification; “Whoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God and that they resist shall recieve to themselves damnation“.
Finally, what is to be done? When adressing the topic of the war in Vietnam in 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated simply, “Somehow this madness must cease…And the initiative to stop must be ours“.