Zinn’s book The People’s history provides insight into the lives and struggles of those who received the short end of the straw during America’s beginning

Zinn’s book The People’s history provides insight into the lives and struggles of those who received the short end of the straw during America’s beginning. From Native Americans to poor whites, to women, to factory workers, and black slaves Howard’s book tells the often heartbreaking story of them all. He recounts the lives and struggles of those who were without privilege and how they were often pitted against one another by those above them. In his book Zinn describes the honest and gritty truth behind those on the bottom, he provides insight on injustices that are often glossed over and communicates the ugly truth behind our country’s history that every student needs to hear.
From a young age, children are taught the stories of how America came to be. However, those stories are often watered down from downplaying the cruelty of slavery, to ignoring the massacre of Native Americans, and leaving out the poverty that infested the young country. Zinn’s book on the hardships that the forgotten peoples of America faced allows one to understand and hear the gritty truth that is often left out. Zinn sympathizes with those groups and tells their story. He begins by recounting the revolting truth of how Christopher Columbus and those who came after him came to “discover” America. Driven by greed and without compassion, he takes advantage of the Native Americans hospitality and uses it to massacre and enslave them and strip their land of its resources. He continues with a horrifying depiction of the Africans who were taken from their homes stripped, branded, chained, and sent away on boats not fit for humans to become slaves in a country they did not know and in a culture that was not their own. He also describes the introduction of racism against blacks created to seperate whites and blacks and to end collaboration between the two groups. Next, he describes the life of an indentured servant who lived like slaves often underfed and worked day and night but only for four to seven years. He conveys the struggle of women at the time who at the time nothing more baby makers in the eyes of men. Their jobs limited to what would please men they would become slaves in their own right, anchored to the men who controlled them and their possessions “Besides absolute possession of his wife’s personal property and a life estate in her lands, the husband took any other income that might be hers. He collected wages earned by her labor. . . . Naturally, it followed that the proceeds of the joint labor of husband and wife belonged to the husband”. While he told of their suffering Zinn also described their rebellion. White servants and black slaves ran away from their masters and started rebellions together, once they saw the settlers true intentions the Indians began to fight for their land, and women who rejected how things stood and created what can be seen as early feminism. He tells the story from the perspective of those oppressed and how they were controlled and kept in their place by their oppressors . Throughout his book he tells of the difficulty these people faced while overpowered and how they in their own way fought against those who kept them down.
The People’s History is an incredibly well written book written from a different viewpoint, an outlook that i thoroughly enjoyed learning about. Due to the horrors these peoples experienced the true story isn’t often told as many find it hard to stomach and while i found myself overcome with grief at certain points in the book i believe that this is an important part of our history one that we too often choose to ignore. I believe that Zinn was an incredible man who chose to for a moment forget about the elite and powerful and focus on the common people and how America was founded on their backs.

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