Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the best book I have read about American history. While it’s not perfect, I love the way Zinn acknowledges his own biases and attempts to explain a much accurate version of American history than is almost ever shared.
I’m truly surprised I only heard about Zinn and his work a couple of months ago. He was one of the few historians who tried to tell the truth about America’s racism, genocide, classism, and sexism. He did so while letting his readers know that socialism is the path forward for addressing societal needs and by pointing out the many brutal flaws in capitalism.
While pointing out the white biases that influence the garbage often taught as American history, Zinn admits his work is influenced by his own biases. As a person with a disability, I would agree with Zinn’s assessment of his work.
Like most people, Zinn didn’t say much about people with disabilities and/or the historical discrimination and brutality we have faced. His only real discussion of disability was a brief mention of the Americans With Disabilities Act. That, sadly, is more of a discussion of disability than is often present in books. But it wasn’t enough.
Even though Zinn didn’t really try to talk about people with disabilities in A People’s History of the United States, I think the book is one everyone should read, especially children. America needs a lot more honest discussions about American oppression, imperialism, and brutality.