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Margot Roussel Blog Post 8/30

In A Peoples History of the United States, Howard Zinn takes an interesting approach to history. Instead of taking the winners viewpoint, he instead tells the story from the opposing view. He gives a voice to those that history overlooks and to a certain extent takes the harder road. It is difficult to find first-hand accounts from the perspectives of women and people of color because so much of their history is lost. The little that remains is usually incorrect, like the story of Pocahontas. Additionally, I find it interesting that all of the primary sources Zinn quotes about the Indian’s feelings towards the white men are from a white man, Las Casas.

 

I found that one of Zinn’s comments really resonated with me; he said, “My point is not to grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners. Those tears, that anger, cast into the past, deplete our moral energy for the present. And the lines are not always clear.” (10) I have recently found myself somewhat depleted reading and learning about all the sadness and struggle in the world. But I believe it is not something to ignore, instead we must learn about it in a way that empowers us to change the present.

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4 Comments

  1. Alexander Dimedio Alexander Dimedio

    I think you made some very good observations about how Zinn decides to deliver the history along with some of his own bias. This book is very unique in that it captures the beauty in the cultures that did not have a voice after they were gone. The quote you brought in is essential to understand. This quote is a general outline for Zinn’s techniques going forward, and we can better interpret his points now that we know his purpose.

  2. Michael Childress Michael Childress

    I also highlighted the quote you mentioned in your second paragraph. I also thought that Zinn had a little bit of his own bias, but as Dr. Bezio mentioned in class, everything has bias everywhere. However, I appreciated the fact that he acknowledged his own bias and wrote about why he had it. I too thought about how women and POC are perfect examples of people whose voices are often unheard.

  3. Sara Moushegian Sara Moushegian

    I agree that hearing the distasteful history of America takes a blow to my morale and makes me much less prideful of the country I live in. I also agree that although this is information is uncomfortable to hear, it must be said in order to try and fix the corrupt institutions our country is founded on.

    The silences within history must be brought to the forefront if we want any social change.

  4. Mohamad Kassem Mohamad Kassem

    I agree with what you said about Zinn using his own bias in narrating the story. I also like how you highlighted the fact that Zinn represented the voices of minorities, this is really important as the only way to make an actual change happen nowadays is by listening to all sides of the story and just those stories of the ones in power who write the history.

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