The cover of A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

This is an important book. I was raised in the US, learning US history; after reading A People’s History, I’m stunned at how much I missed. Zinn starts with the arrival of Europeans in North America, and (in the edition I read) ends with 9/11. Between those two moments are many, many stories of people who don’t get a voice in schoolbook history, including Native Americans, African slaves, laborers, and women.

A People’s History is not a complete history. Zinn is very up front about that. It’s also a very involved read; it’s more like a textbook than your average historic non-fiction best-seller. But if you’re interested in American history at all, it’s worth the investment.