By Howard Zinn
Identified for its vigorous, transparent prose in addition to its scholarly examine, A People's background of the USA is the one quantity to inform America's tale from the perspective of -- and within the phrases of -- America's girls, manufacturing unit staff, African americans, local american citizens, operating terrible, and immigrant workers.
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Additional info for A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present (Perennial Classics)
They lack all manner of commerce, neither buying nor selling, and rely exclusively on their natural environment for maintenance. They are extremely generous with their possessions and by the same token covet the possessions of then; friends and expect the same degree of liberality. In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas (who at first urged replacing Indians by black slaves, thinking they were stronger and would survive, but later relented when he saw the effects on blacks) tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards.
But how can the judgment be made if the benefits and losses cannot be balanced because the losses are either unmentioned or mentioned quickly? That quick disposal might be acceptable (“Unfortunate, yes, but it had to be done”) to the middle and upper classes of the conquering and “advanced” countries. But is it acceptable to the poor of Asia, Africa, Latin America, or to the prisoners in Soviet labor camps, or the blacks in urban ghettos, or the Indians on reservations-to the victims of that progress which benefits a privileged minority in the world?
The whites were in their own European culture. The blacks had been torn from their land and culture, forced into a situation where the heritage of language, dress, custom, family relations, was bit by bit obliterated except for remnants that blacks could hold on to by sheer, extraordinary persistence. Was their culture inferior—and so subject to easy destruction? Inferior in military capability, yes —vulnerable to whites with guns and ships. But in no other way—except that cultures that are different are often taken as inferior, especially when such a judgment is practical and profitable.
A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present (Perennial Classics) by Howard Zinn