Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Historical Bummers

I just finished reading Howard Zihn's book, A People's History of the United States. I don't know if i have ever been so bummed in all my life. There is no reason to go into detail about the goings on in the book, but suffice it to say that my entire view of military history has been shattered. Even the American Civil War wasn't what I thought it was. Thanks a lot Howard Zihn--now I can't even celebrate Columbus Day without having a guilty conscience.

History books are important for a lot of reasons. However, the best way to read them is by reading a lot of different ones at once. The past can't be understood by one viewpoint, and it can't be fully understood even there are a hundred different viewpoints--just read as many as possible and hopefully you might figure out some truth. American history is something we can really try to get a grasp on because this is such a new country for most of us. We can focus our attention to a few hundred years of European settlers.

As far as history book reviews go, I would highly recommend anything by Zihn. His views on American history are told through the lenses of the poor and working classes. It's refreshing, to say the least, to read a book about history that isn't based on the views and opinions of whoever was in charge at the time.

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