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Offlinekotik
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Howard Zinn - People's History
    #4826718 - 10/19/05 07:36 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

anyone else read this book with good / bad things to say?

I just started reading it a few days ago, and I am really enjoying it, although it is really making me feel less and less comfortable about the foundation of our country and etc.

I just got into chapter 5, so I'm not very deep in it yet, but I do like "alternate history," and this one is less sensational than many others I have read...


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: kotik]
    #4826737 - 10/19/05 07:47 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

I'm very skeptical of people like Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky. Even if they don't outright lie, they have a tendency to spin things in an extremist way, and they're often guilty of omitting important parts of the story(at least Chomsky is -- I'm not as familiar with Zinn). In any case, enjoy the book, but take it with a grain of salt.


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Offlinekotik
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: Silversoul]
    #4826891 - 10/19/05 08:30 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

I have to say (for a new reader of Zinn.. and dare I say somewhat of a "fan" of Chomsky) this book started out with a very upfront statement.

Zinn actually speaks directly to the reader in the middle of a chapter on Columbus.. something to the effect of telling the reader that the book is not intended to romanticize the injustices of history, but rather to revisit them through the lives which history usually omits.. the people.

either way, long live skepticism

Quote:

they're often guilty of omitting important parts of the story




i cant think of a single book on history that isn't guilty of the same charge, for the simple fact that paper, ink, patience and time are all somewhat of a finite resource.


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Invisiblebukkake
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: Silversoul]
    #4827838 - 10/20/05 12:15 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
In any case, enjoy the book, but take it with a grain of salt.



Then all US history books should be taken with a grain of salt. They're all either sort of sexually fixated with how wonderful our slave owning forefathers were or how wretched and greedy. Zinn's description being the latter and the one I'm more willing to agree with. Zinn doesn't deny being biased, most other history books do.

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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: bukkake]
    #4828873 - 10/20/05 09:36 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

bukkake said:
Quote:

Paradigm said:
In any case, enjoy the book, but take it with a grain of salt.



Then all US history books should be taken with a grain of salt. They're all either sort of sexually fixated with how wonderful our slave owning forefathers were or how wretched and greedy. Zinn's description being the latter and the one I'm more willing to agree with. Zinn doesn't deny being biased, most other history books do.



I agree. I'm just saying take in the whole picture, not just what Zinn is presenting.


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Offlinebarfightlard
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: Silversoul]
    #4828882 - 10/20/05 09:39 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

" Even if they don't outright lie, they have a tendency to spin things in an extremist way, and they're often guilty of omitting important parts of the story(at least Chomsky is)

can you show me where he does this paradigm?


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: barfightlard]
    #4828931 - 10/20/05 09:56 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

bellylard said:
" Even if they don't outright lie, they have a tendency to spin things in an extremist way, and they're often guilty of omitting important parts of the story(at least Chomsky is)

can you show me where he does this paradigm?



From pg. 14 of Hegemony or Survival:

Quote:

The goal of the imperial grand strategy is to prevent any challenge to the "power, position, and prestige of the United States." The quoted words are not those of Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, or any of the other statist reactionaries who formulated the National Security Strategy of September 2002. Rather, they were spoken by the respected liberal statesman Dean Acheson in 1963. He was justifying US actions against Cuba in full knowledge that Washington's international terrorist campaign aimed at "regime change" had been significant factor in bringing the world close to nuclear war only a few months earlier, and that it was resumed immediately after the Cuban missile crisis was resolved.



Now, granted that I managed to figure out that this "international terrorist campaign" he refers to was the Bay of Pigs invasion, and perhaps you figured it out too, but a reader who is not as acquainted with history could easily be confused by this passage. Now, this is a minor point, but what I'm getting at is that the extremely partisan language he uses can be very misleading for the reader.


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InvisibleAlex213
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: kotik]
    #4829022 - 10/20/05 10:33 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Howard is a true writer. Independent mind, fine grasp of history. As an antidote to the mainstream media you can't get much better.

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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: kotik]
    #4829056 - 10/20/05 10:51 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

I never read the book, but from the reviews I've read it seems like the perfect antidote for patriotism. Nothing invigorates liberals more than a hefty dose of guilt swelling into their gullet. It is just regrettable that some have to be on the receiving end of the vomit that comes immediately thereafter.


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Offlinebarfightlard
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: Silversoul]
    #4829072 - 10/20/05 10:55 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Alright I understand what you mean now. I just watched a thing on Howard Zinn and he has a editor that goes over his work for just that reason.

You think thats something chomsky would do because I think his message would be best used by the average man who doesn't have an in-depth knowledge of history or profound linguistic skills. silly chomsky


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Offlinekotik
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: barfightlard]
    #4830323 - 10/20/05 03:55 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

I never read the book, but from the reviews I've read it seems like...




:thumbup:


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: kotik]
    #4830361 - 10/20/05 03:59 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

kotik said:
Quote:

I never read the book, but from the reviews I've read it seems like...




:thumbup:




Is it any secret? It is written to breed self-loathing. Endulge!


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Offlinekotik
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: looner2]
    #4831208 - 10/20/05 06:13 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

i have to smile when someone can write a review on a book, based on other reviews they read.


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: Silversoul]
    #4831255 - 10/20/05 06:22 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
Quote:

bellylard said:
" Even if they don't outright lie, they have a tendency to spin things in an extremist way, and they're often guilty of omitting important parts of the story(at least Chomsky is)

can you show me where he does this paradigm?



From pg. 14 of Hegemony or Survival:

Quote:

The goal of the imperial grand strategy is to prevent any challenge to the "power, position, and prestige of the United States." The quoted words are not those of Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, or any of the other statist reactionaries who formulated the National Security Strategy of September 2002. Rather, they were spoken by the respected liberal statesman Dean Acheson in 1963. He was justifying US actions against Cuba in full knowledge that Washington's international terrorist campaign aimed at "regime change" had been significant factor in bringing the world close to nuclear war only a few months earlier, and that it was resumed immediately after the Cuban missile crisis was resolved.



Now, granted that I managed to figure out that this "international terrorist campaign" he refers to was the Bay of Pigs invasion, and perhaps you figured it out too, but a reader who is not as acquainted with history could easily be confused by this passage. Now, this is a minor point, but what I'm getting at is that the extremely partisan language he uses can be very misleading for the reader.




by most standards, what we were doing to cuba and
later nicaragua would be considered international
terrorism.

is the only quarrel that he uses inflammatory
rhetoric to describe things?

where is the ommission...where's the misleading?


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: afoaf]
    #4831289 - 10/20/05 06:29 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

I'm just saying that the average reader might not know what he's talking about. There's other stuff that doesn't come to mind immediately, but that was the only one that stuck out in my mind enough that I was able to look it up. What I'm saying is that the rhetoric he uses can tend to distort historical facts in a much more shocking way than one usually reads about them. Granted, this can be a good thing in some cases, but I'm just saying that it's a view that needs to be counterbalanced with some actual historical knowledge.


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Offlinekotik
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: Silversoul]
    #4831313 - 10/20/05 06:38 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

either way, thats chomsky and not zinn, and this is the first time i had heard their names together.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: kotik]
    #4831320 - 10/20/05 06:39 PM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

kotik said:
either way, thats chomsky and not zinn, and this is the first time i had heard their names together.



Really? They tend to be grouped together quite frequently, as they've collaborated on many books, and together they comprise the most vocal intellectuals of the American far-left.


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Invisiblebukkake
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: afoaf]
    #4832910 - 10/21/05 01:34 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

afoaf said:
by most standards, what we were doing to cuba and
later nicaragua would be considered international
terrorism.



I once had someone tell me Iran-Contra was liberal propaganda.

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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: afoaf]
    #4833356 - 10/21/05 09:45 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

afoaf said:
Quote:

Paradigm said:
Quote:

bellylard said:
" Even if they don't outright lie, they have a tendency to spin things in an extremist way, and they're often guilty of omitting important parts of the story(at least Chomsky is)

can you show me where he does this paradigm?



From pg. 14 of Hegemony or Survival:

Quote:

The goal of the imperial grand strategy is to prevent any challenge to the "power, position, and prestige of the United States."  The quoted words are not those of Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, or any of the other statist reactionaries who formulated the National Security Strategy of September 2002.  Rather, they were spoken by the respected liberal statesman Dean Acheson in 1963.  He was justifying US actions against Cuba in full knowledge that Washington's international terrorist campaign aimed at "regime change" had been significant factor in bringing the world close to nuclear war only a few months earlier, and that it was resumed immediately after the Cuban missile crisis was resolved.



Now, granted that I managed to figure out that this "international terrorist campaign" he refers to was the Bay of Pigs invasion, and perhaps you figured it out too, but a reader who is not as acquainted with history could easily be confused by this passage.  Now, this is a minor point, but what I'm getting at is that the extremely partisan language he uses can be very misleading for the reader.




by most standards, what we were doing to cuba and
later nicaragua would be considered international
terrorism.

is the only quarrel that he uses inflammatory
rhetoric to describe things?

where is the ommission...where's the misleading?




:yesnod: i wouldn't call it misleading - i'd call it describing an event (bay of pigs, or nicaragua for that matter) from the standpoint of international law. when people make statements that go against the 'mainstream' rhetoric, they are often seen as inflammatory and down-right propaganda - however, in the instance of something like the bay of pigs, Chomsky is more correct calling it 'international terrorism' than a more conservative history book would be calling it 'covert operations' or something like that.

if i wrote a book, and instead of using the term 'collateral damage' i used the terms 'inadvertant murder of bystanders and civilians' would that be bias and/or distorting the truth? or would that description be closer to the 'truth' than the currently accepted one?


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Howard Zinn - People's History [Re: Krishna]
    #4833362 - 10/21/05 09:49 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Krishna said:
if i wrote a book, and instead of using the term 'collateral damage' i used the terms 'inadvertant murder of bystanders and civilians' would that be bias and/or distorting the truth? or would that description be closer to the 'truth' than the currently accepted one?




No it wouldn't be closer to the truth because it doesn't make sense. The definition of inadvertant and murder don't go together. You might have to redo your sentence. If it still doesn't sound evil enough, load on the adjectives. But whatever you do, don't sound objective.


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