A People’s History of the United States

Written on October 1, 2020. Written by .

This book tells the history of the United States from the perspective of the common people rather than from the perspective of political leaders and elites. I think it is a useful supplement to the usual historical narrative, though for me it was quite boring and hard to get through. I finished it because I knew it was good for me even though it wasn’t entertaining. It focuses heavily on the oppression of demographics like Native Americans, Blacks, Women, and the poor. As a complement to a standard history this might be a reasonable approach since most readers are probably less familiar with this part of the picture, though it does make the book sound very one-sided, politically biased, and almost entirely negative. Although it is important to understand the negative side of the story, I’m not convinced that an almost purely negative retelling (in a book of this size) is the best antidote to the perhaps positively biased standard narrative.

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