Book Review: ‘A people’s history of American Empire’

8-minute video on this book, narrated by Viggo Mortensen

Corporate media presents a “Disneyfied” lie of American history in its public education history texts and so-called “news”; lies of omission and commission easily verified with a few moment’s attention. The best known author to expose lies of US history is Howard Zinn with his ~2 million-selling, A people’s history of the United States.

As a National Board Certified Teacher of History, I provide this attention to comprehensive facts for my high school students’ consideration (feel free to e-mail me for a full copy of the assignment: The online edited version is, Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now.

Zinn, Paul Buhle, and artist Mike Konopacki combined in 2008 to present a graphic/illustrated version in A people’s history of American Empire (Amazon reviews here). It’s a captivating and fast read of Zinn and Buhle’s documentation of US history to expose American Empire from historical propaganda of somehow bringing “freedom” to countries rich with resources that end-up under American control.

The real-world result has been ~30 million people war-murdered from over 200 US-initiated global armed conflicts just since WW2. We also know that ~90% of these deaths are innocent children, the elderly and ordinary working civilian women and men.

With just a little accurate history, it becomes obvious that US “interventions” are massive “Big Lie” crimes easily recognized with attention to war law (here and here) that extend into the present. As you may know, this history is our present: US official reports now confirm all “reasons” the US told for current armed attacks were known to be false as they were told.

The contrast of uncontested facts to the guarantees of limited government under the US Constitution makes the US a deadly tragic-comedy, war-murdering more than Nazis.

The endgame response is for critical mass of Americans to demand arrests of obvious leaders, then some form of Truth & Reconciliation for people to come forward so we can know the full truth in all areas human beings should understand.

A people’s history of American Empire is powerful. If you’re unfamiliar with Zinn’s work, and/or want an easier version to communicate history than pure text, this is the book for you.

Excerpt (without the art work):

 “The Iran-Contra scandal was a perfect example of the double line of defense of the American establishment. The first defense is to deny the truth. If exposed, the second defense is to investigate, but not too much. The press will publicize the investigation, but they will not get to the heart of the matter, which is simply this: What is US foreign policy all about?

How is it that the president and his staff are permitted to back a terrorist group in Central America to overthrow a government that is supported by its own people?

The question was never answered, nor was there any critique of the erosion of democracy by actions taken in secrecy by a small group of men safe from the scrutiny of public opinion.

It never changes.”

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  • nomadfiles

    That’s all well and good in revealing the nature of the beast. But how do you explain his stance on 9/11?

    “World renowned peace activist and left-wing anti-war icon Howard Zinn recently told an audience that he didn’t care if 9/11 was an inside job, echoing the disdainful and apathetic rhetoric of fellow liberal gatekeepers Noam Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn in dismissing the efforts of the 9/11 truth movement.
    Buddy Moore, Independent Candidate for US Senate in Colorado, asked Zinn if he would join him in voicing doubts about the official 9/11 story and in particular the demolition of the twin towers and Building 7.

    Zinn said he was skeptical of the official story but then stated, “I don’t know much about the situation and the truth is, I DON’T CARE that much about it, that’s passed….that’s a diversion from what we really have to do,” adding that debating who was behind 9/11, “gets in the way of dealing with the immediate situation”.

    Moore attempted to ask Zinn a follow up question about allowing the perpetrators to go free but was largely shouted down by Zinn’s fawning army of left-wing sycophants.”

    • Carl_Herman

      Good point, nomadfiles. As Jim Marrs says, “We all know more together than any of us can know separately.”

      Who knows why Zinn deflects that topic, and that said, we can honor him for his leading historical background while politely pointing out his unhelpful/unprofessional position on 9/11 just as you have done. He could have explained why this topic is a “diversion” or requested that Buddy brief him, or even declined to invest his attention on that topic as professional possible responses. But whatever; Zinn’s in my human being Hall of Fame for the enormous work he’s contributed 🙂

      • nomadfiles

        Thanks. But I expect more from such people. Any ideas about why these guys are so reticent about such an important issue? It seems suspicious to me.

  • Bev

    Is Professor Mark Crispin Miller and his site being censored? This message blocks site:
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    Prof. Miller latest project is about censored/disappeared books:
    Forbidden Bookshelf
    For over half a century, America’s vast literary culture has been disparately policed, and imperceptibly contained, by state and corporate entities well-placed and perfectly equipped to wipe out wayward
    writings. As America does not ban books, other means—less evident, and so less controversial—have been deployed to vaporize them. The purpose of Forbidden Bookshelf is to bring such vanished books to life. These works pull some of the most troubling trends and episodes in US history from the shadows, shed light on how America got to its present moment, and show us how we all might change direction.
    Published on Jun 18, 2014
    Thom Hartmann talks with Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Studies-New York University / Author, Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform Website:
    about a series of books he has curated that fill in the blanks of America’s repressed history by resurrecting books that focused on issues and events that are too often left in the dark, including abortion, organized crime, the CIA, and financial inequality.