Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Young People's History of the United States, Volume 1: Columbus to the Spanish-American War” as Want to Read:
A Young People's History of the United States, Volume 1: Columbus to the Spanish-American War
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Young People's History of the United States, Volume 1: Columbus to the Spanish-American War

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  251 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
A Young People's History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people. A Young People's History of the United States is also a companion volume to The People Speak, the film adapted from A People's History of the Uni ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Triangle Square (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about A Young People's History of the United States, Volume 1

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 15, 2010 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I purchased this to supplement my son's traditional history lessons. Zinn tells history from the viewpoints of slaves, workers, immigrants, women, Native Americans and others typically left out of texts for young people. Highly recommend to add balance to a traditional history curriculum.
A librarian pointed me to this when I was looking for middle school history books that included more than was usually taught when I was a child. Wow! This adaptation of Zinn's adult book is very upfront that history is always told from a point of view, and he writes U.S. history as experienced by slaves, women, the poor, Native Americans -- anyone whose viewpoint is normally left out of textbooks. I was in tears by the last line of page one: "With fifty men we could subjugate them and make them ...more
Paul Curcione
Dec 27, 2012 Paul Curcione rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for young readers for sure. I do not believe the book is from a skeptical bent because I think there is more truth in what is being said than not. Thus, I see this book as offering much needed balance for one to ponder as they study US history. Lets be honest here- do you really believe the rich and the powerful really care about the poor and the uneducated? And, Who do you think makes the rules? And, who do you think these rules are primarily meant to benefit? And, who is usually ...more
Sep 08, 2007 Marisa rated it really liked it
Just what you'd expect from Howard Zinn, scaled down for kids. Yes kids, our country was founded on greed and money. Even the dudes we're taught to admire were corrupt. I can't decide if this book is great because kids need to know the truth or sad because we're disillusioning (is that actually a word?) the young and idealistic...
Ashley Kicklighter
Jan 20, 2011 Ashley Kicklighter rated it liked it
A Young People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, was the book I was required to read by my teacher my junior year of high school. Howard Zinn, the author, is a Historian who teaches at the University of Boston. He is a left wing anarchist and this is evident in his writing. In this book, Zinn addresses many important events in United States history while slyly incorporating his opinion on the event as well as on the society.

The book is accurate in all of its historical events. Zinn
Daniel Franklin
Personally, I think this is the best history I've ever seen written for children. The book is an unapologetic look at American history from Columbus all the way up to the War on Terror under George W. Bush. Howard Zinn revolutionized the field of history when he released his "People's History of the United States"; with "Young People's History," he brings the same fire that he wrote with in the adult version to a level where 4th and 5th graders could understand.

I myself have used this book for
Apr 26, 2008 Andi rated it it was amazing
This was a gift for my son, but it's a bit heavy for him right now. It's a 'simplified' version of Zinn's "A People's History of the United States." I think it is very valuable in that it gives a different perspective on the birth and growth of our nation. And as we know, our history is not the neat and tidy lessons we learned in elementary is riddled with injustice and cruelty and an oftentimes secretive government. I plan to read the 'adult' version soon, along with Zinn's other bo ...more
Timothy Newman
Mar 04, 2012 Timothy Newman rated it really liked it
I worry about this book giving young people an overly cynical view of the United States. I've read Lies My Teacher Told Me and that has a similar focus. I am all for telling the truth when it comes to any kind of history, but it also needs to be done with care and responsibility. Its very easy for students to get a one-sided view of a topic so in that sense, this book is an excellent supplement. Yes, the Spanish-American War was a political war, but Teddy Roosevelt was a great President domestic ...more
May 02, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to share with my students who are learning American History. It has fascinating stories that are true but not often found in
Traditional history books.

I used this book again this year. My class loved it! They, as a whole were not necessarily a group that liked to read, but they all loved reading this book. They became more interested in American history and always wanted to learn more.
Aug 01, 2012 Travis rated it liked it
These books are a concise and engaging look at American history from a decidedly skeptical and "power to the people" point of view that doesn't follow the standard assumptions of most books on American history. It's well-written with good illustrations. The information is interesting and accurate and opens the discussion of point of view when it comes to history. Excellent addition to American history studies.
Jul 12, 2011 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Kind of dry and simple and I want to know more. However, I can't hold that against the book- it is not written for my age group. I've had reading the real People's History of the United States on my to do list for seven years or so. I had to admit to myself that it is apparently too daunting without getting the basics first (I'm super ignorant when it comes to history). This was a great start.
Nov 06, 2011 Meg rated it liked it
A clear and quick adaptation of the Zinn classic. I will definitely use sections for homework readings. Sometimes zinn strikes me as cynical....but i think his blunt perspective on history is just sometimes hard to take. His death was a true loss to the community of historians and to the world. Maybe that sounds overblown but I don't think it is.
Diontus W
Apr 27, 2015 Diontus W rated it liked it
There are 212 pages in this book.I rate this book 3 stars because it's a good book about history in the U.S.There no main character in this book of history.This book talks about slaves,slaves in war and the Civil War.
Nov 05, 2013 Brad rated it it was amazing
What makes this a five-star book is how utterly readable it is, moving fast even though nearly every paragraph seems vital and fascinating.

It seems many of the things I heard about for Zinn's original book centered around how much the speaker agreed/disagreed with this account of history, calling it either a win for the people or pure Marxism. Regardless of how I feel, what makes this version for young people a success (and Zinn's mission to write this version of history so important) is its rec
Amani Watson
Apr 08, 2010 Amani Watson rated it really liked it
This book A Young People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn teaches you a lesson on history. Even though I got the book last year I really didn't get a chance to read it but this year I just thought lets give it a try. The first chapter really stood out at me with Columbus killing many people to his goal of discovering America. To me that just isn't right because many people were innocent and probably didn't deserve the treatment that Columbus gave them. Another chapter that stood out ...more
May 31, 2015 Leom rated it it was amazing
A Young People’s History of the United States is a great book that is unique in the way that it portrays US history. Though written in third person, it takes the viewpoint of people who are not often included in history books. These people include workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, along with others who made a difference in our countries history. The book made a focus of major movements such as the labor movement, women's suffrage, and the civil rights movement, as well as oth ...more
I thought this book was interesting and would bring up good points in a classroom discussion but should be used with caution. Zinn is a powerful writer and makes strong arguments for his position. However, his work contains no citations and is overly biased in a different direction. This book could be used to talk about bias, bring up the topic of textbook point of view, and talk about history from the other side. I would never just give this book to students without these discussions and would ...more
Jul 20, 2016 Najjar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, easy to read, and I recommend it for everyone. Draws a vivid portrait of US politics.

It missed some major changes in US, such as the debauchery that started in 1960s. Also Hollywood's impact is as if nonexistent.

جالب و خوانا. برای همه توصیه میشود. تصویری روشن اؤ سياست آمریکایی از سال 1776 تا 2000 میلادی ترسیم می کند.

نویسنده بعضی تغییرات عمده در آمریکا را نادیده گرفت، مانند فسق وفجوری که در 1960s آغاز شده و روز به روز دارد جامعه را به چالش میکشد، همچنین تاثیر هالیوود انگار وجود ندارد
Sep 19, 2008 Susie rated it liked it
Shelves: children
I was really excited to see a kids’ version of Howard Zinn’s influential book, A People’s History of the United States, at my library. However, I found Volume 1 to be poorly compiled and inappropriate for young readers who don’t already have a grasp on the basic timeline of American history. It’s refreshing to see the story of the United States presented to children in a way that doesn’t shy away from the ugly details of slavery, expansionism, class struggle, etc., but unfortunately I didn’t thi ...more
Jun 08, 2014 April rated it it was amazing
This would be great for middle school and high school kids to learn about the social, economic, and political issues behind the history taught in traditional textbooks. It definitely provides an alternative view and gently exposes the hidden motives behind the establishment of the US. I need to read the original book by Howard Zinn.
I have heard about these books, but didn't realize they had been condensed for young readers. Since I have had a yen this week to refresh my memory about colonial history and politics, I picked this volume one up from the library. It is a highly readable look at colonial American history from the lens of those NOT in power. If you can't get to the adult versions, try these. Really interesting.
Aug 14, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it
This was a very different look at U.S. history. I really enjoy history, so I enjoyed the alternative look. This book gave me lots of things to think about it, and I hope that it makes young people think as well. It's clear that he doesn't like capitalism, but even if people disagree with what he says, there is plenty to discuss and debate.
Apr 28, 2009 Nicole added it
Recommends it for: young people in search of the truth
Shelves: hbs-events
A strange, strange event.

Jimmy Tingle and Howard Zinn are legitimate friends, ok sure, but having them do a joint event was just this side of wacky.

Let's review: the man is almost 90. He's sharp as a tack. He's working to rewrite history. Well played, Mr. Zinn, well played.
Nov 08, 2008 Caitlin rated it it was ok
While I appreciate looking at history from a non-dominant perspective, this book was lacking citations to support it's conclusions. I wonder whether Zinn's People's History of the United States for adults is better in that regard.
May 02, 2008 Cory rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008
As a Canadian now living in the U.S., I figured I should probably learn some brief history. There was no better way than to read the fresh perspective of Howard Zinn, written at a high level for a young audience.
May 13, 2008 Rekha rated it really liked it
Clear, simple language and written to hold one's attention. I would have liked more gripping illustrations and photos to go along with the text.
Sep 06, 2008 Carly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone!
Shelves: 2008
You know me. Anything that is "Damn the Man!", or perhaps more accurately, "The Man Damned Us!"...I heart. This was no exception.

Going to use it in class....somehow.

Gosh, me gusta!
Kathy Ellen Davis
I really like this kid friendly version of Howard Zinn's People's History of America.
It is in depth but not overwhelming.
Nov 20, 2009 Shanna marked it as to-read
Shelves: edumacation
I need this in my life.
Jun 27, 2011 Yongganliu rated it really liked it
this book is about how black people come form and why they got brought to united state to become slave.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and  Songs of Woody Guthrie
  • Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave
  • Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution
  • What Are You?: Voices of Mixed-Race Young People
  • 10,000 Dresses
  • Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books
  • Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
  • Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History
  • Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
  • I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote
  • The Pot That Juan Built
  • Anne Frank
  • Fire in the Streets (The Rock and the River, #2)
  • Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei
  • Henry Builds a Cabin
  • Ron's Big Mission
  • Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon
  • Pluto's Secret: An Icy World's Tale of Discovery
Howard Zinn was a historian, playwright, and social activist. He was a shipyard worker and a bombardier with the U.S. Army Air Force in Europe during the Second World War before he went to college under the GI Bill and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Zinn taught at Spelman College and Boston University, and was a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bolo
More about Howard Zinn...

Share This Book