The cost of 35 copies of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States from Barnes and Nobles is $684, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
I teach at James Lick High School on the east side of San Jose. Our school has 1,100 students. We have very low standardized test scores, but we teach with passion.
I am an American Literature teacher seeking a class set (35) of Howard Zinn's influential 1980 book "A People's History of the United States." Zinn has updated his book continuously since its publication, most recently just a few years ago. Over 655 meticulously researched pages, Zinn tells stories not often learned in typical high school classes. Zinn begins in the 16th century with the truth about "Colombus, the Indians, and Human Progress." It's different (and much more intellectually provocative) from the history I was taught in high school. The book is 24 chapters that can potentially change a life.
I would use select chapters from this class set with my 60 English Three students (and 25 English Four students) to introduce our end of the year investigation titled: What Does It Mean to be American?
My students' lack of historical perspective is one of the biggest barriers to their education. They don't know enough of the story about community, the world or their history to want to read the newspaper or get involved. "A People's History..." is a very accessible book that I have shown to select students in the past who have responded with appreciation. This would be an INVALUABLE tool for the class to use while working on their end of the year 8 page papers answering: What Does It Mean to be American?
Do you remember the first time you really read something interesting? Something that made you want to read more about it? Many, many, many of my students go all the way through high school (and an unfortunate few all the way through life) without that experience. These books will help rectify that.
My best advice if you are unsure about this is to go check out a copy yourself. Read the first chapter, and then one of the later chapters about Vietnam or the Woman's Movement or the Mexican-American War. Then think about whether or not it would be good for poorly motivated high school students to discuss that information and to form educated opinions on the facts.
Thanks for your consideration. I close with a quotation from Chapter One:
"If history is to be creative, to anticipate a possible future without denying the past, it should, I believe, emphasize new possiblities by disclosing those hidden episodes of the past when, even if in brief flashes, people showed their ability to resist, to join together, occasionally to win. I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past's fugitive moments of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare." (11)
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