Study Guide

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1.According to Zinn, what is his main purpose for writing A People’s History of the United States? Howard Zinn’s main purpose for writing A People’s History of the United States is to give history in an un-biased manner. For example, he says that he will not glorify any movement and denounce any ‘bad guy’ in history; he will give information as it should be given. Fairly. 2. What is Zinn’s thesis for pages 1-11? His thesis for the first eleven pages is to describe past events as they happened. Regarding Columbus, Zinn wouldn’t glorify him as a hero, because he wasn’t. He was violent and greedy and would describe him as such. 3.According to Zinn, how is Columbus portrayed in traditional history books? as an enlightened, peaceful explorer who befriended the native people. Christopher Columbus, portrayed by Zinn as an agent of conquest with a lust for gold and other resources, was one who had the willingness to torture and kill others to obtain these goals. Zinn states that what had been presented for students' history in the past was an agenda to preserve the power of social elites. 4.Why does Zinn dispute Henry Kissinger’s statement: "History is the memory of states?” Zinn disputes Henry Kissinger’s statement “History is the memory of states”, because he thinks that no one should take the memory of their nation as their own because he states in his book that “Nations are not communities and never have been.” 5.What is Zinn’s basic criticism of historian Samuel Eliot Morison’s book, Christopher Columbus, Mariner? Zinn, I believe, would criticize Morison for his Eurocentricity, for ignoring the native perspective, and for ignoring the impact that the European discovery and subsequent exploitation had on the indigenous population. He'd say Morison went overboard in his praise of Columbus. For Zinn, Columbus was a bad guy. 6.What major issues does Bartolome de las Casas bring up regarding Spanish expeditions in the Caribbean? Bartolome de...
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