Study Questions Zinn Ch.1

Topics: English people, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, English Canadian Pages: 3 (1017 words) Published: September 3, 2012
Study Questions
Zinn Chapter 1


According to Zinn, his main purpose for composing A People's’ History of the United States was to tell the history from the viewpoint of the weak, the ones conquered, instead of the classic viewpoint from which history is told of the victors, those who conquered, the ruling class, etc. The reason for Zinn’s dispute of Kissinger’s statement comes directly from Zinn’s own ideological view on how history should be told. Kissinger states







that “History is the memory of the states”, while Zinn holds to that history told from this viewpoint overlooks the truth in what was actually occurring, and tends to look only at the high points as seen from the ruling class, almost through rose coloured glasses. History is told from the ideological preference of the historian, and in many cases this leads to the oversight and or devaluement of certain events, seen unfavorable in the historians eye’s. Although true that this trimming of details proves to be ultimately necessary, it will often lead to a false painting of the true history, as most often occurs when the history is told with a purpose of portraying the conqueror as a heroic figurehead. Such an example can be seen in Zinn’s quoting of Morrison, who told the story of columbus whole, but buried the less favorable facts of genocide with a myriad of information ultimately devaluing the genocide of a population to a mere occurrence that should weigh little on one’s final judgement of Columbus. In most history books Columbus is portrayed as a heroic figure who brought forth the discovery of the new world leading to many great things most prominently the discovery of our very own great nation, calling for celebration and the tale of his great adventure. Zinn’s criticism with Morrison’s portrayal of Columbus in his book Christopher Columbus, Mariner is that though Morrison goes into great detail over the full tale of Columbus, and omits no truths,...
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