Books That Inspire 2005


 
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present
Howard Zinn


I confess that I first learned of this book from an unlikely source, Matt Damon. Recall the scene in the movie Good Will Hunting when his character -- a poor, self-taught genius from South Boston -- complains that the psychologist played by Robin Williams owns all the wrong books. For the “right” book, “Will” recommends A People’s History of the United States. Teaching immi-gration politics, I return to this book for its ideas, facts, and, yes, optimism about democracy in the Americas. Zinn insists that the best traditions of the United States have been won by people from the bottom up. Read this book to see how right he is.
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James Zeigler
Lecturer
Edith Kinney Gaylord Program in Expository Writing