[Howard Zinn raw #2]

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A history teacher leads a discussion with her class at York High School in Oak Park on Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. They discuss their reactions to the book, his purpose behind writing it, and how it has affected their perpsective on American history.

0:04 Inside a classroom, high school students unpack their bags, prepare for history class.

05:02 Shots of students discussing A People’s History of the United States in small groups.

8:40 Students discuss their initial reactions to the opening section of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, express their shock and surprise upon reading about Christopher Columbus’s treatment of the indigenous people of the West Indies.

13:09 The class discusses the religious dimensions of early Spanish colonialism in relation to the Spanish Inquisition.

15:41 The discussion moves towards Bartolome de las Casas, the continued presence of voices for morality throughout history.

18:08 The teacher discusses history standards, the conflict between progressive historians (including Gary Nash) and those who think they go too far with their methodology.

21:40 The class discusses Zinn’s purpose behind writing A People’s History and Zinn’s project of representing the viewpoints of everyday people and honestly confronting atrocities. They discuss the relevance of history to contemporary American life.

27:40 The class examines the concept of common interest and how history gets written as if we’re all in this together. They talk about how the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam War played a role in shattering the illusion of a cohesive national interest.



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