|A people's perspective on history|
Its relevance and interest was such that a comic version was imagined and adapted a few years ago (2008) by political cartoonist Mike Konopackin and senior lecturer Paul Buhle. This is great news for those who find the lengthy original book a bit too much and prefer the more dynamic and visual- albeit less academic- language of comics.
The comic sets off with that eventful morning in New York on 11 September and the subsequent speecht made by George Bush, full of hatred and vengeance, announcing immediate retaliation. Zinn's answer to that is: they have learned nothing from the twentieth century's events.
After this reflection, the book delves into those events that have shaped the history of the United States but, as mentioned before, not as you know it. Here, you will learn how the white supremacists annihilated the Native Americans; you will learn about the dirty strategies and diplomacy used in Cuba and the Philippines; you will come across familiar names such as Rockefeller, Morgan etc.. early capitalists who amassed vast fortunes on the back of the exploited and humiliated working classes.
Thus, the book goes on to depict the portrait of a nation meddling in any affair that may be beneficial for U.S. interests leaving behind an atrocious trace of massacres and impunity.
Judging by the recent revelations in the form of espionage, WikiLeaks, Guantanamo etc...this nation may be still a long way from learning the lessons Howard Zinn was hoping for: the cycle of stupidity may still continue for a while.
In the meantime, reading this book is a good way of gaining a better understanding of the Empire.