And some relevent breaking news: Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, a resource book for teachers by Bill Bigelow, has been banned in Tucson, Arizona schools along with many other books and The Tempest by William Shakespeare. More here, here and here.
When I read that Jill and Jenners were doing a group read of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States I thought great, more folks reading Zinn and finding out things they didn’t learn in school. Then I saw some of the comments and figured I had to jump in.
I felt like I had missed something since I last read this book. When had people started referring to Zinn as “revisionist”? Aren’t revisionists those folks who deny the Holocaust or deny the Armenian Genocide? Then I did a bit of digging and found out there are now two kinds of revisionism. Negationism and Historical Revisionism. I’m not going to define those terms here. If you are interested follow the links. My only concern is that people confuse them.
Jill and Jenners have done a wonderful job of writing about the first chapter and quoting from the book, focusing on Zinn’s reasoning for writing A People’s History and his thoughts on history and education. I want to do something different.
When I first read this book, 25 years or so ago, I made every effort I could to read other sources, those that Zinn had suggested and those I found on my own. For me it was important to find books written by Native Americans, along with those written by white people. What follows is a list of some of them, along with a list of my favorite poets and authors of fiction. If A People’s History of the United States has peaked your interested, you will find these books invaluable.
All Our Relations by Winona LaDuke
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Custer Died For Your Sins by Vine Deloria
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen
The Memory of Fire Trilogy by Eduardo Galeano
Killing Custer by James Welch
Lasting Echoes: An Oral History of the United States by Joseph Bruchac
The Founders of America by Francis Jennings
Voices of Wounded Knee by William S. E. Colman
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
Authors – Fiction and Poetry
I hope you have a wonderful Martin Luther King Day.