Monday, April 07, 2008

American Empire in a nutshell

In addition to its growth through umpteen editions over the last 28 years, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States has been sliced, diced, rearranged, and reimagined into documentaries, CD recordings, videos, and even theatrical productions. The book’s latest transmutation is A People’s History of American Empire, a large-format kind of graphic novel scripted principally by Dave Wagner and illustrated by Mike Konopacki. The book is “narrated” by a cartoon Howard Zinn and offers some biographical material about the historian’s battles over the years to present U.S. history from the bottom-up rather than from the traditional top-down. But most important, it dramatizes more than a century of U.S. imperialism and empire-building (from the massacre at Wounded Knee to the current Iraq debacle) in 263 quickly digested and (sorry, I can think of no better word) entertaining pages. This is a book quickly read, but even so, it’s amazingly thorough and well-referenced. And it’s an effective indictment of the liberal-corporate state from a very Libertarian Left perspective. A People’s History of American Empire is a book to devour, then pass on to your more receptive friends.

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At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why apologize for using the word "entertaining"? Reading your site I notice "entertainment" seems pretty important to you.

And what's wrong with that? I wonder why entertainment isn't more widely recognized as the fundamental human need it is.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Joel Schlosberg said...

Can't believe that you didn't mention that the book talks about how the first book Zinn read for pleasure as a kid was none other than Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar. How could you have missed that detail?

Incidentally, in that particular Tarzan book, the main villain is Belgian, which Burroughs intended as a way of critiquing Belgian imperialism in the Congo.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Joel Schlosberg said...


(from here)

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Joel Schlosberg said...

APHOAE makes Boing Boing.


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