Good outline of America's violent history. If you're a history buff you may enjoy this book. If you paid attention in high school history and hated it, don't bother.
i was looking for a book to brush up on american history since i havent had it since high school (which was only about 7 years ago) and we never covered the 20th century at all. this book assumes you already know the main goings-on of history -- which i dont -- and presents a lot of incidental stories, so i didnt find it very helpful. the author does take the point of view of the underdog (the poor, the minority, the oppressed) so that was a unique take.
Howard Zinn for president!
"The winners write the history books" says the old adage. Howard Zinn sets out to correct that truism with regard to American History in this book. He takes the minority/losing point of view each of several turning points in American History -- settling the original colonies, the antebellum period, the Civil War, westward expansion, the industrial revolution, the wars of the 20th century and so on up through the Clinton presidency.
It's incomplete as it assumes you've been educated in the victor's version of these stories, but it adds color and depth to one's knowledge of history and gives you a better understanding of tensions in American culture today.