Saturday, August 2, 2008

A People's History of American Empire by Howard Zinn

If you know Howard Zinn, you know that he's not going to be a politically neutral historian. True to form, he has written a book documenting the atrocities committed by America for the purpose of imposing authority over many lands and peoples. Beginning with 9-11, the author decries the government's response to tragedy, and drags the reader back hundreds of years to the Battle of Wounded Knee and the slaughter of innocent Native American women and children.

I will preface this review by saying that some artists have admired Konopacki's work, and I've seen good reviews. I personally find the feel of his art to be commercial, and a little stale. Mixed media images bog down the art and make it hard to figure out what's "real."

The strident, shrill tone of the book almost immediately raised my hackles, and while I persevered and read the book in one sitting, I came away feeling that I had spent an hour sucking a rather dry lemon. Some good information, in a format clearly angling for a good school banning. Nay.

1 comment:

sherlonya said...

I actually thought that this book could appeal to teens who are struggling to make sense of the war-ridden world that they are inheriting. I think that this book succeeds in making history relevant by drawing parallels to the historical events covered and the present. This book made me want to return to my copy of A People's History of the United States and read more about these events. I actually thought that the interplay of the illustrations with other images was effective. It reminds the reader that any telling of history is from one perspective or another, and, I think, can encourage a reader to read history critically and complicate it. I would want to keep this book in the running.