Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut, Danny Glover, James Earl Jones and Others Read From Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States": Hour One of Two-Hour Special Commemorating the Millionth Copy

April 30, 2003
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

It has become a classic work of history. It is used in countless schools across the country, it has inspired a generation of historians and students and it has reshaped how many people view this country’s history.

We are talking about Howard Zinn’s "A People’s History of the United States" first published 23 years ago. The millionth copy of the book was recently sold.

To celebrate this feat a group of actors, writers and editors recently gathered for a public reading of the book. The cast included Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut, Danny Glover and James Earl Jones.

  • James Earl Jones on telling the history of the U.S. from the standpoint of others.
  • Harris Yulin reads Christopher Columbus’ log meeting the Arowaks.
  • Andre Gregory on the Spaniards acting like 'ravenous beasts' in the island of Hispaniola.
  • Jeff Zinn, Howard Zinn’s son, reads the words of one of the participants in Shay’s rebellion in Western Massachusetts.
  • Marisa Tomei reads the words of a girl working in the lower Massachusetts textile mills of 1836 where one of the first strikes of mill girls took place.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.