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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

StoryApril 30, 2003
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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.

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