Book Review: Truth Has a Power of its Own: Conversations About a People’s History by Howard Zinn and Ray Suarez

The New Press

Truth Has A Power of Its Own: Conversations about a People’s History by Howard Zinn and Ray Suarez September 3, 2019,  $24.99

Editor’s Note: Read the radical conversation between Howard Zinn and PBS/NPR journalist Ray Suarez that lasted for six hours, over a two-day period.  Howard Zinn began his activist life while forming his political views as an apprentice shipfitter where he helped to form the Apprentice Association which sought to get around the practice that apprentices were excluded from trade unions and lacked bargaining power.  

Zinn joined the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII and was assigned as a bombardier in the 490th Bombardment Group. He experiences led him to develop an anti-war stance.  Zinn was responsible for allowing us to think differently about war, human rights, equality, and the world in general. His writings would allow people to realize that although power seems to be in the hands of those with guns and money, power really belongs to the people themselves. Sometimes people use this power and America becomes a better place to live.

Anti-war movements, women’s rights movement, people who are being oppressed, many have been able to overthrow political tyrannies. Bottom line, Zinn gave us permission to not believe the force-fed history that we receive in schools, and to open our eyes to truth and to experience the power that comes from seeing and knowing. History should not be rewritten and Zinn clearly understood this. Give us the facts, ugly or not, and then we can decide how we will move forward.

We can thank Howard Zinn for clarity in viewing the American Revolution, Civil War, labor battles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, U.S. Imperialism from the Indian Wars to the wars on terrorism, fight for equality and immigrants’ rights. He presents all information from a radical standpoint that we can embrace….Carol


About the Authors: Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was a historian, playwright, and activist and the author of the bestselling A People’s History of the United States as well as Truth Has a Power if its Own: Conversations About A People’s History (The New Press). He received the Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction and the Eugene V. Debs Award for his writing and political activism.


Ray Suarez is co-host of the public radio program and podcast World Affairs. He was chief national correspondent for PBS NewsHour and the host of Talk of the Nation on NPR. He is the author of several books, including Latino Americans, as well as Truth Has a Power of Its Own: Conversations About A People’s History (The New Press). He lives in Philadelphia and Washington.

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  1. Read Howard Zinn’s book A Peoples History many years ago and loved it. Unlike the usual dull histories seen from the elitist perspective that fixates on the role of “leaders” who “sin by deputy”. The fascinating book I am reading now is Facing West, The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating & Empire Building which exposes the Founding Fathers as con artists who never intended the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to apply to everybody but only a select group of White Anglo-Europeans and also exposes the British Israel movement known as the Puritans that considered America as their new Canaan and themselves as the New Israelites or the Chosen Ones much like the Khazarian Zionists who currently occupy Palestine.

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