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The People Speak: American Voices, Some Famous, Some Little Known

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Howard Zinn

Narrated By: James Earl Jones

Publisher: HarperAudio

Date: February 2004

Duration: 1 hours 42 minutes


To celebrate the millionth copy sold of Howard Zinn's great People's History of the United States, Zinn drew on the words of Americans -- some famous, some little known -- across the range of American history. These words were read by a remarkable cast at an event held at the 92nd Street YMHA in New York City that included James Earl Jones, Alice Walker, Jeff Zinn, Kurt Vonnegut, Alfre Woodard, Marisa Tomei, Danny Glover, Myla Pitt, Harris Yulin, and Andre Gregory.
From that celebration, this book was born. Collected here under one cover is a brief history of America told through dramatic readings applauding the enduring spirit of dissent.
Here in their own words, and interwoven with commentary by Zinn, are Columbus on the Arawaks; Plough Jogger, a farmer and participant in Shays' Rebellion; Harriet Hanson, a Lowell mill worker; Frederick Douglass; Mark Twain; Mother Jones; Emma Goldman; Helen Keller; Eugene V. Debs; Langston Hughes; Genova Johnson Dollinger on a sit-down strike at General Motors in Flint, Michigan; an interrogation from a 1953 HUAC hearing; Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper and member of the Freedom Democratic Party; Malcolm X; and James Lawrence Harrington, a Gulf War resister, among others.


  • Anonymous

    I guess you had to be there. I listened to the selections and did not enjoy it as much as the audience did who were present in the hall. The actors who read the selections seemed to be ill-prepared. The best reading was Fanny Lou Hamer.

  • Marisa

    This is such an excellent book that brings history to life through the selections from history that Howard Zinn chose and the readers that he used. He has taken a hard look at this nation and not shied away from painful parts of our history. This has offered insight to learn from the real past and not the watered down history that we got in grade school.

  • Autumn Smith

    Fascinating. I really was riveted by the stories and personal incite of those who spoke. I plan to rent this one again if not buy the book.

  • Steve DeLeo

    I have to say I didn't get very far into this selection. The author's agenda became quite apparent. Seems he cherry-picks American history in order to put European-Americans and our founding fathers in the worst light possible.

  • Linda Osborne

    This work makes history come alive! Meaningful writings from America's past. I highly recommend this book!

  • Anonymous

    This audiobook traces the history of fighting injustice in the United States through the words of people who lived through these times. They are powerfully brought to life by the likes of James Earl Jones and Danny Glover.

  • Warren Boroson

    Frederick Douglas's Fourth of July speech was mesmerizing--especially as read by James Earle Jones. Lionel Sander's testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee was another standout.

People Speak: American Voices, Some Famous, Some Little Known

by Howard Zinn

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People Speak: American Voices, Some Famous, Some Little Known, Howard Zinn