Surely, many of you are familiar with Howard Zinn's landmark work, A People's History of the United States. What you may not know is that Zinn has come out with a new book in graphic-comic form. It's called A People's History of American Empire. Collaborating with fellow historian Paul Buhle and cartoonist Mike Konopacki, Zinn takes one of the strongest chapters in his critical history of the U.S. — a look at America's actions around the world — and retells it with the help of the graphic-comic form.
It may sound like it couldn't possibly work, but it's a fabulous book, narrated by a cartoonish version of Zinn himself. It opens with the events of 9/11 and then takes us through the cycles of U.S. imperialism from the "ethnic cleansing" of the American Indians to the current war in Iraq. Along the way, Zinn takes a critical look at World War I, as well as our ventures in Central America and Vietnam. It's a surprisingly powerful piece of work. It's so well done that I intend to incorporate it in my U.S. History classes in the future. Naturally, opinions about this work are mixed. You can see a sampling of what people think at the Amazon website.
Here's a brief video précis of Howard Zinn's new graphic book. [It's informative, but it's too bad that somebody instructed Viggo Mortensen to narrate it in as flat and boring a manner as possible.]