Comparative Book Essay: Zinn, Tindall, &Shi

Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Slavery in the United States Pages: 4 (1506 words) Published: March 5, 2014
History 106
Comparative Book Essay

The development and progression of slavery in colonial America is a large part of America’s past addressed in every history text book nation-wide but, as with anything, the story presents itself differently in each one. Authors Howard Zinn, George Tindall, David Shi, and Paul Johnson are no different. With their varying positions, radical, liberal, and conservative, each not only presents the topic differently but chooses to include and not include different information. While facts may never change, which facts being used and how they are presented can change the story entirely.

Paul Johnson takes a conservative point of view in his writing. He believes that there is too much freedom and it is exercised by too many irresponsible people. He thinks that society is in a deep state or moral decay and that without our morals, our society will surely fall. Tindall and Shi take the opposite point of view as the liberals. They think that the history of the United States a history of consensus and that we all have core values. They feel that the future of America is promising and that human nature is peaceful. Zinn stands out as a radical, he tends to go further in depth than the other authors. His writings revolves around his opinion that history is an unending series of conflicts. His outlook for the future is grim, thinking that our conflicts between class, race, and gender will be the end of us. These three different points of view reflect in their writings and account of history.

To start, Johnson’s inclusion of the development of slavery in colonial America is minimal to say the least which was surprising and confusing. Being one of the biggest downfalls of our country, I would think that he would dive on that aspect to further tear apart our lacking sense of morals that is leading the emanate destruction of our nation. He does divulge and go into some detail on the start of slavery by the Portuguese....
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