AP American History

A.P. American History
*Summer reading and writing assignment
Part I. Book Reading Assignment: A People’s History of the United States
By: Howard Zinn
The book is a history of the United States from the point of view of those who have been
ignored and exploited politically and economically in our nation’s past. It is a history from the bottom
up as opposed to most traditional histories that are written from the top down. Most of these
accounts are not found in your traditional high school textbooks and therefore, it is essential that you
become familiar with them before you enter this class in the fall. One of the skills necessary for
APUSH is historiography, or how history has been written and interpreted over time. The stories of
Native Americans, African Americans, women, and laborers of all nationalities are told from their
perspective. This book will be referenced several times throughout the year, followed by assignments
at a later date.
Part II.
Written Assignment
Upon completion of the five chapters listed below, answer the five questions below related to
the chapters listed. Each response should be at least one page in length discussing the question given.
All the questions require some introspection and critical thinking on your part. Much of the history
discussed might be interpreted differently from what you’ve been previously taught in your history
classes. All these essays should be typed (12 font-size, double-spaced) and will be submitted on
turnitin.com by the first day of school at midnight. Submit all your essays in at the same time – NOT
individually. (Tuesday, September 8, 2015). You must create your own account on turnitin.com and
remember your email and password.
CLASS ID = 10027046
CHAPTER 1. Write down the five most important themes about Columbus you felt were
discussed in this chapter. Include page numbers in your descriptions. Discuss why you chose them.
Also explain what Zinn says are the two most important things about the writing of history.
CHAPTER 6. How did masters exercise their control over female servants and slaves? How
did husbands exercise control over their wives? What role did American women play during the
American Revolution?
CHAPTER 9 Was resistance to slavery more, as much, or less, effective than rebellion?
Explain and use page numbers to cite examples. What picture of John Brown does Zinn paint and
how does that differ from tradition textbook interpretations?
CHAPTER 16 How do standard American history textbooks explain Roosevelt’s reluctance
to stop Japanese and German aggression? How does Zinn? Which interpretation do you find most
persuasive, and why?
CHAPTER 18 Why might U.S. newspaper accounts of the U.S. bombings of Vietnam cause
American readers to question the reasons behind U.S. involvement in the war? Vietnam produced
opposition by soldiers and veterans on a scale and with a fervor never seen before. Why?
Have a great summer, and let’s make this year’s A.P. U.S. History class a meaningful and
enriching experience for both of us!!!