I’ll give you one guess as to what Zinn’s point was this week. Anyone? Anyone?
If you ever want to pretend you’ve read this book, just blather on about class conflict. I promise no one will ever guess you didn’t do the reading. The dude brings everything back to those two words, so I can guarantee you you’ll sound like you’ve studied up on Zinn.
So we’ve made it to Chapters 12 and 13. (And I’m pretty sure the we is only Jenners, nomadreader, and myself…the last three standing. Er, reading.) This will be short, since, you know, class conflict, blah, blah, blah.
Chapter 12 is “The Empire and the People.” Now that the US has Gone West Young Man as far west as there is to go, it’s time to plot World Domination. In other words, this chapter is about how the US mucked around in the politics of Hawaii and Central America and South America and Cuba and the Philippines, to name a few places. Why? Because the rich industrialists wanted more markets. As a general rule, Zinn states that the labor unions tended to want to stay home, while big business wanted to go forth and conquer. There were exceptions, of course, but that’s Zinn’s basic rule: big business and the wealthy are pro-war/expansion, labor unions and the working masses are pacificists/let’s worry about the home-front first. And I might be confusing some of Chapter 14 in with this point…it’s starting to blend together.
Chapter 13 is “The Socialist Challenge.” The title of the chapter is misleading, because the first half is all about labor unrest and strikes and the rise of the unions. I’m convinced this is Zinn’s big love in history. He seems to go on (and on and on and on) about strikes and unions. They pop up everywhere in this book, and they’re getting more than their fair share of ink. Still, it’s interesting and better than military history. Anyhoosie, I won’t cite specifics (mostly because I can’t remember them, because in his usual over the top way, Zinn gives 50 bajillion examples), but just know that Zinn loves him some strikes.
And that’s all I’ve got. As I mentioned the other day, spring has sprung. My brain seems to have sprung, too.
I’m gonna go ride my bike now.