Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress by Howard Zinn
You will read ?Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress? by Howard Zinn and relate
it to the course.
? 3-4 pages
? MLA style (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/)
? Outside research is optional
? Due by 6pm on April 30 to Assignments on OnCourse
Critically read the first chapter of Howard Zinn?s A People?s History of the United States,
?Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress.? This book is not written as an
intellectual history, but you will read for signs of an intellectual story beneath the
events that Zinn describes and the arguments that he makes.
First, discuss the intellectual narrative inherent in Zinn?s chapter. Explain the most
significant Arawak and European ideas that affected how they lived and interacted.
Then, relate Zinn?s chapter to the course. You may choose how to do this, as long as it is
relevant and meaningful. You may do additional research to make your essay more
sophisticated, and you are expected to draw from Bryson and/or Menand. Some ideas:
? Based on your reading of the chapter, make an argument about how intellectual
history should be researched or written.
? Analytically compare a significant idea or perspective, event, or person from this
chapter with one from A Short History of Nearly Everything or The Metaphysical Club.
? Critique one author?s analysis and narrative based on lessons from one or two of the
others. You must either critique Zinn?s chapter or present it as an example for the
other(s) to follow.
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