History, it is often said, is written by the winners. Zinn, though, undertakes to tell a history of America from the perspective of the losers, the poor, the oppressed. Think the arrival of the explorers from the perspective of the Native Americans. The colonial and early US history from the perspective of the slaves. The early 1900s from the perspective of poor workers banding together into labor unions.
Zinn is not trying to be even-handed here, but this volume would serve as an excellent companion to any more traditional history of the United States. It also serves as a good reminder that while things may seem bleak in our current political era, they have been much worse, and our country has withstood far more.