Paperback, 371 pages
Released: January 1932
“The Drama of America” is truly to be found between the covers of this classic book—an exhilarating, entertaining, and often tragic account of a nation and the struggles of those caught up in the processes of its becoming, written by Monthly Review co-founder Leo Huberman. A precursor to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, and, like that book, immensely popular upon its release, We, the People recasts U.S. history from the perspective of those far removed from official power: the anonymous toilers so often ignored by conventional histories. These are the men, women, and children who cleared the land and worked its fields, built and inhabited the factories, moved goods along the railways and canals and highways, and raised the next generation of workers whose exploited labor would propel the nation’s development.
Huberman begins with the European colonization of North America and traces the story through the Great Depression and start of the New Deal. Originally conceived for a younger audience but later re-written for adults, We, the People pays special attention to the economic development of the U.S. and its long-term historical trends in a way that is clear and accessible. Huberman’s lucid text is accompanied by numerous extracts from primary sources, charts and diagrams, and powerful illustrations by the painter and muralist Thomas Hart Benton.
In combining the art of a fiction writer with the skill of a historian, Mr. Huberman has provided in this book a history of the American people that can be read and understood by any intelligent child above the age of ten … There is not a dull page in the book … graphic and gripping from beginning to end … An authentic contribution to historical literature.
A unique and stimulating book and one that fills a decided need … stirring and thrilling … The author has made excellent use of statistical information and his handling of source material is masterly.
An imaginative, courageous, and mature work … a performance no person of any age can afford to neglect … characterized by a lively vocabulary, a happy utilization of original documents within the body of the text without muddying the swift flow of the narrative.
A sharply selective history of the United States. It is vivid, direct; it has the drive of purpose and of an unmistakable and winning sincerity … The reader bumps into the last page, surprised to find it come so soon.