Analysis of Howard Zinn's Argument in his Article Dying for the Government

Analysis of Howard Zinn's Argument in his Article Dying for the Government

Length: 1338 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Analysis of Howard Zinn's Argument in his Article "Dying for the Government"

In June of 2003, Howard Zinn’s “Dying for the Government” was published in “The Progressive” newspaper. He discusses the government’s claim to military victory in Iraq, and he believes that many innocent people have died for an unjust cause in that war. His claim is that soldiers died for their government, not their country. An important part of his argument is his discussion of democracy, which he says is what our country is supposed to be based on. He also brings up some history of U.S. wars and quotes Mark Twain’s statement about the invasion of the Phillipines by the United States. Even though some of his assertions lack evidence, Zinn uses authority and structure very well to make his argument effective.

Some of Zinn’s assertions are a bit sketchy in his essay because there is no evidence that proves them true. One that really stands out is when he writes, “[they] died for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. And yes, they died for the greed of the oil cartels, for the expansion of the American empire, for the political ambitions of the President. They died to cover up the theft of the nations’ wealth to pay for the machines of death” (159). His argument may seem true to many, but he does not provide us with any evidence that these statements are accurate. He does not say where he got this information, so it may be hard for some to believe this, unless they share the same opinions as him. Another statement he makes is that “[we] have not been given in the American media (we would need to read the foreign press) a full picture of the human suffering caused by our bombing” (159). This is a very strong assertion, but he does not tell us if he...

... middle of paper ...

...ifth of whom grow up in poverty?” (161). Questions like these make his argument very strong, and they are purposely added towards the end to make the reader consider their own thoughts about them after already having been given information on the topic. It is obvious that he is against the expansion of U.S. power, and he is very passionate in his writing about it.

Authority and structure make Zinn’s argument very effective, even though some of his assertions do not have much evidence. Throughout the essay, he makes it very clear how he feels about the government and war. He feels soldiers are dying for their government so the U.S. can gain more power. Towards the end of the essay, he writes, “[instead] of being feared for our military prowess, we should want to be respected for our dedication to human rights” (161). I could not have said it better myself.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Zinn 's Argument For The Human Race Essay example

- Zinn’s question was if the bloodshed and deceit were necessary in order for the human race to progress and one might argue that yes, to a certain extent. If the English did not colonize America, maybe America would not be what it is today. The Europeans came here with their tools and influence over the country. The colonist used the bloodshed in order to control the Native Americans, the Africans, and even their own people. They did not want them to rebel therefore, they devised systems in order to manipulate them....   [tags: Slavery, Indentured servant, Colonialism]

Strong Essays
1129 words (3.2 pages)

Howard Zinn's Ideas on Motivations for War Essay

- Although many people assume the motivations for war are determined by a territorial protection, a number of scholars have added other motivations for understanding why war occurs, among these historians one is a conspicuous example his name is Howard Zinn. Zinn has exposed that many countries go to war in order to bring economic prosperity to their region this need for gain in turn causes many of the upper class of that region to acquire fantastic levels of wealth, many of these powerful figures have denied these claims, Zinn,in reaction to these claims uses paradigm example, WW1, as a means for discrediting the upper class who incessantly deny profits during war....   [tags: war, Howard Zinn, ]

Strong Essays
563 words (1.6 pages)

The Foundational American Ideas That Zinn Essay

- The foundational American ideas that Zinn discuss in the article are the limits of the government, the checks and balances in the three branches of the government, it also talks about how the Supreme Courts is the branch of the government that interprets the law. Probably one of the main ideas that the founding fathers had when they wrote The Constitution was to limit the power of the government. The colonies were being being oppresses by a king so when they wrote the Constitution it was important to limit the power of the government....   [tags: United States Constitution]

Strong Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

Howard Zinn on History, by Howard Zinn Essay

- Howard Zinn: On History by Howard Zinn (2011) is a collection of previously published essays ranging from Freedom Schools in the 1960s, issues in scholarship, to the American Empire. Even though the essays were written over several decades there is a constant theme throughout the work—the activist scholar. Zinn feels that scholars should not be passive citizens concerned with their research alone, but active citizens that use their research to change society. Zinn, unlike other historians, is not afraid to place what he views as right and wrong into his scholarly work....   [tags: Activism, Historian, Society]

Strong Essays
1482 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying"

- In As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner uses the characters Anse and Cash, and a motif/symbol in "My mother is a fish," to reveal the psychological and societal problems of the twenties and thirties. Written as soon as the panic surrounding the stock market in 1929 started, Faulkner is reported as having, “took one of these [onion] sheets, unscrewed the cap from his fountain pen, and wrote at the top in blue ink, 'As I Lay Dying.' Then he underlined it twice and wrote the date in the upper right-hand corner"(Atkinson 15) We must take care to recognize Faulkner not as a man of apathy, but one of great compassion and indignation at the collapse of the economic foundation of the U.S....   [tags: Essay on As I Lay Dying]

Strong Essays
1496 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Howard Zinn's A Review of A People’s History of The United States

- A Review of A People’s History of The United States      A People’s History of the United States concentrates on the personal experiences and struggles of people who lived in the United States from 1492-present. It is a view of history from the common man’s perspective, rather than the view of the leaders and upper class of this country.      The book revolves around the views of history from the oppressed point of view. Howard Zinn makes it clear from the beginning that he will value the views and experiences of the oppressed over the view of the oppressor....   [tags: Howard Zinn essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1207 words (3.4 pages)

Analysis Of George Zinn 's ' The Constitution Essay

- 1. Zinn begins his description of the Constitution with quotes from Michener, Litwack, and Marshall. However, the views of Michener differ from the views of the other two. Michener really praises the document, saying that it is a flawless price of our history and that their is nothing that could have been changed to make it any better. The views of Marshall are that the constitution was a pretty good document, but there were a lot of people that suffered because of it and not everybody is going to excessively worship it....   [tags: United States Constitution, United States]

Strong Essays
1023 words (2.9 pages)

Zinn Chapter 5 : The Revolutionary War Essay

- Jason Morgan Mr. Meyer Period 4 September 21, 2015 Zinn Chapter 5 Between the years 1775 and 1800, the American nation fought a war for independence from Great-Britain and the war was called the Revolutionary War. Despite its name, Howard Zinn argues that the war did little to help the situation of the underrepresented and kept the wealthy in power. Considering Zinn’s argument, the wealthy did stay in control of the government and the economic hierarchy in the new nation remained. However, there was an increased accommodation to the underrepresented groups like the poor and working class in America....   [tags: Social class, Working class]

Strong Essays
1117 words (3.2 pages)

Free Essays - A Lesson Before Dying

- Ganes, Earnest J. A Lesson Before Dying. New York: Vintage Books 1993. Genre: Novel 256 pages Setting: The story is set in a small Cajun Louisiana town in the 1940’s. The setting in this story is significant because, the whole story is about how a young black boy is treated unfairly and sentenced to death because of something he did not do. It also deals with the emotions that this black boy faces because he has been treated unfairly by the white people. Major Characters: Jefferson, black boy who is accused of a crime and sentenced to death; Grant Wiggons, teacher sent to help Jefferson....   [tags: Lesson Before Dying Essays]

Free Essays
1289 words (3.7 pages)

Tie-Dying Essay examples

- This essay will explain a dying technique that is called tie-dying. Tie-Dying is a technique that can be used on many different fabrics to create different effect and millions of designs that are all one of a kind; no two tie dyes are alike. I have come to be very fond of tie-dye, using it as a means of support, owning my own small tie dye business for years. To design a tie-dye you will make several handmade folds that are secured by string or rubber bands, and then saturated in dye for different periods of time to create different shades of colors....   [tags: Dying Techniques]

Strong Essays
2024 words (5.8 pages)