What Is Verbal Judo? Communication Inspired by a Martial Art

Cartoon drawing of a man and woman engaged in a conversation, illustrating what Verbal Judo is

What is Verbal Judo? Why should you practice it? George Thompson contends that, by using a form of “tactical communication” inspired by the Japanese martial art of judo, you can resolve stressful confrontations without losing your cool. Verbal Judo involves directing the other person’s energy toward a solution that makes everyone feel understood. Read more to learn what Verbal Judo is and how it can improve your communication and relationships.

A Kind of Revolution: Howard Zinn on the War for Independence

soldiers and flags in a city street during the American Revolution ("A Kind of Revolution") or the War for Independence

What economic issues did American elites face in the years leading up to the American Revolution, and how did the war allow them to address these problems? How did poor whites, slaves, and American Indians respond to the war? Howard Zinn titled Chapter 5 of A People’s History of the United States “A Kind of Revolution.” He characterizes America’s war for independence as a conflict between British and American elites rather than an uprising of the masses. Continue reading to get Zinn’s take on the American Revolutionary War and the formation of the United States.

A History of Slaves in America: Persons of Mean and Vile Condition

A Black male slave working in a field on a farm in nineteenth-century US, representing the history of slaves in America

Why did American colonial elites fear slaves? What role did slaves play in the Revolutionary War and Civil War? In A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn includes a history of slaves in America. He explores their experience during colonial times, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. He also takes a look at freed slaves during the Reconstruction era. Keep reading to learn about life for these so-called “persons of mean and vile condition.”

Drawing the Color Line: Howard Zinn on Colonial American Classes

a poor enslaved black man looking up at a wealthy white man in Colonial America (Harold Zinn's "Drawing the Color Line")

In what ways did enslaved Africans resist oppression within the American colonial system? How did the exploitation of poor whites serve the interests of the colonial elites? The class system in colonial America was hierarchical, with wealthy elites exploiting enslaved Africans, poor whites, and women. Despite facing challenges, these groups resisted oppression and fought for equality within the colonial society. Read more to learn about “drawing the color line” in colonial America, according to Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States.

A People’s History of the Formation of the United States

Founding fathers oversee the formation of the United States and draft the Constitution in Philadelphia's Independence Hall

What led to class tensions after the American Revolution? How did the drafting of the US Constitution aim to balance power among different classes in society? The formation of the United States in 1776, following the expulsion of Britain, resulted in persistent class tensions. The US Constitution, drafted by elite white men, aimed to protect their interests and restrict democratic influence, favoring elite control. Read more to get Howard Zinn’s take on the formation of the United States.

A People’s History of Colonial America (Howard Zinn)

Colonists and a Native American in the street of a small village illustrate the history of colonial America

What drive European colonists to the Americas? What role did slaves, American Indians, poor people, and women play within the social system? Historian Howard Zinn begins his book A People’s History of the United States with a brief overview of the history of colonial America. He outlines why this colonial project started, how it functioned, and the circumstances that eventually changed a group of colonies into the US.  Keep reading for a summary of Zinn’s nontraditional history of the colonial era in America.

Indian Removal in the US: A People’s History (Howard Zinn)

Hundreds of Native Americans ride horses toward the west across a vast landscape as a result of the Indian removal policy

Why did the US carry out a policy of Indian removal? What was the impact? Who benefited? The US made its largest territorial gains during the first half of the 19th century as the frontier pushed west. Historian Howard Zinn discusses one of the conflicts that arose from this massive rate of expansion: Indian removal. Read more to learn about this policy and its legacy.

The Territorial Expansion of the United States: A People’s History

a map of the US during the first half of the 19th century illustrates the territorial expansion of the United States

How was the United States able to expand westward during its early history? What was the cost? In his book A People’s History of the United States, historian Howard Zinn discusses the country’s economic and territorial expansion during the first half of the 19th century. He focuses on how it led to the displacement of American Indians and the Mexican-American War. Keep reading to understand the territorial expansion of the United States from Zinn’s perspective.

A People’s History of Reconstruction After the Civil War

freed slaves after the American Civil War illustrate the history of Reconstruction

How did the government originally intend to redistribute land and wealth seized in the South after the Civil War? What role did Northern Republicans play in developing Southern Black communities? What challenges did freed slaves face? After the American Civil War, Reconstruction sought to address issues of wealth, racial equality, and freed slaves’ rights. Initially, Reconstruction showed promise. Ultimately, the progress that was made was undone. Continue reading for a history of Reconstruction after the Civil War, according to historian Howard Zinn.

A People’s History of the Civil War (Howard Zinn)

Union troops and flag on a battlefield illustrate a people's history of the Civil War in America

What contributed to the outbreak of the US Civil War? What role did racism play in both the military and society? With whom did American Indian tribes align themselves? The US Civil War was a devastating conflict. The poor suffered the most, with Free Blacks and escaped slaves playing a pivotal role despite facing racism in the North. American Indian tribes strategically aligned with different sides for territorial security and political advantage. Read more to get a people’s history of the Civil War, according to historian Howard Zinn.