The lense of history that Zinn examines history through is that we must not accept the memory of states as our own. He tries to view it from the other side of events, in this case the Arawaks. He avoids the lens of the people like Columbus, the executioners. He feels this is necessary because people thought it was fine what Columbus was doing, but it was not. People need to know the otherside. There are two sides to each story.