What I am Reading Update: “A Short History of the United States”

9780061712357.jpgA Short History of the United States
By Robert V. Remini

$19.95; On Sale: 10/7/2008;
Formats: E-Book | Audio | Hardcover; Available E-Book Formats: Adobe eBook Reader | Gemstar eBook | Microsoft Reader | MobiPocket | Palm Reader | Sony

This is a wonderful book that I was surprised to receive from the review pool of books I receive. (Usually, I receive an email or something and on this one I do not recall such a correspondence. Though I almost did not look through the book, I am glad I did!)

Right off the bat, you get a sense for the quality of the book. Remini’s first chapter “Discovery and Settlement of the New World” is vivid, powerful, entertaining, and of course “concise.” Some very good narrative that might help me as a teacher quickly and concisely cover the early and formative years of our history seeing that we are allowed just days to teach it!

From our “emergence” as a nation to Jacksonian America, the Civil War, Manifest Destiny, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the Cold War, Civil Rights (well done by the way), and the Conservative revolution. But not just the same type of recent history, this book is a tribute to fair and balanced history. Remini’s United States history is truly an accomplishment, he has a natural talent for prose and his scholarship is solid.

From the promotion for the book: “Offering an abbreviated, accessible, and lively narrative history of the United States, this erudite volume contains the essential facts about the discovery, settlement, growth, and development of the American nation and its institutions. Robert V. Remini explores the arrival and migration of Native Americans throughout the Western Hemisphere and their achievements; the discovery of the New World by Europeans and the establishment of colonies by the Spanish, French, English, and Dutch; the causes of the American Revolution; the founding of a republic under the Constitution; the formation of political parties; the War of 1812 and the resulting economic and cultural changes; the democratic impetus during the Jacksonian era; westward expansion and the Mexican War; the struggle over slavery, which led to the Civil War; Reconstruction and the rise of big business; the emergence of the United States as a world power; the descent into the Great Depression; the global conflicts of the twentieth century; the rise of conservatism; and the outbreak of terrorism here and abroad.”

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One Response to What I am Reading Update: “A Short History of the United States”

  1. Ruth says:

    Now that my formal academic days are over, I’m always on the lookout for good “readable” history so I appreciate the review and the heads-up on this one.

    If you’re into historical fiction at all, I can recommend Bedlam South by David Donaldson and Mark Grisham. I was impressed with their attention to historical accuracy, and the way they tackled such a unique subject as mental health during the Civil War while creating a very enjoyable read.

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