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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very readable; the narrative flows gracefully
The authors had a difficult task. To further shorten their other text, "America's History", by almost 50%. Yet they seem to have succeeded. The book has a logical narrative flow. That does not feel like a standard text. Quite expertly done. When you consider that very disparate topics are covered. Like reform in the Progressive Era, or the emergence of the US as a world...
Published on August 24, 2005 by W Boudville

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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dry, with serious factual flaws
Over the past year I have had the opportunity to compare this book with Roark's The American Promise, and I would highly recommend Roark over this book.

The most serious flaw of the Henretta text is its cavalier attitude toward the facts. This is worst in its section on World War II. For example, on pages 800-801, we read "In July 1943 after Benito...
Published on April 7, 2008 by Daniel R. Baker


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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dry, with serious factual flaws, April 7, 2008
Over the past year I have had the opportunity to compare this book with Roark's The American Promise, and I would highly recommend Roark over this book.

The most serious flaw of the Henretta text is its cavalier attitude toward the facts. This is worst in its section on World War II. For example, on pages 800-801, we read "In July 1943 after Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime fell and Mussolini was executed, Italy's new government joined the Allies." Of course, in reality, Mussolini was promptly restored to power by German occupation and did not die until 1945; nor was he executed, but rather murdered by partisans without benefit of trial. On page 805, we read that "The capture of Iwo Jima and Okinawa put bombers in position to attack Japan itself," when in fact it was the previous year's capture of the Marianas that put the Japanese islands in U.S. bomber range. In the very same paragraph, we read that "Before the Soviets could act, the Japanese offered to surrender on August 10," but in reality the USSR had declared war on Japan on August 8, 1945 and had invaded Japanese-held Manchuria on August 9. This oversight is particularly important, in that some historians argue that it was the Soviet declaration of war as much as the atomic bombs that convinced Japan to surrender.

That the book frequently lapses into tendentious left-wing ideology hardly needs mentioning; the vast majority of academic history textbooks today have the same problem, and non-academic right-wing "correctives," like Thomas Woods, are usually even worse. Still, left-wing writing need not be bad writing, nor as distorting to the historical record as this text's often is. For example, on page 519 we find this passage: "In Europe job-seeking peasants commonly tried seasonal agricultural labor or temporary work in nearby cities. America represented merely a larger leap." This is a feeble attempt to pretend that late-19th and early 20th century Europe offered opportunities similar to America's, and, if accepted, renders America's massively larger immigration rate inexplicable.

As might be expected in a book co-authored by three people, the quality varies considerably from chapter to chapter. Chapter 18, "The Rise of the City," stands out as particularly well written. One good technique the authors use is to place U.S. history in its international context, as when comparing the urban history of Chicago to Berlin or pointing out the origin of Chinese immigration to America in a general flood of Chinese immigration throughout the Pacific in the 19th century. It is only in this respect that this text is superior to Roark, which often skimps on the world-historical setting of U.S. history.

While the authors deserve commendation for trying to address the history of American racial minorities, their efforts usually devolve into a mere listing of grievances, especially as regards Native Americans and Latinos; African American achievements and resistance to prejudice are somewhat better described. Women's history comes off best; the authors are generally, though not always, successful in describing women's experience as an integrated whole in which men's oppressive behavior is only one part.

The book's overwhelming drawback compared to Roark is the poverty of illustrations, which are few, ill-chosen, and exclusively black-and-white. In contrast, the maps are excellent.

I can understand that cash-strapped colleges may prefer this book to Roark because it is cheaper. Still, it should have been possible to create a budget college textbook that was more accurate and less biased.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very readable; the narrative flows gracefully, August 24, 2005
The authors had a difficult task. To further shorten their other text, "America's History", by almost 50%. Yet they seem to have succeeded. The book has a logical narrative flow. That does not feel like a standard text. Quite expertly done. When you consider that very disparate topics are covered. Like reform in the Progressive Era, or the emergence of the US as a world power. But somehow, each chapter segues gracefully into its successor.

The book also starts each chapter with a human interest anecdote. To try and bring the chapter's theme down to an easily comprehensible scale. And thus to motivate the reader into absorbing the broader mass of the chapter. The book is well suited for a general audience.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good history book for summer class, June 29, 2009
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This book was a required reading in a short summer history class. The book reads well and is relatively easy to get through. The chapters are organized into sections based on events, so there were some time jumps that I found confusing, but other than that this was one of the best class books I've had.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall a very good American history textbook., December 4, 2013
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Easy to read and well organized textbook. Easy to find information you are searching for and is packed full of interesting topics that a lot of other American history textbooks do not cover. For a textbook, this is a good read and after my class is over I will continue to crack this open from time to time.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Book Was Probably Clipped from a Cereal Box, December 27, 2011
If you have selected Henretta and Brody, I hope you reconsider for future semesters. I must express my disdain for the oversimplification and generalization of this book. In some places it's just plain wrong. (There were no horses for natives to eat [where are all the fossils?]; they came with the Spaniards in the 1500s. Tomatoes weren't an export for some years because they were thought to be poisonous when Europeans came. Columbus wasn't looking to prove the Earth was round or to find a sea passage to Asia; it was common knowledge there was a continent here, he was looking for a way to make the new continent profitable. That's why he went to Ferdinand and Isabella for financing--I've read parts of his diary.) The book seems to take an overly dramatic and heroic view of American history, looking for examples to fit a presupposed thesis. "The hostility was mutual. British general James Wolfe complained that colonial troops were drawn from the dregs of society and that 'there was no depending on them in action.' " (p.134) Whoa! Hold the phone! Calling a bunch of untrained, undisciplined, rowdy, indulgent, mob men unreliable allies in war? That Wolfe has a stick up his ass and was gunning for American troops before they even did anything! And Henry David Thoreau went to Walden Pond as a transcendentalist scientific experiment, mostly about escaping business, not to seek solitude in depression (p. 322) Have these guys actually read Walden? How about the first page of it? "I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up."

This book is like going to Epcot at Disney World and telling everybody you've actually been to Germany, France, and Morocco, and now know everything about them. It's history with ulterior motives. I might as well be reading the back of a cereal box: 'King Richard III forced all the pilgrims to drink tea, but they didn't like stinky old tea, so they threw it in the river and rebelled for Boston lager.' This book treats history as if it never really happened, as if it were conducted by characters in somebody else's novel, and not by real men and women who actually existed. It's not concise; it's just full of blanket statements and assumptions. I'm generally not a fan of history books or history classes because "history" is political history and as such is very subjective. But this book is among the worst. Reconsider.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars American History well put together, August 20, 2009
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This book has a small print and it is almost 500 pages worth of reading material. It covers everything from the very beginning of the first emigrants to the Americas until the Civil War and the Abolition of Slavery. It gives you lots of facts about each topic and what was happening in the new world and Europe at the time. It has pictures, letters and maps to illustrate the material. This is my first college class for Early American History and there was so much for me to learn that I became engrossed in some of its chapters. I enjoyed the reading and did very well in the class. There is a companion website you can go to that offers the summaries for each chapter and quizes to help you study and remember the content.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Written in circles, August 24, 2010
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Marion (United States) - See all my reviews
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This book is very difficult to follow because it is written in circles. They address one topic and a time period and then go on to another topic with a different but overlapping time period. For anyone who thinks linearly, it is very difficult to put events and circumstances together. I was not impressed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars School textbook, December 17, 2013
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Sara V. (Connecticut) - See all my reviews
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Poorly written, while it gives some interesting facts that aren't in normal history books, it doesn't expand on anything. I found myself relying on the internet to fill in the gaps and learn what I needed to for my class.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Informative, June 6, 2014
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The book was in great condition and had some useful information. Has a lot of information regarding the various topics.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not, May 16, 2014
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There are no pages torn but there is so much writing all through the book, most having nothing to do with actual information along with pictures drawn in highlighter, making it ridiculously difficult to get valuable information away from the text. I do not believe I be buying from this supplier for future textbooks.
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America: A Concise History, Volume 2: Since 1865
America: A Concise History, Volume 2: Since 1865 by Lynn Dumenil (Paperback - January 20, 2009)
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