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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Middleton's book, Colonial America, is not your typical 'textbook.' He paints a fascinating panorama of this country's tenuous beginnings and carries the story up to, but does not include, the Revolution. There is sufficient detail so the reader can easily see why the Revolution was looming, but not so many details that one goes to sleep wading through them. This book reads like a novel and I heartily recommend it to anyone remotely interested in the early history of the United States.
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on July 15, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I'm no expert on the topic, but this seems like a very good textbook. It provides a macro-view; it addresses change from the tides of history and culture perspective with relatively little focus on 'great men'. Cause and effect is shown as individuals responding to their context, be it legal, economic, or cultural; distinctions are drawn between the responses of different subgroups so you don't get that unrealistic 'we were always American' feeling, but rather a sense of how events ultimately brought them together, i.e., the Dutch, Germans, English, etc.

It's aimed at upper level high school kids or college undergrads. It presents history as a debate with contrasting views (which are usually explored in depth in the footnotes), with a particularly interesting section on marriage and fertility that shows how our understandings have changed as historians began to look at the 'every man' rather than on just the elites.

I particularly like how it shows an evolution of the definition of a "good" father, and how that ties into differing expectations of power in general, and then of the king. Also, the fact that by the time of John Adams it was not uncommon for brides to be pregnant (which included Abigail Adams, not something the book notes but still a useful fact that demonstrates that our founders were a function of their times.)

It offers primary documents to supplement the 2ndary analysis -- including some pretty cool ones, it has a boatload of bibliography sorted by the topic each source specializes in, so a nice starting point for further research. This is also true in the footnotes, and as such from a teacher's perspective it acts as a great resource for setting students off on independent research. There are chapters devoted to every normally undiscussed minority, etc
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on January 23, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I didn't realize this was a textbook when I ordered it. So it is full of info, but a very dry read.
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on April 4, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Just starting-an interesting book for an old academic textbook.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Had to read this one for a college history course. Same old same old. Didn't we all get enough of this stuff in high school? And yes, I'm a education and history major.
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