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History of the United States (Forgotten Books) Paperback – May 7, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Austin Beard (November 27, 1874 - September 1, 1948) was an American historian. He published hundreds of monographs, textbooks and interpretive studies in both history and political science. His works included radical re-evaluation of the Founding Fathers of the United States, whom he believed were more motivated by economics than by philosophical principles. Mary Ritter Beard (August 5, 1876 in Indianapolis, Indiana - August 14, 1958) was an influential American historian and archivist, who played an important role in the women's suffrage movement and was a life-long advocate for social justice through educational and activist roles in both the labor and woman's rights movements. She wrote several books on women's role in history including On Understanding Women (1931), (Ed.) America Through Women's Eyes (1933) and Woman As Force In History: A Study in Traditions and Realities (1946). In addition, she collaborated with her husband, eminent historian Charles Austin Beard on several distinguished works, most notably The Rise of American Civilization (1927). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 588 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (May 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606202162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606202166
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 90 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on July 14, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
As a classroom history teacher, I realize that I am out of my league in reviewing this book. Charles and Mary Beard are "name brand" historians. There are precious few historians that make it to that level, and for me, a classroom teacher, to deign to review the work of a historian that has an entire school corporation named for him (his hometown of Knightstown, IN) takes some professional chutzpah on my part. It's the equivalent of a local bar band writing a criticism of the Beatles or a piano student evaluating Chopin.

Well, here's to chutzpah!

On a general level, this is an excellent textbook. Two general themes of the Beards are:

1) economics is a dominant driver of history.
2) America is a story of expanding rights - more groups of people are securing their rights as time goes on.

The book focuses on social issues such as how things were manufactured and societal heirarchy rather than battles, wars and strategies. For example, the Battles of Lexington and Concord (the proverbial the "Shot heard 'round the world") get four sentences, none describing the battle itself. This makes it rather unique in history textbooks, although most don't dwell on the battles for long, they do mention tactics, changes the war brought to technology, etc.

The book is well-written. It has two authors and does not suffer from the stifling over-editing of most modern history texts that render them sterile, dry and boring.

Some commentary based on notes I took while reading:

-A strong section on the colonies.

-An especially well-written, if brief, commentary on the Declaration of Independence.

-From their commentary on a series of inventors in the late 18th and early 19th centuries: "...
Read more ›
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Weitz VINE VOICE on September 19, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book should be judged for what it is; a seventy year old high school text with an over-emphasis on economic determinism. The Kindle Edition is done nicely; the illustrations are surprisingly clear and attractive, and the maps are usable. The index functions. The topical structure at the end is very nice; if you are a teacher looking for a new approach this is interesting and gives many possibilities. If you can get the free "public domain" edition of the book it makes an excellent supplementary work for your students; just add on a few questions! If you want to know why today's students read and write so poorly just compare this text with a modern unreadable "committee written" text. When students read well-written non-fiction it influences their own writing style.
This is a classic of great value.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Schriftman on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Originally written as a textbook, this book is a good introduction to American history from its founding to the 19th century. It discusses history not in a strictly chronological manner, but more thematically, which gives meaning to many facts that would otherwise be disconnected. This no doubt makes for a more subjective viewpoint, showing how Charles and Mary Beard interpreted causes and effects in history. But it also creates a much greater interest in history as something that actually matters.

As the authors explain in the Preface:

First. We have written a topical, not a narrative, history. We have tried to set forth the important aspects, problems, and movements of each period, bringing in the narrative rather by way of illustration.

Second. We have emphasized those historical topics which help to explain how our nation has come to be what it is to-day.

Third. We have dwelt fully upon the social and economic aspects of our history, especially in relation to the politics of each period.

Fourth. We have treated the causes and results of wars, the problems of financing and sustaining armed forces, rather than military strategy. These are the subjects which belong to a history for civilians. These are matters which civilians can understand--matters which they must understand, if they are to play well their part in war and peace.

Fifth. By omitting the period of exploration, we have been able to enlarge the treatment of our own time. We have given special attention to the history of those current questions which must form the subject
matter of sound instruction in citizenship.

Sixth. We have borne in mind that America, with all her unique characteristics, is a part of a general civilization.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews VINE VOICE on July 14, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
As a classroom history teacher, I realize that I am out of my league in reviewing this book. Charles and Mary Beard are "name brand" historians. There are precious few historians that make it to that level, and for me, a classroom teacher, to deign to review the work of a historian that has an entire school corporation named for him (his hometown of Knightstown, IN) takes some professional chutzpah on my part. It's the equivalent of a local bar band writing a criticism of the Beatles or a piano student evaluating Chopin.

Well, here's to chutzpah!

On a general level, this is an excellent textbook. Two general themes of the Beards are:

1) economics is a dominant driver of history.
2) America is a story of expanding rights - more groups of people are securing their rights as time goes on.

The book focuses on social issues such as how things were manufactured and societal heirarchy rather than battles, wars and strategies. For example, the Battles of Lexington and Concord (literally the "Shot heard 'round the world") get four sentences, none describing the battle itself. This makes it rather unique in history textbooks, although most don't dwell on the battles for long, they do mention tactics, changes the war brought to technology, etc.

The book is well-written. It has two authors and does not suffer from the stifling over-editing of most modern history texts that render them sterile, dry and boring.

Some commentary based on notes I took while reading:

-A strong section on the colonies.

-An especially well-written, if brief, commentary on the Declaration of Independence.

-From their commentary on a series of inventors in the late 18th and early 19th centuries: "...
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

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