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Letters of a Nation Paperback – January 5, 1999

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fascinating! . . . I couldn't stop turning the pages."
--Abigail Van Buren ("Dear Abby")

"Here is America's heart and soul, as rendered by a wide range of citizens whose words, in their stirring and instructive sum, tell us who we are as a people, what we've become as a nation."
--Dr. Robert Coles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Spiritual Life of Children

"There simply isn't a dull passage to be found in this mind-opening, heart-stretching volume."
--Booklist

From the Inside Flap

Letters of a Nation is a unique and timeless collection of extraordinary letters spanning more than 350 years of American history, from the arrival of the Pilgrims to the present day. Many of the more than 200 letters are published here for the first time, and the correspondents are the celebrated and obscure, the powerful and powerless, including presidents, slaves, soldiers, prisoners, explorers, writers, revolutionaries, Native Americans, artists, religious and civil rights leaders, and people from all walks of life. From the serious (Harry Truman defending his use of the atomic bomb) to the surreal (Elvis Presley to Richard Nixon on fighting drugs in America), this collection of letters covers the full spectrum of human emotion, illuminates the American experience, and celebrates the simple yet lasting art of letter writing.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (January 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767903315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767903318
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
What a fantastic book. The letters I've read have brought voices to America's past. It's like reading a hundred stories in one book. For me, it's been an emotional read. The voices of people-slaves,soldiers, presidents and mothers that helped shaped our nation are still ringing in my ears. I'm recommending this to all my friends. A great trip though history.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lisa T. Wilkins on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best investments I've made over the past year (I typically buy 3-4 books a month). I teach - and am passionate about - American History at the high school level. I discovered this book on Amazon and purchased it out of curiosity and a desire to add to my stash of "primary sources." What a great find! The letters are grouped thematically, not chronologically, and offer a great mix of subjects, authors, and viewpoints. While my primary motivation for purchasing this book was its potential use as a classroom source/reference, it proved an interesting "read," as well. History really comes alive, as do the "players" and events, through reading correspondence. While these letters were not necessarily intended for public consumption, it allows for real insight into the past, and into the psyche of the people who have helped to shape our country. Each letter is "set up" for the reader with an introduction explaining the context in which the letter was written. There are also "postscripts" to let the reader know what took place after the letter (a "conclusion," so to speak). Thank you, Mr. Carroll - it's obvious that a lot of work (and editing!) was expended here for the benefit of your readers!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl@CherylRichardson.com, author of Take Time for Your Life on February 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dipping into Andrew Carroll's "Letters of a Nation" is like exploring the contents of a fine antique jewelry box filled with history, intimate moments, humor and wisdom. This book is a perfect fireside companion!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful look into the various faces of American history. From the most famous letters like "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," to some of the least known letters like the one from Scott Carpenter's father to him, this book is full of pieces of treasure. The epistolary is a now uncommon type of work, and letterwriting has fallen into disrepute with the rise of e-mail and memos, but this work reminds us of the power of a simple handwritten personal message. A must read!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gina Lee on December 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
Andrew Carrol writes an intresting novel compiled of historic letters in various stages of our Nations history. Whether they are from prominent, well known people, or lesser known, yet just as important members of our society, they keep us enthralled.

I'm 24 years old, young enough not to have lived through many of our Nations defining moments, but when I read these letters (and the helpful notes by the author!) it made me feel as though I knew exactly what was going on. Mr. Carrol did an excellent job, and I've let many others read this novel!

~Gina
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By interiorlulu on June 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book years ago and routinely end up thinking about it. I love that there's a mix of letters from people of all walks of life. It is just as interesting to read about "everyday" folks as they experienced major events as it is to read about the famous folks doing so. It gives a really nice perspective on the American experience.
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By Alexandra Manning on January 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived in the condition described prior to purchase. It was delivered earlier than expected and is a very useful addition to my collection of primary sources. Thank you!
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