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Mine Eyes Have Seen: A First-Person History of the Events That Shaped America Paperback – June 24, 1997

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Goldstein (America at D-Day, LJ 6/1/94) presents here first-person accounts of famous and obscure events in history written by ordinary people who were eyewitnesses. The accounts range from Giovanni Verrazano's description of the New World to nurse Bobby Johnson's story of the Oklahoma City bombing. The work concludes with brief glimpses of the end of the 1996 presidential campaign. Arranged chronologically, each section begins with historical background and a brief summary of each writer's role. The accounts vary in length from one paragraph to several pages. Events span the triumphant to the tragic, the important to the merely interesting. While some readers may quarrel with the author's choices, history teachers will find this a gold mine for class discussions and history buffs will enjoy dipping into it. For all public and academic libraries.?Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Quick snapshots of some crucial events and turning points in American history, drawn from the impressions of eyewitnesses. Goldstein (Ivy League Autumns: An Illustrated History of College Football's Grand Old Rivalries, 1996, etc.), a New York Times editor, gathers a broad collection of first-person testimony from many people ``who were there,'' ranging from Verrazano reporting his 1524 landing in the New World up to Bob Dole, speaking after he cast his vote in the 1996 presidential election. Goldstein's short comments set the stage for the witnesses, who range from the obscure to the familiar. Adams, Jefferson, Dolley Madison, Dickens, Thoreau, Grant, Whitman, Twain, Henry Ford, Lindbergh, Theodore and Eleanor Roosevelt are among the more famous included here. The brief reports (most no more than one or two pages) drawn from letters, journals, memoirs, newspaper reports, and court testimony, add color and life to static--if highly important--historical tableaus, including the Boston Tea Party, the fall of the Alamo, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Lincoln's assasination, the invention of the telephone, labor unrest at Homestead, the Wright brothers' first flight, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Montgomery bus boycott, the Cuban missile crisis, and Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon, among many other events. Goldstein's selections stress such things as the long struggle for equality by African-Americans and women, and the battles of labor unions for fair wages and better working conditions. Inevitably, there is a somewhat hit-or-miss quality to the book: Every major event can't be included, and many seemingly worthy of notice (and with lively documentary material to draw from), such as the Reagan conservative revolution and the Gulf War, aren't here. Flash-card history that may whet the appetites of deprived history students, but a light meal for serious readers. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original ed. edition (June 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684815990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684815992
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,867,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was 10 years old on an autumn evening in 1952 when the drama of national politics and the sweep of American history first touched me.
I caught a glimpse of President Truman's motorcade as he sped to a rally for Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee, at the Eastern Parkway Arena in Brooklyn. Stevenson would be trounced by Dwight D. Eisenhower that November, but the excitement of that moment left an enduring impression.
I began to read history and I joined my high school newspaper, the first step toward a career in journalism.
After receiving a B.A. from Brooklyn College and an M.A. from the University of Michigan, concentrating in political science and history, I worked at The New York Daily News, Newsday, United Press International, and, for the past three decades, as an editor and writer at The New York Times. I left full-time daily journalism in 2007 but I continue to write obituary profiles for The Times, mostly on figures from the military, sports and journalism.
As a non-fiction author, I have focused on historical themes. I told of the Normandy invasion in "America at D-Day." I looked to convey the whole of American life through the eyes of unforgettable men and women in "Mine Eyes Have Seen: A First Person History of the Events That Shaped America." I recalled a memorable disaster at sea in "Desperate Hours: The Epic Rescue of the Andrea Doria." I turned to baseball history in "Spartan Seasons: How Baseball Survived the Second World War," "Superstars and Screwballs: 100 Years of Brooklyn Baseball" and "An American Journey," written with Jerry Coleman. I looked at sporting traditions in "Ivy League Autumns: An Illustrated History of College Football's Grand Old Rivalries."
Now, melding my fascination with New York City history and with the Second World War, I have written "Helluva Town: The Story of New York City During World War II."
I live in White Plains, New York, with my wife, Dr. Nancy Lubell, a clinical psychologist.

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Format: Paperback
Our homeschooling family has used this book as a supplement in teaching American history. The first person accounts are brief and sometimes gruesome (as history is). Accounts of The Boston Massacre and The Alamo provide first person accounts without leaving out the pain of said events. The text provides several opportunities for defining and discussing word choices (i.e. expanding vocabulary) for children when we chose to read aloud.

However, it's not just the horror of history that is covered in this sampling. It's events that have shaped our history - like Sojourner Truth Speaking, Wings Over Kitty Hawk, A Mickey Mouse Production and more. The accounts chosen also provide a flavor for the times: The Fireside Chat, The Age of the Atom, and Kent State are covered chronologically and sandwiched between other important historical snippets.

We've always loved using first person accounts for teaching history. This resource is a great way to cover short overviews without the research. We've recommended it to several other homeschool families studying history.

Note: Though we used this resource for teaching children, we have also been careful to selectively choose which accounts are suitable for each of our children.
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