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America: A Narrative History (Brief Eighth Edition) (Vol. 1) 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 263 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393934090
ISBN-10: 0393934098
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Brown Tindall spent many years on the faculty of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was an award-winning historian of the South with a number of major books to his credit, including The Emergence of the New South.

David Emory Shi is a professor of history and the president emeritus of Furman University. He is the author of several books on American cultural history, including the award-winning The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture and Facing Facts: Realism in American Thought and Culture, 1850–1920.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (November 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393934098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393934090
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Tindall, in his 5th edition of this superb text, provides a quintessential guide to American history. Useful for late High School and underclassmen University courses in United States History, Tindall offers plenty of "raw" history. Analytical comment is kept to a minimum, to allow the reader or student to explore on his or her own. One hopes that the lack of primary sources or analytical material in Tindall's text will lead readers to seek out other sources before drawing their own conclusions.
Tindall and his co-author, David Shi, do NOT provide a one-stop, all-you-need-to-know guide to US history. Instead, they provide the framework around which one can begin to shape one's own opinions. As one who studied from Tindall as a student and now teaches from Tindall in a private school, I applaud his successful effort once again.
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Format: Paperback
This is the textbook used by my AP US history class, and it is actually rather interesting. It is in depth (it covers everything from pre-Columbus to today's political/social scene), well-written, and has sometimes useful chapter overview sections at the beginning and end of each chapter. The information contained is pretty liberal, which improves coverage of political scams and scandals, women, minorities, and the arts. However, sometimes I wish it was a little more neutral in its outlook; conservative political groups are often portrayed as "yuckier" than liberal groups. Still, I think that this book is a good resource that tells some of the grittier details of American history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this for American History II after using the first volume for Amer History I last summer. The text is very readable and is more like a story than a textbook. It seems like a more linear presentation, in that the story flows from one thing to another almost seemlessly rather than what I'm used to, which is choppy (HERE is the Civil War, HERE is the Industrial Revolution,...) and it ties the events together so you can see the relationship between them. I find it very engaging and am learning a lot. Very cool book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best history textbook that I have used to date. It is entirely in narrative form and reads more like a novel than a textbook. The coverage of material is excellent and the authors steer clear of any major political bias. If there is any area to find fault, it would be that some events or people are practically glossed over. However, this is understandable for a book that attempts to cover everything from pre-colonization to current times in less than 1500 pages. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in history, even to read outside the classroom setting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was excellent reading. Everyone whether an American or not should read this book to better understand a particular time in the history of the United States of America. It is easy to read and understandable.
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Format: Paperback
America: A Narrative History (Brief Eighth Edition) is a very readable, brief (for an survey history book), and affordable textbook. I have used earlier edition for part of the last twenty years or so and other texts for the other years--American Promise is also a favorite of mine. I will be using the new edition of Tindall and Shi work this fall. Like almost all textbooks the authors take a middle-of-the-road approach to our history. Nothing very critical, few if any hidden agendas, attention to women, African-Americans, Indians.

All in all a fine selection for a college class or for anyone wanting a overview of American history.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a Political Science student, and used this text in A.P. U.S. History in high school. In high school I found that it is, as other reviewers have mentioned, not only packed with information, but occasionally recites short, funny stories and interesting tidbits not found in normal, dry history books. Today, as I do a lot of research and writing for Political Science, I find that I am constantly referring to it to look up all sorts of information listed in tables in the back or to read a paragraph about this or that. It is a wonderful text and a resource for any student in the Social Sciences, or anyone interested in America's history, particularly political history.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who likes history but hates studying it, this textbook was a gem. It is very brief and to the point, but it's the little things that really make this textbook shine.

The first great bit that I loved was the free website that they offer with the book. Most other companies charge for this, so this was like having a little extra help for free. The next part that I liked was that there were plenty of little questions peppered throughout the book (usually under one of the many pictures) that students can use to test their comprehension of the material. Suffice to say, if you didn't know the answers to the questions that meant that you should go back & re-read the chapter.

Now for the "but" part of my review. There are two flaws to this book, although neither are really terrible enough to warrant knocking the rating down. The first flaw is that the textbook does sadly suffer from "textbook-itis". Textbook-itis is when a publisher/writer has to boil a subject down to the bare minimum in order to squeeze all of the major details into a textbook. It's the best way to ensure that everything is taught, but unfortunately it does make for a dull read for the average student.

The other "flaw" is that the book isn't entirely non-partial. It's rather subtly done & most students would never realize it unless they read the chapters over & over again. It doesn't interfere with the reading & to be honest, the viewpoints are so common that they aren't controversial at all. I honestly don't mind reading an author's viewpoint & in the case of this book I do agree with their opinions, but textbooks are supposed to be non-partial.

Still, this is a great textbook when all things are considered. I do recommend that if you aren't great when studying in a classroom situation that you take the time to find a few accompaniments to help you with the text. I personally liked to use the sparknotes guidelines with this book.
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