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American Colonies: The Settling of North America, Vol. 1 Paperback – July 30, 2002
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"Formidable...provokes us to contemplate the ways in which residents of North America have dealt with diversity." -The New York Times Book Review
"A superb overview of colonial America." -Christian Science Monitor
"Compelling, readable, and fresh, American Colonies is perhaps the most brilliant piece of synthesis in recent American historical writing." —Phillip J. Deloria, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor of American Culture and History at the University of Michigan
“Even the serious student of history will find a great deal of previously obscure information. The book offers a balanced understanding of the diverse peoples and forces that converged on this continent and influenced the course of American history.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Crammed full of fascinating material uncovered by historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists in the past half-century.” —Newsday
About the Author
Alan Taylor’s books include William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for history and the Bancroft Prize in American History; The Internal Enemy, also awarded the Pultizer Prize; The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution. Taylor holds the Thomas Jefferson Chair in American History at the University of Virginia.
Top customer reviews
This life in the America of New Beginning began long before the "age of reason", (is it yet?) and it is intriguing and a little frightening to imagine living in those narrow times, at least it is for me each time I read of such things as the Salem Witch Trials, which also are given page space in this book. It also subtly underscores the ambiguous idea that the Puritans and other sects fled the old countries because of religious persecution, but continued to keep the practice partially alive once they arrived on the new shores. In striving to make the New Beginning, it would seem that not much of the Old was left behind. It covers the eras encompassing "The Natives" of 13,000 B.C., the New England and Chesapeake settlements, the Revolutions, on through the 1820's - and the "why" of all of it. The author manages to hit all the scholarly highs without sacrificing interest for the reader; none of it is dry because it is peppered throughout with sensible explanations. If one thing is taken away each time a work like this is read, it is that there has never been any real peace or tranquility for anyone. Life is what it is, whether primitive or enlightened; breaking free of tyrannical chains for some begat more chains for others in the quest.
I found it an excellent addition to the Historical collection, and while the internet is an excellent source of instant reference, nothing will take the place of the concentrated effort of a well written book.
Other American History titles I found excellent in the quest for up-dating and renewing my knowledge of nation:
** "Miracle at Philadelphia" by Catherine Drinker Bowen
** "Three men of Boston" by John r. galvin
** "The Adams-Jefferson Letters"
** "Jefferson" by Thomas Jefferson (Library of America)
** "American Colonies" by Alan Taylor
** "The First American" (Franklin) by H.W. Brands (Library of America)
** "1776" by David McCullough
** "John Adams" by David McCullough
** "Defiance of the Patriots - the Boston Tea Party" - Benjamin L. Carp
** "American Speeches" Political Oratory (Library of America) Nothing boring between these pages - the bravest and brightest intellects of our nation were available and hard at work speaking the minds of the rest of us - so that we might understand ourselves.
I am already looking forward to re-reading this book at some point.