- Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Signet; 6th edition (July 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451628829
- ISBN-13: 978-0451628824
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,306,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Documentary History of the United States Sixth Edition 6th Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
There is a newer edition of this item:
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Richard D. Heffner graduated from Columbia University and taught history and political science. He is a Professor at Rutgers University since 1964, and also produced and moderated "The Open Mind" for public television. The sixth edition was published in July 1999. The `Contents' list its thirty chapters and the References. There is no `Index' to its 513 pages. The `Foreword' tells these sources are presented as written (with slight editing). Each reader can be his own historian. Written history records the opinion of the meaning of certain events; which can change over time. [But certain facts and views remain the same.] These chapters begin with an introduction by the author followed by the selected documents. Given the limitations of space and time I will only comment on Chapter 30, which happened only twenty years ago. Remember? Most students weren't even born then.
William Jefferson Clinton was elected President in 1992. Clinton's attempt to reform the health care system failed. [Until "Obamacare".] In 1994 Newt Gingrich created a campaign document "Contract With America" to propose legislative changes. The Republicans won control of the House and Senate in 1994. [No mention of Clinton's Gun Control law.] How many were actually implemented? Were they all worthy of enactment? Are campaign promises always fulfilled? Clinton won a second term in 1996. In 1998 President Clinton was impeached by the House by acquitted by the Senate. Was this "The End of the American Century"? America's foremost standing began after WW I, increased after WW II, but went into decline with Reagan's Presidency. Domestic problems such as "education, Social Security, race relations, crime and punishment, the environment, campaign finance reform, immigration, and universal health insurance" cannot be "solved" given human nature and contending social and economic rivalries.
Reading the "Contract With America" twenty years later should expose the frauds in these proposals. For example, a "$500 per child tax credit" does nothing about the devaluation of the dollar, the financial control by the private "Federal Reserve Bank", or outsourcing jobs. The latter probably caused the current "Great Recession" and the decline of the United States. Aren't many of the other points also hoaxes? A term limit for Congressmen does nothing to prevent the influence of millionaires in their campaign finances. The need is to double the number of Representatives to allow smaller and more representative districts. Each state will decide the Congressional District, but smaller sizes makes it harder to misrepresent voters who voted for the opponent. If one party wins with 60% of the vote that disenfranchises the 40% who voted for the other candidate(s).
Item # 7 is a farce. It doesn't remove taxation from Social Security benefits, which is a return of previously paid taxes (like medical insurance benefits). Taxation should occur only when income exceeds a higher amount, such as $75,000 single, $100,000 married. Reagan repaid those who voted for him by a new tax on retired people. There is nothing wrong with taxing Social Security benefits for anyone still working at a good paying job, one that is far over the minimum wage. But the Republican controlled House and Senate didn't do this, or even raise the taxable limit! Item # 10 is a farce. If you want "citizen legislators" you should pick them from a list of voters (like for jury duty). This fraud doesn't mention the length of a term limit. This is like a swindle that sells an over valued product!
However, the treatment of the history that follows (at least on domestic issues) doesn't give an even-handed nature of the debate. Rather than reflecting a debate over the nature and degree of government intervention and regulation, the interruptions of and objections to progressivism (no matter how far it was taken) are treated as minor blips on the historical map. Calvin Coolidge is given scant little mention, the causes that turned the 1929 recession into a depression are not given their sufficient mention, and the New Deal is more glowingly presented than the actual results would indicate. If any one of these overgeneralizations were left out, it would be at least a little more fair in depicting the 20th century prior to World War II. But with all three of them together, it paints a picture of a population virtually uninterrupted in its desire for more government intervention, and it cuts off at the root any accurate portrayal of the opposition to the New Deal Revolution and beyond.
In particular, when mention is made of the Reagan Presidency, the author includes Mario Cuomo's "Tale of Two Cities Speech", which was little more than raw meat fed to the delegates at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. If there had been any mention of this kind of detail of the threat the New Deal was having on the balance of powers between the branches of government and to private enterprise, the tilt of the book would be lessened.
There is also the matter of typographical errors, of which there were several. I wouldn't bring this up were it not for page 339, which tells the reader that the "day of infamy", the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, was December 1, 1941(!).
As a reference, I would recommend the book. The choices (with the one exception noted above) are fine, and the overall structure of the book lends itself to being able to read one chapter without having to read other material, which makes it handy to thumb through any part and be able to pick out important speeches and materials without having to read the 50 pages preceding or following the material. As a straightforward depiction of American history, I can only give the book muted praise.
However, the editor's insertion of essays deliberately crafted to reflect only one side of the many controversial issues in American history to which the documents relate is both intrusive and unfair. In particular, the author's discussion of the 2000 election results is poorly crafted and serves only to further the agenda of his obvious party affiliation.
Overall, the book is an excellent anthology of major American documents and speeches. The volume suffers, however, because of its editor's unwillingness to leave behind partisan politics in favor of a balanced approach to history. Because history and politics are both highly dependent on a balanced approach for any veracity, the book loses a great deal of credibility in its author's constant harangues against opinions he does not hold, but that are nonetheless valid.
Most recent customer reviews
Richard D. Heffner, is an excellent anthology of historic texts.Read more