- Age Range: 9 and up
- Series: A History of US
- Paperback: 2000 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (November 7, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195152603
- ISBN-13: 978-0195152609
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 5.5 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,675,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A History of US (10 Vol. Set) 3rd Edition
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"A thorough and accurate narrative of our nation's history."--The Philadelphia Inquirer
"This is not your run-of-the-mill U.S. history. It has vivid, fluid writing, extensive use of historical documents, and personal voice--lots of it.... [The] series doesn't just toss out a string of names and dates--it tells stories with facts in them."--The Washington Post
"A refreshing exception in the otherwise bleak textbook scene.... A former schoolteacher and journalist, Hakim was appalled by the dullness of the textbooks she saw and decided she could do a better job herself.... While virtually all the other textbooks are written by committees in as neutral a tone as possible,... Hakim tried to make storytelling central to her work."--Alexander Stille in The New York Review of Books
"Hakim has accomplished the seemingly impossible in producing this well-researched and beautifully presented revision of her overview of our nation.... The 11 compact volumes in the History of Us series are packed with photographs, graphs, maps, and other illustrations.... Hakim's writing style is easily accessible by middle-school students yet sophisticated enough to engage the interest of older students as well. Her research is thorough.... Give these titles to students who think history is dull and boring!"--VOYA
"One of the best nonfiction series of the decade just got better.... Hakim fine-tunes her uniquely lively account of our country's history with new feature essays and updated surveys of late 20th-century science and culture. The final volume contains all or major portions of over 90 significant primary documents.... The pages have been redesigned for more visual appeal, but the previous edition's wide margins, with their plethora of well-placed definitions, comments, and quotations, remain. Volumes 1-10 end with a time line and an annotated bibliography; each one is packed with the large-scale movements and events that provide a framework for history, as well as the personalities, anecdotes, wild coincidences, and vivid detail that bring that history to life.... Impossible to put down... Belong[s] in every reference collection."--School Library Journal
"The books are very well written, presenting history more as story than the recitation of facts."--Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual
"The liveliest, most realistic, most well-received American history series ever written for children."--Los Angeles Times
"For kids who think United States history is merely sleep-inducing, author Joy Hakim offers an antidote."--Publishers Weekly
"Merits every accolade, starting with the most personal: I couldn't put it down."--Washington Post Book World
"The best American history written for young people that I have ever seen."--David Herbert Donald, Harvard University
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
Joy Hakim has done the impossible. She has students all over the country reading American history... for fun! When she writes about our country's past, she makes it an exciting and suspenseful adventure because she tells stories--great stories--from factual history. The dates and events, characters and complexities, heroes, heroines, and villains are woven into the great drama of American history, and students are reading and responding with enthusiasm. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The benefits my son has gained from this exposure to the people and principles that have made up our country's history are impressive. (We homeschool, so this was his first in-depth exposure to the whole survey of American history.) In addition to having a broad sweep of the contours of history, he also has come to appreciate many of the core values that our country was founded upon. All I need to do is to say "We hold these truths to be self-evident," and he chimes in with the next several lines from the Declaration of Independence. He has gained an appreciation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights (and knows which powers of government belong to which governmental branches). He can recognize, and quote portions of, the Gettysburg Address. He has learned about people like Patrick Henry, Sojourner Truth, John F. Kennedy, and a multitude of others who have stood up for human liberty and dignity. Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King became three of his heroes. He has come to appreciate the rich history our country has -- and how we have never yet, in all our history, truly lived up to the values that we aspire to, and how that process needs to be ongoing.
Along the journey, we have been inspired to do more learning. We took a trip to Virginia and visited Monticello, the fascinating home of Thomas Jefferson. We watched the movie "1776" and talked about the differences between the movie and what actually happened. We explored catacombs of a church that was a station on the Underground Railroad. We took three trips to Antietam, exploring together what it might have felt like to be there in the midst of that climactic battle. We watched an online video of MLK giving his "I Have a Dream Speech," and during a recent trip to Washington, we noticed the spot at the Lincoln Memorial where he stood and where, engraved in the marble, you can see a commemoration of that event. We visited the World War II memorial and remembered Pearl Harbor. We stared at the names engraved on the Vietnam War Memorial and talked about a friend of ours who escaped, with her family, from Vietnam during the boat lift. We read about more recent events -- events that I remember -- including the Iran hostage crisis, the explosion of the Challenger, the advent of the personal computer, the signing of the INF, the end of the cold war, the 2000 election, and others -- and incorporated my memories into the story that was unfolding in the pages we were reading.
In short, this series of books helped history to come to life in our family. My son has come to claim his identity as a citizen of a country that stands for certain values and that has a long ways to go to fully attaining those values.
And then, there's what this series did for me. I went through public school. I memorized all sorts of basic facts about history. I had one really amazing high school teacher who helped me to understand and appreciate the significance of contemporary world events (right during the time when communism was collapsing). I had some great history courses while in college. But somehow -- even with all of that -- I realized, as I read through this series (designed for young readers!), that there was an awful lot I didn't know. I didn't know about Las Casas. I hadn't thought about the paradox that it was slave-holding Virginians who thought and wrote most about freedom. I didn't know much about the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, or the Alien and Sedition Acts. I had never heard of Red Jacket. I had never understood the significance of the debates between Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster. I had never heard of the Amistad. I didn't know beans about Congressional Reconstruction. I had never heard of the amazing story behind Yick Wo vs. Hopkins. I didn't know, or didn't care, about the Muckrakers. And as my son and I moved into the twentieth century -- as we moved into territory that was more familiar to me -- I found myself appreciating this history in a way I never had before. I found myself constantly imagining, "What would it have been like to have lived in those times?" I was constantly marveling at the bravery and courage of people, in the past, who stood up for what was good and true and right, and at what that sometimes cost them. In short, I was inspired.
And I wept. Volume 10 (1945-2001) is worth reading all by itself. I dare you to read it and not be moved.
If you're looking for a good resource for children and youth to explore history and have it come to life, this is for you. If you're an adult and want to appreciate our history all over again -- and in a whole new light -- step into the pages of these books.
Some reviewers suggest that the series is too biased to be useful. Is it biased? Yes, absolutely. Hakim makes her bias quite evident: she believes that our nation was founded on certain principles, and that time and again we have failed to live up to them. Does the presence of this bias hurt the series? I say, "No." On the contrary, I think it enhances the series. The way she constantly reminds the reader of the founding documents of this country -- and other documents that stand in that tradition -- constantly make the reader ask: "Are we really living up to our country's potential?" Most of the time, the answer is no, not by a long shot.
Are there problems here and there? Sure. There were times when things were vague and I had to do a bit of extra explaining. There were times when Hakim would introduce technical terms without explaining what they mean. There were times when the significance of a particular event was unclear. There were times when portions of history are brushed away (her discussion of the Revolutionary War, for example, focuses much more on social realities than on military battles; and the Articles of Confederation are skipped over pretty quickly). Is any of this problematic? Well, I'm of the opinion that one has to start somewhere. My son will keep learning and growing throughout his life (and so will I!). He'll learn about stuff that didn't make it into these pages. He'll discover that other people have different opinions than Hakim does. He may come to question some of her conclusions. But does he now have a good understanding of the broad outlines of American history? Of course. Does he understand why our country was created and what a number of major historical figures think our country stands for? Yes, absolutely. Does he understand how our government works (including judicial process)? Yes, to a remarkable degree. Is he now totally hooked on history? You bet. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Was it fun and rewarding for both of us? Without question.
The question I am left with, at the end of this year-long adventure, is this: where can I find a history of the world that is filled with as much passion, as many pictures, as many quotations, as many stories of the lives of ordinary people, and as accessible to young readers, as this series is?
In History of US, Joy Hakim skillfully assembles the most relevant parts of history, and presents them in a manner that is both enlightening and entertaining. History of Us is more than the tired recall of wars and dates; it explores the world and minds of people, and provokes questions and interpretations. Well researched, it provides a thoughtfully balanced view of complicated situations, such as the impact of Europeans on the Native Americans, religious expression and intolerance, economics and immigration, and a whole lot more.
We used this award winning series as our curriculum guide for a year-long history field trip around the country, and an essential reference for our own website. Both of our kids, 10 and 8, could easily follow the flow of history, and understand the lessons that were presented.
Comprehensive, without being exhausting, this is a great work.