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The Story of America

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-5517089035
ISBN-10: 8952741382
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An alternative title for this might be "The Treasury of American History" as it's an anthology of our nation's favorite stories: Lewis and Clark's expedition, Nat Turner' s revolt, Custer's last stand, Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight, and Nixon' s Watergate scandal. If the stories are familiar, the format-at least for the pre-Internet generation-is new. Adapting Web site dynamics to the printed page, the designers enhance the text with sidebars and photographic collages. The stories themselves mimic the skip-and-jump of Web narratives. Nat Turner's revolt opens with slaves plotting an uprising, then steps back to discuss the origins of slavery in the South before returning to the failed revolt and its aftermath. Readers with an above-average attention span may find the chronological shifts jolting and the cluttered pages distracting; but the book never becomes tiresome. Taken together, the stories advance two themes. Weinstein, who heads the Center for Democracy, portrays our nation's history as the crisis-ridden spread of freedom through American society and outward to rest of the world. At the same time, the authors emphasize the key role of individuals; the vivid profiles of Great Men (and Women), contributed by today's leading historians (such as Joseph Ellis and Geoffrey Ward), reinforce this message. With its lively storytelling and thorough coverage of our nation's first five centuries, this truly is a treasury. 2,000 illus.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Both of these works provide a refreshing approach to narrative histories of the United States. Weinstein (Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case), the founder and president of the Center for Democracy, and juvenile author Rubel here offer a college-level work that revolves around 26 events from American history, beginning with Cort s and Moctezuma and concluding with September 11, 2001. This approach allows the authors to contextualize events by describing a period in greater detail than in a broad overview. This thematic approach is nicely supplemented by a broad array of illustrative material, ranging from cartoons to contemporary maps, and both the layout and the graphic design are aesthetically pleasing. Each chapter is supplemented by a two-page biographical essay written by a well-regarded historian (e.g., Elliot West, Joseph Ellis, and Robert Dallek). Hakim's Freedom: A History of Us is the companion to the PBS series set to air in January 2003 and is loosely based on her popular ten-volume series, A History of Us. Hakim, a former reporter, editor, and teacher, was reportedly so appalled by the history texts her grandchildren were reading in junior high school that she set out to write her own. Her book is an extraordinary departure from the typical text found in most public schools. Her voice resonates throughout, and her tone is that of a knowledgeable but opinionated maternal figure who doesn't let every detail keep her from crafting a great story. Her work too is copiously illustrated. Although written for different audiences, both of these books are highly recommended for public libraries.
Daniel Liestman, Florida Gulf Coast Univ. Lib. Svcs., Ft. Myers
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: DK (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8952741382
  • ISBN-13: 978-8952741387
  • ASIN: 0789489031
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. Nc Shackley on September 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Beautifully presented, wonderfully written and provided with photographs and fascinating drawings throughout, The Story of America brings the USA's history to life like no other I have ever read. Twenty six chosen stories are employed to narrate its history, including The Founding of Jamestown, The battle of Little Bighorn and The Cuban Missile Crisis. Interestingly, other events that would only usually be given a brief treatment in history books, are given an in depth description here, such as Charles Lindbergh's Flight.
My only warning to potential readers/purchasers is that because, as stated, twenty six stories are used, they are described in great depth, and as the author explains at the beginning of the book, "We have made space for these details by omitting other people and events in order to deepen the context of each chapter". For example, Abraham Lincoln's profile is less than a page, whereas Lillian Hellman is given two full pages. This not to say, however, that other people and events have been completely omitted. Throughout the book, green shaded sidebars describe other characters and happenings outside the twenty six stories selected.
So, if you would like a book that covers a wide scope of history with not so much detail for each account, then it would be better to look elsewhere. If, however, you desire a unique, eye pleasing and above all enjoyable account of America's history, then look no further.
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Format: Hardcover
As a relatively new A.P. U.S.History teacher, I am faced with providing the "most bang for the buck" to my high school juniors in preparing them for the spring A.P. exam. "The Story of America" has provided me with excellent backup for the standard text I use in the A.P. class. It is so helpful that I have recommended it to my supervisor as a supplementary text for all of our International Baccalaureate students in future years. The book provides finely detailed stories and backgrounds on many topics that are barely touched on in our standard text. I don't want to belabor the readers with examples I find fascinating, but I sincerely believe that any serious History teacher would find this work immensely helpful.
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Format: Hardcover
I was so pleased to find this book, which looked like a great history resource -- it has an attractive, if slightly busy layout, with lots of interesting sidebars and photos. A casual dip into the text suggested a writing style which would hold the attention of a high school student.

Now trying to use it as a resource I find that it presents a single interpretation of history as if it is fact. There is no information about what sources are used to develop the interpretation, and no acknowledgment that there might be alternative interpretations. It is truly history as story, presented as if in the voice of an unbiased, omniscient narrator. There is no attempt to develop a critical understanding of multiple perspectives on events or the process of doing historical analysis. Even when I agree with their interpretation (frequently but not always), presenting that interpretation without reference to supporting evidence is the LAST message I want to send young scholars about the nature of history.

Attractive and nicely written, I won't be using this text as a primary resource because it does not encourage critical thinking about history.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been looking for this book for a while. Read it a long time ago and wanted a copy for myself. Thank you!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Count me on the side of those praising this book. What a shame that it seems to be out of print. At first glance, this looks like a fairly conventional, textbook-style book, though without the study questions and supplemental materials that would come with a textbook. Closer examination reveals three things.

First, this is an exceptionally handsome book. The layout and printing are beautifully done, the artwork and photographs well-chosen and vivid. Second, this is an American history book that isn't obsessed with covering everything. Each chapter is organized around a particular and significant episode (26 in all). That episode is explored in some depth. As a result, you don't get that annoying sense that you get with most textbooks, that you're just skating along the surface of events. Third, this is a book that was written, not by a committee or a group of junior editors or graduate students, but by two actual people, both of them fine scholars and writers. As a result, the writing has life and personality; it's not the bland, hideously boring writing of the majority of textbooks.

In short, I love this book, and I'm already using it with my students. Unfortunately, since it's out of print, I'm using it just by photo-copying parts of it. (Publishers, if you don't want me to break the law, get this book back in print!)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who would have thunk (sic)? TRUE American History and something to be proud of! Yay, USA! Book shipped quickly and in excellent condition.
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