These fields have grown tremendously in the past 30 years and it is disappointing that few of the lessons are trickling down into textbooks. The book also does a great job of presenting the United States within a global framework. 679 20.3 The Great Society - pg. In all places where I expected to see inclusive discussions, I found them. This begins right from the start, as the American colonies are examined within the context of European power struggles, and the creation of racialized chattel slavery is presented as the result of political and religious struggles among European nations, and with the Middle East and Africa. I noticed the repeated use of the word "spirit" (e.g., "the progressive spirit"). The second 16 chapters move all the way up to the election and presidency of Barack Obama (up until 2014). Like all history textbooks relevance is a moving target. I enjoyed reading this book! The text does fairly well with the pre-European contact period, although I’d still prefer more attention to North American Indians. I did not see any glaring factual errors in the text (nor would I expect to). I can easily quibble with some choices, but that is true of all textbooks. The images might seem a little small compared to the online interface, but there's nothing here to confuse or distract a reader. read more. The book's content extends (as of the end of 2019) to the end of the Obama administration. The text needs greater coverage of people with disabilities as historical actors and more attention to the experiences of members of immigrant groups. If one were to follow this textbook outline, chances of reaching the 21st century would greatly increase, which is something most instructors (including yours truly) struggle to accomplish. If you prefer to download the entire book at once, go to class Haiku page and download the PDF file. The text is free from excessive jargon and usually provides a clear definition of unfamiliar terms. The political issues from, say, p. 866 “Kennedy the Cold Warrior” directly led to the social upheavals covered right up to page 903, the beginning of Nixon’s story. They write that, according to George, there should be a land tax "in order to disincentivize private land ownership." It also provides a good way for the instruction to review by helping students bridge the topic and chronology over 2-3 chapters. The chapters always provide a broad overview of themes, while not being afraid to delve into lesser known historical events and figures. The Intimately Oppressed 7. I worry about students trying to read long blocks of uninterrupted text on their computers, though. Drawing the Color Line 3. By checking throughout the text, I found no glaring inaccuracies. If an instructor sets this up right, these can be very useful class or group projects. While there could have been more information on minority contributions to US History, this text was accurate and well-balanced when it came to telling different sides of the stories of History. Is the text comprehensive enough to be useful? In all, the appendices offer significantly less than many traditional US History textbooks provide. Was this the purpose of the Reconstruction specifically? The book seems consistent when it comes to presenting history from a white, male, European perspective. I hope the editors maintain good links. Each chapter contains a standard format which establishes a logical/consistent approach for following the information, which for the most part is objective. Unfortunately, by the time we get to chapter 29 (the 1960s), politics starts to dominate coverage more and more so that by chapter 31 (the 80s and 90s), it’s essentially all politics. More such synthesis segments might further enhance the overall strength of this textbook. Well-written and this text will be utilized by this professor for years to come. For example, U.S. History's first chapter's sections about Pre-Columbia America and pre-1500 Europe and Africa I will make required reading because it is important, but my students have had to rely on my lectures for this information. Each chapter is organized into units with multiple sections about a page apiece, and concludes with sample multiple choice practice, critical thinking questions, and useful key terms. If US History surveys are envisioned as addressing the dual goals of acquainting students with the broad outlines of our history (what happened, when?) Historians more recently have emphasized the continuity of the black migration in the World War I years, not so much the decades before as with the decades after. Even if a student wanted to take both halves, there's no assurances that they'd get the same teacher assigning the same open textbook. The text sings when focusing on regional histories. Many folks would disagree! Moreover, critical race theory and other 21st-century interpretative lenses are less evident than I would have liked. For certain student populations, this would be a benefit, but instructors should be aware of this, especially if their goal is to get students to write and speak in more formal, academic terms. The description of Central Mexico’s nation-states, urban spaces that often held populations of more than 60,000 people as “tribes” also gives a distorted view of the region’s past. You also will find many beautiful pictures of the events and people who shaped that history. If we adopt this book, we will likely adjust our survey courses so they splint in 1877. NOTE: My comments apply ONLY to the post-1865 chapters (16-32). The chapter just seems like an excuse to tell European history. It also does a fair job of covering African American history. The linked resources are well-chosen but marginalize digital divide students. Though limited in content, the organizational framework/index of the text serves as a sufficient "guide" for a general survey course; however, it will need to be... That being said, the text is far more broad than it is deep. Reviewed by Judith Osborn, Instructor, Umpqua Community College on 6/23/20, In comparison with commercial textbooks, the range and coverage are good. I have some problems with the chronologies in some cases, like running the Progressive Era up to 1920. The period of 1760-1790 is explored in chapters 5, 6... While some 14-year-olds did get into the CCC, they only did so by lying about their age; the intended minimum was never lower than 17. There are, however, some curiosities. This book contains 32 chapters, which can be reorganized and allows for a selection of specific chapters as needed. Moreover, considering its modularity, it allows any instructor to create their own structure. This helps greatly with modularity, but limits what the text offers students in terms of connecting different aspects of US history. The framework and terminology are consistent. This text covers Pre-Colombian U.S. to the 21st Century. Very consistent. Clear enough; I didn't notice it. I'd judge this book's comprehensiveness to be about average or a little better. Therefore, I do not regard this question of longevity as relevant to this book. Reviewed by Jeannie Harding, Adjunct Instructor, James Madison University on 7/8/19, One of the strengths of this text is its comprehensiveness. The supposed virtue of open source textbooks at this historical moment seems to be price, and I have strong sympathies with attempts to reduce the outrageous costs that students in the US must pay for higher education. It has none that I saw. Very logical presentation and thoughtful arrangement of the text. In Chapter 17.1 an 1845 quote from John O' Sullivan speaks about the meaning of the phrase Manifest Destiny. Reviewed by Tom Nejely, Instructor, Klamath Community College on 6/20/17, I am reviewing this text from the viewpoint of a community college survey course, whose students may or may not be at college level writing. The flow was sound, I appreciated the opening hook and the lead prompts or questions under the sub-chapter sections. The most puzzling to me is the treatment of Manifest Destiny. Asian American history is not dealt with in any sustained manner. Reviewed by John Haymond, Adjunct Instructor of History, Riverland Community College on 6/20/17, I was most interested in the portions of this text that dealt with events from mid-19th century to the First World War, but I still read through sections bracketing that date range. The call for more inclusive historical matter is loud. The summary indicating how Reaganomics hurt many vulnerable people while allowing yuppies to prosper puts this cool and fun examination into broader and more crucial historical perspective. The pictures and navigation are nicely done. It is history so things generally follow a chronological order. In a large department where the starting dates need to be clearly defined, this would be a problem. This is not how I teach my class, though--I usually devote a class or two to Vietnam alone. The book is also easily adaptable to the two US History survey structure most colleges and universities follow. This US History text is certainly comprehensive. I believe the text is respectful and inclusive. On the other hand, that's an opportunity to have students reach further abroad for sources instead of just one textbook. The text is inclusive and represents many different groups. The reason for those emphases isn’t clear. The content is quite up to date and relevant. I read each chapter in one sitting without any difficulty. The organization is fairly conventional for a survey text of this kind. I think this does an excellent job of emphasizing the many different ways historians think about the past, and different areas of students learning. read more. While no history text can be completely unbiased, this text presents a balanced view. In section 28.5, for instance, the Double "V" campaign and the G.I> Bill's reinforcement of redlining in urban areas are both re-stated as framing mechanisms for civil rights struggles in the 1950s. In Teaching the American People we have sought to suggest specific ways in which the text might be used to enliven your classroom and improve your students' learning and appreciation of American history. Some of the chapter images could be displayed more clearly: for example, time-line images, such as the one in Chapter 12.1 and the painting in 12.4, are not clear or difficult to view making them less advantageous as visual aids. The American Journey - Chapter 7 (Pages 190-215) The chapters are broken into easily digestible parts. Overall, the book's historical accuracy is very high--I had few complaints with the content, even in areas, like the civil rights movement, that my own research focuses on. Yes, the textbook does a good job at tackling many topics with the use of the latest scholarship. I could see using this text in an American Studies course, with the inclusion of supplemental essays and excerpts from primary texts. The text is set out in such a way that it can be easily updated with 21st-century developments, and the chapters and sections are set out so that they could be enhanced without disturbing the overarching structure of the text. The most concerning aspect of the book is the casual and often sloppy nature of the text. The book tends to be wordy in that much of the writing is in passive voice. Readers learn about different time periods from the perspectives not only of leaders and elites, but individuals and groups who are often neglected or omitted by more traditional texts. For instance, there was no serious discussions of "whiteness" or "settler colonialism" or even the intellectual history of race that would have helped to conceptualize and unify some of the material. Like most other recent texts with which I am familiar, it strives to present a variety of perspectives. Three features—“Defining ‘American’ “, “My Story” and “Americana”—present a wide-ranging multicultural view of the past. At the same time, it's interesting that the chapter on westward expansion after the Civil War spans 1840 to 1890 and includes Manifest Destiny and the Oregon Trail. US History is certainly comprehensive: the task of tracing the development of the United States from pre-colonial times to the second term of President Barack Obama is a daunting one. This book is current as of 2014. This changes though after the 1960s as the more modern organizational ideas are what get passed over in the latter chapters. I will comment on the images elsewhere. There were no issues in this area. While there is not a lot of depth in the chapters, it makes a great overview do use if the instructor adds supplemental readings. The inclusion of museum links, and other informational links, was a highlight of this text. I did feel that the extent given to the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War was excessive (I served during this period). For this comment I read with interest the last sections of the text which are the most modern. Speaking specifically of this text's treatment of American westward expansion, the period of frontier conflict with Native Americans, and the latter half of the 19th century, I found it to be highly problematic. This early under-representation of environmental influences upon history continues throughout the text, as does a more general lack of attention to the stories of regular people. In the very same paragraph, to say that “Sub-Saharan Africans had little experience in maritime matters. The book is longer on the 18th and 19th century than the 20th, so that is a concern. The chapters before 1930 (16-25) are the most comprehensive. There’s a lot of Hoover in the Depression, too. Providing some additional primary sources into some of the chapters would be great. The Table of Contents is interactive so clicking on a chapter title immediately brings readers to that chapter in the text. If I could, I would give this a five plus rating!! Ideally, a history text should be accessible enough to allow students to engage with its material, but also written so as to challenge their preconceptions (if they have any), stimulate their analytical thinking, and encourage further exploration. The books covers the political narrative relatively thoroughly, but skews its attention to England and Europe over other areas of the Atlantic World in early chapters. I think that the text might work better in a history course that ended in 1914, since the sections that covered the colonial, Civil War, and Progressive eras were lengthier and more developed. A similar problem is present in the history of indigenous people before Europeans and the history of the Spanish empire, both of which are poorly covered and in some cases completely wrong statements are made. The richness of this text far surpasses other US History texts I have used in the past. I mentioned the post-1945 split. Order a print copy. A major increase in endemic, continuous warfare, raids by non-Mayan peoples, an urban population too large to be sustained by their agriculture, and the loss of faith in their rulers and the ceremonies centered in these urban ceremonial centers were also key factors in the decline. The text is clear and presented at a high-school and college level. The book is also imprecise about what President Johnson and the Democratic National Committee offered to the Mississippi Freedom delegation at the 1964 party convention. Maybe comprehensive to a fault. Actually, George's intention was to disincentivize ownership of more land than one needed to make a productive living, ownership of land to charge rent on or to speculate on the western frontier. The book has a consistent approach throughout, balancing the larger historical context of key developments and important people with explorations of less-known, but still important events along with the stories of lesser-known historical figures. Other reviewers have criticized omission of particular elements of US History (Japanese internment, US response to the Holocaust, etc. I didn't mean this to be a list of pop history, but I think it's too late now, so you might as well go ahead. Chapters are mostly divided in a way that mirrors my class syllabus, and the text maintains a clear historical thread of cause and effect throughout. I thought the writing in the text is one of the strong points. The material is fairly modular (perhaps to a fault -- it seems fragmented in places), so it shouldn't be too difficult to add these sorts of conceptual tools with minimal editing. For example, in discussing the reasons for the Japanese surrender in the Second World War, they discussed the dropping of the atomic bomb but did not mention the impact of the Soviet declaration of war on Japan in the final days before the surrender. As much as I appreciate the subject's inclusion, however, the section puts too much emphasis on white rockabilly performers and Alan Freed, when black R&B artists and independent radio stations were just as crucial in creating and popularizing this music. The Beginner's American History by D. H. Montgomery Gutneberg Text. That said, this one does not seem too far out of the standard range among US history textbooks. I find it - appropriate to the student population I deal with - reasonably accurate, error-free, and unbiased. Necessary updates – as long as they stay within the general narrative structure– will be easy to incorporate. Images and other graphics appeared as expected. It’s obviously meant for an introductory-level student in search of an overview, not for advanced students focusing on some particular subject or era. cowboys
This textbook does an exceptional job of providing a comprehensive though still nuanced portrait of US history. Occasionally, the link goes to dot.com site where readers will find pages that include advertisements for commercial products and services. Given my emphasis on causation and action in student writing, this is a problem for me. Reviewed by Arlene Reilly-Sandoval, Associate Professor, Colorado State University-Pueblo on 2/1/18, This text covers Pre-Colombian U.S. to the 21st Century. I didn't find any editing problems that would interfere with student learning. The organization within chapters is driven by well-designed sections and subsections and will, in my opinion, serve students well. Most presidents are given a brief biography and discussion of their importance within particular historical periods. I also found it useful that each chapter ends with a summary paragraph explaining how the changes just discussed will affect the events covered in the next chapter. Nothing seems obviously out of place within the general organization of the text. The book is comprehensive, perhaps to a fault. Typos, too, seem rare. Six years of history since 2013 has substantively impacted the American political dynamics that should be addressed for its contemporary value. The book is not as polished-looking as a "normal" textbook. And then, most of the material there is political. The book is consistent in describing different viewpoints and the historical record. It will have a long shelf-life and can easily be updated should the need arise. On the online version, there should be page numbers. But as for the rest of the text it is wll done. I had no problems navigating the text or using the various links. The text makes the effort the mention that Richard was named the “the Lionheart,” Charles Martel “the Hammer,” and Henry “the Navigator.” More information on Songhay or the Kongo would have allowed for mention of Askiya the Great or Affonso the Great. There are few overly long sentences, and the use of language and terminology seems well within the range of most undergraduate students. Reviewed by Daniel Morales, Assistant Professor, James Madison University on 2/13/19, The textbook covers most of the areas of US history, perhaps too much as some points and not enough in others but overall is comprehensive in covering political history. In the section about the Stamp Act crisis of 1765, the book is imprecise about the specifics of when and how the Boston mob ransacked Lieut. The last chapter is excellent in bring us up to the last few years of history. Reviewed by Thomas Woodhouse, Instructor, Riverland Community College on 6/20/17, This textbook is comprehensive. I noticed only a couple: George Percy is misidentified as “Henry” in the section on early Jamestown and West Berlin's Tempelhof Airport is misspelled as “Templehof” in a picture caption of the section dealing with the Berlin Blockade. 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