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hey123 asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

What is a good book i can read having to do w/ U.S. History......?

i have an extra-credit assignment where i have to read a book and write a paper on it.....but i really do not know which book would be a good one to read.....i want something interesting that is not's a list that my teacher gave me, there are just so many.....:

1876 by Gore Vidal

A Century of Dishonor by H. H. Jackson

A Different Mirror by R. Takaki

A History of American Law, 2d ed. Author(s): Lawrence Friedman

A History of the American People by Paul Johnson

A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic by John Ferling

A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo

A Short History of American Freedom by Eric Foner

A Short History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner

Accumulation and Power : An Economic History of the United States by Richard du Boff, M.E. Sharpe

After the Facts: The Art of Historical Detection by Davidson & Lytle

Age of Reform by Richard Hofstadter

All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Robert Woodward



America in the Twentieth Century: A History, 5th ed. Author(s): James T. Patterson from Brown University

America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam 1950-1975 by George C. Hierring

American Colonies by Alan Taylor

American Ordeal - Antiwar Movement of Vietnam by Charles Debenedetti

American Slavery by Peter Kolchin

American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by JOSEPH J. ELLIS

American's At War by Stephen Ambrose

Americans at War by Stephen E. Ambrose

America's Longest War, 4th ed. Author(s): George Herring

An American Dilemma by G. Myrdal

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution by C. & M. Beard

An Unfinished Life: JFK by R. Dallek

Andrew Carnegie – Autobiography

Andrew Jackson Author(s): Robert Remini

Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Freedom: 1822-1832 by Robert Rimini

Angel in the Whirlwind by Benson Bobrick

Update 2:

Approaches to Teaching "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” Author(s): James C. Hall, ed.

Autobiography of Malcolm X by MALCOLM X

Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson

Benjamin Franklin – Autobiography

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life Author(s): Walter Isaacson

Black Boy by Richard Wright


Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy Author(s): James Patterson

Burr by Gore Vidal

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Chants Democratic by Sean Wilentz

Cherished Myths Legends, & Lies of American History by R. Shenckman

Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose

Conduct Unbecoming a Woman: Medicine on Trial in Turn-of-the-Century Brooklyn by Regina Morantz-Sanchez


Update 3:

and so on.....there is a huge list....but i just do not know which one i should read....any ideas....?

Update 4:

yeh i know that the list is not complete.....but i did not feel like filling this whole page up so that you guys would have to scroll yeh....some good answers so far....! :)

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The list isn't complete, but if "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" by Edmund Morris is on the list, it's a must read. You'll see that Roosevelt was labeled as a "war monger", but he was really the pre-eminent environmentalist in US history. He also did more for civil rights and the labor movement than every other president of the 20th century combined. Others talk a good talk, but he walked the walk.

    If that's not an option for you, go for 1876 by Gore Vidal or Carl Sandburg's "Lincoln".

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  • 1 decade ago

    Read 'em all !!!

    That said there are so many choices and the obvious choice will always be Stephen Ambrose since he is extremely readable BUT having enjoyed the admittedly dry in spots,

    'Reconstruction; America's Unfinished Revolution' by Eric Foner I will recommend

    A Short History of American Freedom by Eric Foner

    A Short History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner

    Because unlike many of the authors listed, all great books, perhaps but with Foner you WILL learn something new. Not that I know it all but reading Foner I did learn new things and was made aware of things in ways that delighted me...

    Also thinking back on some of your earlier questions, Foner will give you a better understanding about race relations and the American Labor movement then anyone else. He has a knack for unearthing & emphasizing the most surprising things.

    As a youngster I was caught up in Vidal Mania, but as an older more mature (HA!) individual I am aware that his writing is heavilly influenced by certain class prejudices.... His books are fun but they may send you down a dangerous path....

    Ben Franklin's auto bio is fun to read but a bit hard for a 'modern' ear & sensibilities....

    Add to your list anything by David McCullough and David Haberstam - regarding McCullough avoid the obvious and go for his 'The Johnstown Flood' or 'The Great Bridge.'

    Peace. -0 - - - - oo oo p p o p o p o p o o

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  • 1 decade ago

    Non Fiction > A Short History of American Freedom by Eric Foner - A point of view that is quickly being snuffed in the USA.

    Fiction > Burr by Gore Vidal , a unique view if you read it I bet you will also want to read the other books in the trilogy 1876 and Washington D.C.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Benjamin Franklin autobiography

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  • 1 decade ago

    if you can find a short book by Howard Zinn read it because he is a really good writer and has interesting view on american politica and history. Also might want to look at his A People's History of the United States book, although its more of a text book

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  • 1 decade ago

    I suggest Black Boy by Richard Wright. I have not read this one yet, but I plan to. I have read Native Son, a novel also by Richard Wright and I must say, I enjoyed every bit of it. It was one of those novels where I just could not put down.

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  • 1 decade ago

    A Leap into the Dark is really good. I haven't finished it yet, but it is a really good read so far, and you can pick up a lot of things from it. The writing isn't terribly boring as well, and makes a great reference book..

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