America's greatest historians examine thirty-one uncelebrated days that changed the course of history There are moments in American history when something old ends and something new begins. These are the days of destiny. We asked some of the most respected (and best-selling) historians of our time to choose specific days on which American history turned. Their responses make up the month's worth of essays included in this volume. Some chose wars and battles, politics and presidents; others found answers in less well-known areas of historical study: the Great Awakening of the 1740s, the Indian Wars of the 1870s, the plight of working women at the turn of the twentieth century, the countercultural efflorescence of the late 1960s. In Days of Destiny: Crossroads in American History, the Society of American Historians brings you thirty-one engaging narratives, each illuminating with crisp prose and unparalleled scholarship an event that profoundly shaped the nation and world in which we live in. From King Philip's 1675 parley with white colonial officials to the 1973 research conference at which the biotechnology revolution was announced, these vignettes will transport you to places and introduce you to people who have made a continuing difference in the history of America.
How do nations and aggrieved parties, in the wake of heinous crimes and horrible injustices, make amends in a positive way to acknowledge wrong-doings and redefine future interactions? How does the growing practice of making restitution restore a sense of morality and enhance prospects for world peace? Where has restitution worked and where has it not?
Since the end of World War II, the victims of historical injustices and crimes against humanity have increasingly turned to restitution, financial and otherwise, as a means of remedying past suffering. In "The Guilt of Nations," Elazar Barkan offers a sweeping look at the idea of restitution and its impact on the concept of human rights and the practice of both national and international politics. Through in-depth explorations of reparation demands for a wide variety of past wrongs--the Holocaust; Japanese enslavement of "comfort women" in Korea and the Philippines; the internment of Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor; German art in Russian museums and Nazi gold in Swiss banks; the oppression of indigenous peoples in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. mainland, and Hawaii; and the enduring legacy of slavery and institutional racism among African Americans--Barkan confronts the difficulties in determining victims and assigning blame in the aftermath of such events, understanding what might justly be restored through restitutions, and assessing how these morally and politically charged acknowledgments of guilt can redefine national histories and identities.
Of Borders and Dreams: A Mexican-American Experience of Urban Education is the story of Alejandro Juarez, Jr., a Mexican-American youth, his family, and their experiences in a bureaucratic and frustrating public school system. Located in Chicago's west-side neighborhood, replete with crime, violence, and gangs, we first come to know Alejandro as a shy, good-natured fifth grader, the oldest child in a close-knit Mexican family. We follow Chris Carger, the author and Alejandro's ESL teacher, as she sets forth with his mother on a journey to provide him with the education he needs and deserves.
Of Borders and Dreams is an intelligent, probing portrayal of the problems that face bilingual and bicultural children. Through Alejandro's story, we are moved and enraged by the failure of the American school system to offer better opportunities for all children regardless of race, sex, or class. This book is of enormous importance to teachers and educators on all levels, and anyone interested in the future of education in America.
Letters chronicle a century of life in the United States, from Mark Twain's humorous letter to the head of Western Union to Einstein's warning to Roosevelt about atomic warfare and a young Bill Gates begging hobbyists not to share software.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZEDrawing on the diaries of one woman in eighteenth-century Maine, this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier. Between 1785 and 1812 a midwife and healer named Martha Ballard kept a diary that recorded her arduous work (in 27 years she attended 816 births) as well as her domestic life in Hallowell, Maine. On the basis of that diary, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich gives us an intimate and densely imagined portrait, not only of the industrious and reticent Martha Ballard but of her society. At once lively and impeccably scholarly, A Midwife's Tale is a triumph of history on a human scale.
Enriched by the wealth of new research into women's history, No Small Courage offers a lively chronicle of American experience, charting women's lives and experiences with fascinating immediacy from the precolonial era to the present. Individual stories and primary sources-including letters, diaries, and news reports-animate this history of the domestic, professional, and political efforts of American women.John Demos begins the book with a discussion of Native American women confronting colonization. Leading historians illuminate subsequent eras of social and political change-including Jane Kamensky on women's lives in the colonial period, Karen Manners Smith on the rising tide of political activity by women in the Progressive Era, Sarah Jane Deutsch on the transition of 1920s optimism to the harsh realities of the Great Depression, Elaine Tyler May on the challenges to a gender-defined social order encouraged by World War II, and William H. Chafe on the women's movement and the struggle for political equality since the 1960s. The authors vividly relate such events as Anne Hutchinson's struggle for religious expression in Puritan Massachusetts, former slave Harriet Tubman's perilous efforts to free others in captivity, Rosa Parks's resistance to segregation in the South, and newfound opportunities for professional and personal self-determination available as a result of decades of protest. Dozens of archival illustrations add to the human dimensions of the authoritative text. No Small Courage dynamically captures the variety and significance of American women's experience, demonstrating that the history of our nation cannot be fully understood without focusing on changes in women's lives.
This monumental work, the second of two Library of America volumes, culminated Henry Adams's lifelong fascination with the American past. Writing at the height of his powers, Adams understood the true subject as the consolidation of the American nation and character, and his treatment has never been surpassed.Covering the eight years spanning the presidency of James Madison, this volume chronicles "Mr. Madison's War"--the most bungled war in American history. The President and Congress delay while the United States is bullied and insulted by both England and France; then they plunge the country into the War of 1812 without providing the troops, monies, or fleets to wage it. The incompetence of the commanders leads to a series of disasters--including the burning of the White House and Capitol while Madison and his cabinet, fleeing from an invading army, watch from the nearby hills of Maryland and Virginia. The war has its heroes, too: William Henry Harrison at Tippecanoe and Andrew Jackson at New Orleans, Commodores Perry and Decatur and the officers and crew of the Constitution. As Adams tells it, though, disgrace, is averted by other means: the ineptitude of the British, the skill of the American artillerymen and privateers, and the diplomatic brilliance of Albert Gallatin and John Quincy Adams, who negotiated the peace treaty at Ghent. The history, full of reversals and paradoxes, ends with the largest irony of all: the United States, the apparent loser of the war, emerges as a great new world power destined to eclipse its European rivals. LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
From the co-author of KGB: The Inside Story and an acknowledged authority on the subject comes "the most important book ever written about American intelligence."--David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers and Hitler's Spies