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.
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.
From May 1804 to September 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark undertook one of the great adventures of modern man. Their government-sponsored exploration of the wilderness between the Mississippi River and the Pacific covered, in total miles, a distance equal to one-third the circumference of the earth and took its participants through what is now mapped as Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Washington State, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. It was an epoch-making expedition through one of the most magnificent geographical areas of the world.
The story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is America's national epic. Both men proved themselves not only intrepid pioneers but also acute observers and top-flight journalists. Their day-to-day journal filled thousands of pages with the most complete and authentic record of any exploring venture in history. But the world had to wait years for the story. In 1814, the only authorized history of the expedition, a personal narrative pieced together by Nicholas Biddle from the journal manuscript, finally appeared. While undeniably exciting, that publication left a lot to be desired. Only with the appearance, in 1893, of the four-volume Elliott Coues edition was the story told in such a way as to be both a thrilling narrative and a valuable document for students of Americana, historians, and all others interested in this vital chapter in the opening up of the American West.
Now that four-volume set is reprinted in its entirety in a three-volume edition. Here is the whole story as summarized by Biddle: encounters with dozens of Indian tribes; descriptions of their political and social organization, dress, living habits, and ways; personal anecdotes of courage and stamina; vivid descriptions of staggering natural wonders that no white man had ever seen. Here, too, is all the material that Coues added: chapter synopses; critical footnotes that clarify hundreds of obscure references, add important biological data, provide modern locations of camp and exploration sites, bring into account additional material from the manuscript journal, and correct countless errors; a bibliographical introduction; brief Memoirs of Clark and the expedition's sergeant, Patrick Gass; a modern map to supplement Lewis and Clark's originals; and a much-needed index.
Intended not only to further knowledge of North American geography but also to see the extension of American commerce, the Lewis and Clark Expedition marked the beginning of major growth in the United States. Partly because of this and partly because of its inherent excitement, this firsthand account should be read by every student of American history as well as by all who enjoy the adventure of exploration.
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.
With more than 1,100 entries written by some 500 distinguished contributors, The Oxford Companion to American Military History is "the most comprehensive treatment of American military history ever compiled" (Parameters: U.S. Army War College Quarterly) and an "easy-to-browse, well-organized work" (The Washington Post).Here is a gold mine of information on American military history, exploring battles and soldiers, ships and weapons, services and doctrines--as well as the social and cultural impact of the U.S. military at home and around the world.
The Oxford Companion to American Military History boasts over 1,100 entries written by some 500 distinguished contributors. Readers will find Stephen E. Ambrose writing on the D-Day landing, James M. McPherson on the battle of Antietam, John Keegan on the changing experience of combat, Jean Bethke Elshtain on Jane Addams, Mark A. Noll on religion and war, and Robert M. Utley on Sitting Bull. Ranging from brief factual pieces to extensive essays, the entries examine every major war from the Revolution to the Persian Gulf; important battles from Bunker Hill, to the Alamo, Gettysburg, Little Bighorn, Normandy, and Khe Sanh; and military leaders from Washington to Grant, Lee, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Westmoreland, and Schwarzkopf. Moreover, the Companion goes well beyond the usual "drum and trumpet" coverage to examine a wide range of subjects you might not expect to find. There are entries on relevant acts of Congress and on diplomatic policies such as the Monroe Doctrine and the Marshall Plan; on peace and antiwar movements; on war in film, literature, music, and photography; and on war viewed through the disciplinary lenses of anthropology, economics, gender studies, and psychology. The result is the widest ranging account compiled in one volume of war, peace, and the U.S. military.
With over a thousand authoritative and vividly written entries, maps of several major wars, extensive cross-referencing, lists of further readings, and an index, this volume is the first place to turn for information on our nation's military history.
This fascinating book is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins.While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time. In this sense, nearly all Americans are "Albion's Seed," no matter what their ethnicity may be. The concluding section of this remarkable book explores the ways that regional cultures have continued to dominate national politics from 1789 to 1988, and still help to shape attitudes toward education, government, gender, and violence, on which differences between American regions are greater than between European nations.
In the early 1800s, when once-powerful North American Indian peoples were being driven west across the Mississippi, a Shawnee prophet collapsed into a deep sleep. When he awoke, he told friends and family of his ascension to Indian heaven, where his grandfather had given him a warning: "Beware of the religion of the white man: every Indian who embraces it is obliged to take the road to the white man's heaven; and yet no red man is permitted to enter there, but will have to wander about forever without a resting place."
The events leading to this vision are the subject of A Spirited Resistance, the poignant story of the Indian movement to challenge Anglo-American expansionism. Departing from the traditional confines of the history of American Indians, Gregory Evans Dowd carefully draws on ethnographic sources to recapture the beliefs, thoughts, and actions of four principal Indian nations--Delaware, Shawnee, Cherokee, and Creek. The result is a sensitive portrayal of the militant Indians--often led by prophets--who came to conceive of themselves as a united people, and launched an intertribal campaign to resist the Anglo-American forces.
Dowd also uncovers the Native American opposition to the movement for unity. That opposition, he finds, was usually the result of divisions within Indian communities rather than intertribal rivalry. In fact, Dowd argues, intertribal enmity had little to do with the ultimate failure of the Indian struggle; it was division within Indian communities, colonial influence on Indian government, and the sheer force of the Anglo-American campaign that brought the Indian resistance movement to an end. An evocative history of long frustration and ultimate failure, A Spirited Resistance tells of a creative people, whose insights, magic, and ritual add a much-needed dimension to our understanding of the American Indian.
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.