United States History, General
Featured Items
On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth
On My Honor
Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth
Hardcover      ISBN: 0226517047

Highlights the key rituals and activities that shape the Boy Scouts organization, and critiques its role in turning boys into men.

Post-Nationalist American Studies
Post-Nationalist American Studies
Paperback      ISBN: 0520224396
Post-Nationalist American Studies seeks to revise the cultural nationalism and celebratory American exceptionalism that tended to dominate American Studies in the Cold War era. The goal of the book's contributors is a less insular, more trans-national, comparative approach to American Studies, one that questions dominant American myths rather than canonizes them. Articulating new ways to think about American Studies, these essays demonstrate how diverse the field has become.

Contributors are concerned with cross-cultural communication, race and gender, global and local identities, and the complex tensions between symbolic and political economies. Their essays explore, among other topics, the construction of "foreign" peoples and cultures; the notion of borders-territorial, racial, economic, and sexual; the "multilingual reality" of the United States; the place of the Mexican-American War in U.S. history; and the significance of Tiger Woods in today's global market of consumption.

Together, the essays propose a renewed vision of the United States' role in the world and how American Studies scholarship can address that vision. Each contributor includes a sample syllabus showing how the issues discussed in individual essays can be brought into the classroom.
Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture
Mystic Chords of Memory
The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture
Paperback      ISBN: 0679741771

Mystic Chords of Memory

Illustrated with hundreds of well-chosen anecdotes and minute observations . . . Kammen is a demon researcher who seems to have mined his nuggets from the entire corpus of American cultural history. . . . Insightful and sardonic.--Washington Post Book World

In this groundbreaking, panoramic work of American cultural history, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Machine That Would Go of Itself examines a central paradox of our national identity. How did the land of the future acquire a past? And to what extent has our collective memory of that past--as embodied in our traditions--been distorted, or even manufactured? Ranging from John Adams to Ronald Reagan, from the origins of Independence Day celebrations to the controversies surrounding the Vietnam War Memorial, from the Daughters of the American Revolution to immigrant associations, and filled with incisive analyses of such phenonema as Americana and its collectors, historic villages and Disneyland, Mystic Chords of Memory is a brilliant, immensely readable, and enormously important book.

Fascinating . . . a subtle and teeming narrative . . . masterly.--Time

This is a big, ambitious book, and Kammen pulls it off admirably. . . . He] brings a prodigious mind and much scholarly rigor to his task. . . . An important book--and a revealing look at how Americans look at themselves.--Milwaukee Journal
Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America
Rising Tide
The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America
Paperback      ISBN: 0684840022

An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known -- the Mississippi flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of nearly one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of blacks north, and transformed American society and politics forever.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Lillian Smith Award.

Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery
Africans in America
America's Journey Through Slavery
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0151003394

The companion volume to the public television series. This extraordinary examination of slavery in americanca features a four-part history by poet and performance artist Patricia Smith and a dozen fictional narratives by National Book Award-winning novelist Charles Johnson. Two-color with black-and-white illustrations throughout.

The Greatest Generation
The Greatest Generation
Paperback      ISBN: 0385334621

"They came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America -- men and women whose everyday lives of duty, honor, achievement, and courage gave us the world we have today."

In this magnificent testament to a nation and her people, Tom Brokaw brings to life the extraordinary stories of a generation that gave new meaning to courage, sacrifice, honor.

From military heroes to community leaders to ordinary Americans, he profiles men and women who served their country with valor, then came home and transformed America: Senator Daniel Inouye, decorated at the front, fighting prejudice at home; Martha Putney, one of the first black women to serve in the newly formed WACs; Charles Van Gorder, a doctor who set up a MASH-like medical facility in the middle of battle, then came home to open a small clinic in his hometown; Navy pilot George Bush, assigned to read the mail of the enlisted men under him, who says that in doing so "I learned about life." And there are more, all seasoned by a time of tragedy and triumph.

To this generation who gave so much and asked so little, Brokaw offers eloquent tribute in true stories of everyday heroes in extraordinary times.

Letters of the Century: America, 1900-1999
Letters of the Century
America, 1900-1999
Hardcover      ISBN: 0385315902

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.

History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Paperback      ISBN: 0486212688

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.

The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Including the Autobiography, the Declaration of Independence & His Public and Private Letters
The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson
Including the Autobiography, the Declaration of Independence & His Public and Private Letters
Paperback      ISBN: 0375752188
"Jefferson aspired beyond the ambition of a nationality, and embraced in his view the whole future of man."--Henry Adams

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) left a vast literary legacy in the form of journal entries, notes, addresses, and seventy thousand letters. This extraordinary volume represents many of his most important contributions to American political thought. It features his Autobiography, which contains the original and revised versions of the Declaration of Independence; the Anas, or Notes (1791-1809); Biographical Sketches; selections from Notes on the State of Virginia, the Travel Journals, and Essay on Anglo-Saxon; a portion of his public papers, including his first and second inaugural addresses; and more than two hundred letters. Taken together, these writings offer indispensable insight into the mind of the man who was instrumental in formulating and guiding this nation's principles.

From the Preface:

This selection from the writings of Thomas Jefferson is planned to be a comprehensive presentation of his thought. The greatest amount of space has been allotted to his letters, in the belief that they are of primary importance in revealing the man and his intellect. Jefferson's two original full-length works, the Notes on Virginia and the Autobiography, are given virtually complete. Along with his best-known public papers, selections from his minor writings are also included. Together, all these serve to depict the man who more aptly than any of his countrymen might be called the American Leonardo.
Cape Cod
Cape Cod
Paperback      ISBN: 0140170022
Thoreau's classic account of his meditative, beach-combing walking trips to Cape Cod in the early 1850s, reflecting on the elemental forces of the sea, with an introduction by Paul Theroux

Cape Cod chronicles Henry David Thoreau's journey of discovery along this evocative stretch of Massachusetts coastline, during which time he came to understand the complex relationship between the sea and the shore. He spent his nights in lighthouses, in fishing huts, and on isolated farms. He passed his days wandering the beaches, where he observed the wide variety of life and death offered up by the ocean. Through these observations, Thoreau discovered that the only way to truly know the sea--its depth, its wildness, and the natural life it contained--was to study it from the shore. Like his most famous work, Walden, Cape Cod is full of Thoreau's unique perceptions and precise descriptions. But it is also full of his own joy and wonder at having stumbled across a new frontier so close to home, where a man may stand and "put all America behind him."

Part of the Penguin Nature Library edited by Edward Hoagland

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.