United States History, General
The Oregon Trail
The Conspiracy of Pontiac
Hardcover ISBN: 0940450542
“From boyhood,” wrote Francis Parkman, “I had a taste for the woods and the Indians.” This Library of America volume, containing The Oregon Trail and The Conspiracy of Pontiac, brilliantly demonstrates this lifelong fascination. Parkman traveled through the West in 1846 after graduating from Harvard. His first book, The Oregon Trail, is a vivid account of his frontier adventures and his encounters with Plains Indians in their final era of nomadic life. The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada, Parkman’s first historical work, portrays the fierce conflict that erupted along the Great Lakes in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War and chronicles the defeats in which the eastern Native American tribes “received their final doom.” The Oregon Trail (1849) opens on a Missouri River steamboat crowded with traders, gamblers, speculators, Oregon emigrants, “mountain men,” and Kansas Indians. In his search for Natives untouched by white culture, Parkman meets the Whirlwind, a Sioux chieftain, and follows him through the Black Hills. His descriptions of natives’ buffalo hunts, feasts and games, feuds, and gift-giving derive their intensity from his awareness that he was recording a vanishing way of life. Praised by Herman Melville for its “true wild-game flavor,” The Oregon Trail is a classic tale of adventure that celebrates the rich variety of life Parkman found on the frontier and the immensity and grandeur of America’s western landscapes. In The Conspiracy of Pontiac (1851), Parkman chronicles the consequences of the French defeat in Canada for the eastern Native American tribes. At the head of the Native American resistance to the Anglo-American advance in the 1760s was the daring Ottawa leader Pontiac, whose attacks on the frontier forts and settlements put in doubt the continuation of western expansion. A powerful narrative of battles and skirmishes, treaties and betrayals, written with eloquence and fervor and filled with episodes of heroism and endurance, The Conspiracy of Pontiac captures the spirit of a tragic and tumultuous age.
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Whiteness of a Different Color
European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race
Paperback ISBN: 0674951913
America's racial odyssey is the subject of this remarkable work of historical imagination. Matthew Frye Jacobson argues that race resides not in nature but in the contingencies of politics and culture. In ever-changing racial categories we glimpse the competing theories of history and collective destiny by which power has been organized and contested in the United States. Capturing the excitement of the new field of "whiteness studies" and linking it to traditional historical inquiry, Jacobson shows that in this nation of immigrants "race" has been at the core of civic assimilation: ethnic minorities in becoming American were reracialized to become Caucasian. He provides a counterhistory of how nationality groups such as the Irish or Greeks became Americans as racial groups like Celts or Mediterraneans became Caucasian. Jacobson tracks race as a conception and perception, emphasizing the importance of knowing not only how we label one another but also how we see one another, and how that racialized vision has largely been transformed in this century. The stages of racial formation--race as formed in conquest, enslavement, imperialism, segregation, and labor migration--are all part of the complex, and now counterintuitive, history of race. Whiteness of a Different Color traces the fluidity of racial categories from an immense body of research in literature, popular culture, politics, society, ethnology, anthropology, cartoons, and legal history, including sensational trials like the Leo Frank case and the Draft Riots of 1863.
Letters of the Century
Hardcover ISBN: 0385315902
A collection of fascinating letters by Americans famous and obscure chronicles a century of life in the United States, from Mark Twain's side-splitting 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. Reissue.
History of the United States of America During the Administrations of James Madison
Hardcover ISBN: 0940450356
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.
France and England North America
Hardcover ISBN: 0940450100
This Library of America volume, along with its companion, presents, for the first time in compact form, all seven titles of Francis Parkman’s monumental account of France and England’s imperial struggle for dominance on the North American continent. Deservedly compared as a literary achievement to Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Parkman’s accomplishment is hardly less awesome than the explorations and adventures he so vividly describes. Pioneers of France in the New World (1865) begins with the early and tragic settlement of the French Huguenots in Florida, then shifts to the northern reaches of the continent and follows the expeditions of Samuel de Champlain up the St. Lawrence River and into the Great Lakes as he mapped the wilderness, organized the fur trade, promoted Christianity among the natives, and waged a savage forest campaign against the Iroquois. The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century (1867) traces the zealous efforts of the Jesuits and other Roman Catholic orders to convert the Native American tribes of North America. La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1869) records that explorer’s voyages on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and his treks, often alone, across the vast western prairies and through the labyrinthine swamps of Louisiana. The Old Régime in Canada (1874) recounts the political struggles among the religious sects, colonial officials, feudal chiefs, royal ministers, and military commanders of Canada. Their bitter fights over the monopoly of the fur trade, the sale of brandy to the natives, the importation of wives from the orphanages and poorhouses of France, and the bizarre fanaticism of religious extremists and their “incessant supernaturalism” animate this pioneering social history of early Canada. 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.