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A Little History of the United States (Little Histories) by [James West Davidson]
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A Little History of the United States (Little Histories) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 184 ratings

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Review

''This is a little history with a big heart, meant to be savored more than studied, read out loud like poetry, or perhaps sung like a hymn.'' --Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers

''With imagination, verve and stylishness, James Davidson distills American history into its compelling essence. For newcomers to the subject, an incomparable primer; for veterans, the familiar made fresh with judicious insight.'' --H. W. Brands, University of Texas at Austin

''A book of literary grace and narrative invention. Not only the writing but also the conceptualization consistently engage the reader. Uncommonly imaginative.'' --Christine Heyrman, author of Southern Cross and American Apostles

''A persuasive and enjoyable read. Davidson faced a herculean task in condensing more than five hundred years of history into a slim volume. He fulfills this difficult brief with authority and brio.'' --Richard Aldous, author of Reagan and Thatcher: The Difficult Relationship --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

About the Author

James West Davidson, a widely respected historian, has written on American history and the detective work that goes into it, as well as books about the outdoors. His textbooks for the middle grades, high school and college have been read by millions of students. He is also coauthor of Great Heart, cited by the National Geographic Society as one of the 100 greatest adventure books of all time. He lives in Rhinebeck, NY.

--This text refers to the audioCD edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0106O2RN2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Yale University Press (15 September 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 9382 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 340 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 184 ratings

About the author

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James West Davidson is a historian, writer, and wilderness paddler (more at jameswestdavidson.com). He received his Ph.D. in American history from Yale University and writes full time. He is also co-editor, with Michael Stoff, of New Narratives in American History, a series published by Oxford University Press, as well as the coauthor of several textbooks in American history, including one, with Mark Lytle, on how historians go about their work: After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection. His most recent book is "A Little History of the United States," published by Yale University Press.

From the author:

On a river, an eddy line marks the boundary between slack water and swift. One side, you float idly in a calm haven; crossing the line, you're grabbed by the river and swept quickly downstream. As a historian, I've crossed more than one eddy line, each new current pulling in a different direction. One of my books is consumed with thinking about the end of the world; another describes several expeditions across the barrens of Labrador; yet another views the rise of segregation through the eyes of one woman.

A common theme uniting these starkly different subjects is an attraction to journeys and their obsessional consequences. If you believe that the prophecies of the Bible are playing out around you in real time--and that the world's end may be drawing nigh--how does that belief affect your day-to-day social and political views? I explored that question in "The Logic of Millennial Thought: Eighteenth-Century New England." If you are a black woman born into freedom after the Civil War, and wish mainly to teach school, find a husband and enjoy a decent middle-class life, how do unfolding events in the 1880s and 1890s propel you to risk life and limb by speaking out against the rising epidemic of lynching? That's the subject of "They Say': Ida B. Wells and the Reconstruction of Race." If you launch into the wilderness of Labrador in 1903, hoping to win fame as a young journalist, how far will you court starvation in order to succeed? And if you're the widow of the man who pushed too far, where will your own compulsions lead you? "Great Heart: The History of a Labrador Adventure" retraces those life-and-death obsessions.

We all begin journeys thinking we know where we're going. We seldom do. Yet the particular path of every life springs from the way in which an individual bends, breaks, or masters the larger movements of the day. As a historian, retracing such journeys provides a singular pleasure, akin to riding the unpredictable currents of a river from its turbulent headwaters to its final outwash in the sea.

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Reviewed in Australia on 3 January 2017
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Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little overview of 500 years.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 August 2021
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james mcnaught
5.0 out of 5 stars What the book contains
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 March 2021
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junior chef
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 August 2017
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Opina J
5.0 out of 5 stars Muy bien
Reviewed in Spain on 5 September 2019
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