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Old 02-13-2007, 11:18 PM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NY but not NYC
Posts: 31,730
A quick course in American History:

Daniel Boorstin - The Americans (3 volumes)

Joseph J. Ellis - Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Catherine Drinker Bowen - Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. - The Age of Jackson abridged ed.

James J. McPherson - Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

Ray Ginger - Age of Excess: The United States from 1877 to 1914

Nathan Miller - New World Coming: The 1920s and the Making of Modern America

William Manchester - The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932-1972

Or, for a completely different approach, you could try the American Presidents Series, from Times Books. These slim biographies, only around 150 pages, cover one president each. Around 30 volumes have been published. They range from the dull but good to the lively and insightful, even though the range of authors is extremely eclectic. [From John Dean on Harding (surprisingly good) to E. L. Doctorow on Lincoln.] They would be a faster read and you'd get a good political history and feel for how each president got to the White House and what he did when he got there and why. The series is weak on social, cultural, industrial, and technological history, of course, which is not at all true for the first set of books I gave, but you need to decide what you want to start with.

Last edited by Exapno Mapcase; 02-13-2007 at 11:19 PM.