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American History Course Essentials

American History Course Essentials

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Across This Land Across This Land: A Regional Geography of the United States and Canada, second edition

John C. Hudson

Based on decades of research and written in clear, concise prose by one of the foremost geographers in North America, John C. Hudson's Across This Land is a comprehensive regional geography of the North American continent. Dividing the terrain into ten regions, which are then subdivided into twenty-seven smaller areas, Hudson's brisk narrative reveals the dynamic processes of each area's distinctive place-specific characteristics. Focusing on how human activities have shaped and have been shaped by the natural environment, Hudson considers physical, political, and historical geography. He also highlights related topics, including resource exploitation, economic development, and population change. 

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Law and People in Colonial America Law and People in Colonial America, second edition

Peter Charles Hoffer

In Law and People in Colonial America, Peter Charles Hoffer tells the story of early American law from its beginnings on the British mainland to its maturation during the crisis of the American Revolution. Because it was their law, the colonists continually adapted it to fit changing circumstances. They also developed a sense of legalism that influenced virtually all social, economic, and political relationships. This intimacy with the law, Hoffer argues, assumed a transforming power in times of crisis. In the midst of a war for independence, American revolutionaries used their intimacy with the law to explain how their rebellion could be lawful, while legislators wrote republican constitutions that would endure for centuries.

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The Backwash of War

The Backwash of War: An Extraordinary American Nurse in World War I

Ellen N. La Motte

edited with an introduction and biography by Cynthia Wachtell

In September 1916, as World War I advanced into a third deadly year, an American woman named Ellen N. La Motte published a collection of stories about her experience as a war nurse. Deemed damaging to morale, The Backwash of War was immediately banned in both England and France and later censored in wartime America. At once deeply unsettling and darkly humorous, this compelling book presents a unique view of the destruction wrought by war to the human body and spirit.                                                 Long neglected, it is an astounding book by an extraordinary woman and merits a place among major works of WWI literature. 

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Black Power

Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity, updated edition

Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar

This updated edition of Ogbar's classic work contains a new preface that describes the book's genesis and links the Black Power movement to the Black Lives Matter movement. A thoroughly updated essay on sources contains a comprehensive review of Black Power–related scholarship. Ultimately, Black Power reveals a black freedom movement in which the ideals of desegregation through nonviolence and black nationalism marched side by side.

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Up The Trail

Up the Trail: How Texas Cowboys Herded Longhorns and Became an American Icon

Tim Lehman

Lehman demystifies the cowboy life by describing the origins of the cattle drive and the extensive planning, complicated logistics, great skill, and good luck essential to getting the cows to market. He reveals how drives figured into the larger story of postwar economic development and traces the complex effects the cattle business had on the environment. Grounded in primary sources, this absorbing book takes advantage of recent scholarship on labor, race, gender, and the environment. The lively narrative will appeal to students of Texas and western history as well as anyone interested in cowboy culture.

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The Coming of Democracy

The Coming of Democracy: Presidential Campaigning in the Age of Jackson

Mark R. Cheathem

The Coming of Democracy examines the evolution of presidential campaigning from 1824 to 1840. Addressing the roots of early republic cultural politics—from campaign biographies to songs, political cartoons, and public correspondence between candidates and voters—Cheathem asks the reader to consider why such informal political expressions increased so dramatically during the Jacksonian period. Drawing on period newspapers, diaries, memoirs, and public and private correspondence, The Coming of Democracy is the first book-length treatment to reveal how presidents and presidential candidates used both old and new forms of cultural politics to woo voters and win elections in the Jacksonian era.

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The Webster-Hayne Debate: Defining Nationhood in the Early American Republic

Christopher Childers

In The Webster-Hayne Debate, Christopher Childers focuses on the sharp dispute that engaged Webster and Hayne in January 1830. A concise, accessible account of the conflict and the related issues it addressed, The Webster-Hayne Debate captures an important moment in the early republic. Ideal for use in college classrooms or for readers interested in American history, this book examines a pivotal moment and a critical problem in the history of US politics. It also shows how Americans grappled with the issues of nationalism, sectionalism, and the meaning of union itself—issues that still resonate today.

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Young Frederick DouglassYoung Frederick Douglass

Dickson J. Preston

with a new foreword by David W. Blight

Drawing on previously untapped sources, Young Frederick Douglass recreates with fidelity and in convincing detail the background and early life of the man who was to become the undisputed spokesman for nineteenth-century black Americans. Astounding his white contemporaries with his oratorical brilliance and intellectual capabilities, Douglass dared to challenge the doctrine of white supremacy on its own grounds. At the time of Douglass’s death in 1895, one eulogist wrote that he was probably the best-known American throughout the world since Abraham Lincoln.

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Charging Up

Charging Up San Juan Hill: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of Imperial America

John R. Van Atta

In Charging Up San Juan Hill, John R. Van Atta recounts that fateful day in 1898. Describing the battle’s background and its ramifications for Roosevelt, both personal and political, Van Atta explains how Roosevelt’s wartime experience prompted him to champion American involvement in world affairs. Tracking Roosevelt’s rise to the presidency, the book argues that the global expansion of American influence—indeed, the building of an empire outward from a strengthened core of shared values at home—connected to the broader question of cultural sustainability as much as it did to the increasing of trade, political power, and military might.

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Rees Cover

Before the Refrigerator: How We Used To Get Ice

Jonathan Rees

Drawing on newspapers, trade journals, and household advice books, Before the Refrigerator explains how Americans built a complex system to harvest, store, and transport ice to everyone who wanted it, even the very poor. Reviewing all the inventions that made the ice industry possible and the way they worked together to prevent ice from melting, Rees demonstrates how technological systems can operate without a central controlling force. Before the Refrigerator is ideal for history of technology classes, food studies classes, or anyone interested in what daily life in the United States was like between 1880 and 1930.

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The Secret History of the Jersey DevilThe Secret History of the New Jersey Devil: How Quakers, Hucksters, and Benjamin Franklin Created a Monster

Brian Regal and Frank J. Esposito

According to Regal and Esposito, everything you think you know about the Jersey Devil is wrong. The real story of the Jersey Devil’s birth is far more interesting, complex, and important than most people—believers and skeptics alike—realize. Fascinating and lively, this book finds the origins of New Jersey’s favorite monster not in witchcraft or an unnatural liaison between woman and devil but in the bare-knuckled political fights and religious upheavals of colonial America. Providing a complete reappraisal of an old and popular legend, this book will entertain readers interested in colonial America, the history of New Jersey, or cryptozoology.

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Born in the Country

Born in the Country: A History of Rural America 3rd Edition

David B. Danbom

David B. Danbom’s Born in the Country was the first—and still the only—general history of rural America. Ranging from pre-Columbian times to the enormous changes of the twentieth century, the book masterfully integrates agricultural, technological, and economic themes with new questions about the American experience. In a new and provocative concluding chapter, Danbom reflects on increasing consumer disenchantment with and resistance to modern agriculture as well as the transformation of rural America into a place where farmers are a shrinking minority.

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