The Complete Idiot's Guide to American History, 5th Editionby Alan Axelrod
American history is one of those subjects that students frequently labor over and can seem like a random collection of names, dates, and events. Understood as a collective biography and free of the cheerleading found in many text books, the fully updated fifth edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to American/b>
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Beginning with the first humanoids to walk the western hemisphere, Mr. Axelrod takes the reader on a historical journey of America from pre-Columbus native Americans and the Spanish Conquistadors all the way to the Cold War and the '08 election of Barack Obama in an engaging manner that will keep you turning the pages. His writing style is thankfully professional but stimulating, perhaps due to the author's recognition of the fact that those who seek abridged historical tomes are not, in fact, the intellectually deprived requiring intensive rudimentary tutoring but rather are conscientious individuals responsibly seeking broader education in their own manner. This book was written with this demographic in mind. If you find yourself having difficulty recalling key milestones in our country's history such as the Missouri Compromise, the League of Nations, the Treaty of Versailles, the oft-vague Spanish-American or Tripolitan Wars, Wounded Knee, the Marshall Plan, the Three-fifths Compromise, the New Deal and the Truman Doctrine, this brief but certainly ample account will commend itself to you satisfactorily. My only reservation about the book was the curious exclusion of a reproduction of the country's most important documents, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, pertinent and indeed monumental and bold affirmations of basic human rights, conceived by a fledgling democracy and a revolutionary ideology, undeniably accredited with changing the whole world. Otherwise I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.
A needed reference for any student of American History The Complete Idiot's Guide to American History, 5th Edition by Alan Axelrod is a condensed overview of the key components of our nation's history. Delving back to the time that this land was run over by nature and indigenous people in 43000 B.C.E and ending up to the 2008 Presidential Election. The easy to read format brings out gems in what they cite as "American echos" and highlight helpful "vital statistics" that will make any reader a valuable player in trivia. Even though learning about the past was a fascinating journey, I particularly enjoyed recapping the parts of history in which I lived since the 1970s and compared notes to my memories and now what is best captured in the annals of history. As the summer ends and schools start up across country, this is a good addition to the required text to learn about our nations fundamentals.