Booknotes: Stories from American History


American history is shaped by great and small events, and in recent years a generation of writers has brought these events to life. They have shared these stories with the viewers of the long-running C-SPAN author-interview program Booknotes, and here some of the best have been collected for readers to savor. In this volume, more than eighty contemporary writers and historians examine seminal moments from American history, celebrated and uncelebrated alike.

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American history is shaped by great and small events, and in recent years a generation of writers has brought these events to life. They have shared these stories with the viewers of the long-running C-SPAN author-interview program Booknotes, and here some of the best have been collected for readers to savor. In this volume, more than eighty contemporary writers and historians examine seminal moments from American history, celebrated and uncelebrated alike.

Booknotes offers readers conversational essays edited from the interview show, providing an enticing selection of author-subject pairings. For anyone interested in America's rich history-and especially the devoted fans of C-SPAN's Booknotes-this is an engaging compendium of information, opinions, and new perspectives.

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Editorial Reviews

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C-Span's Booknotes host Brian Lamb has compiled a varied of 80 essays about seminal moments in American history. The author-subject pairings are superb, giving the pieces a personal tone seldom encountered in historical writing. For instance, Witold Rybczynski writes about the building of Central Park; Tom Brokaw talks about the World War II generation; Gina Kolata presents the horrific 1918 flu pandemic; Stephen B. Oates discusses the gathering storm before the Civil War. Inviting, diverse, and informative.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142002490
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 1,499,832
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Lamb, the founding CEO of C-SPAN, has been the host of Booknotes since its inception in 1989 and has read each of the more than six hundred books that the program has featured.

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Table of Contents


Revolution and Founding: 1776-1815
Alfred F. Young on a Shoemaker and the Boston Tea Party
Pauline Maier on Declaring Independence
Jack N. Rakove on Creating the Constitution
Robert Scigliano on The Federalist Papers
Annette Gordon-Reed on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
Roger G. Kennedy on the American and French Revolutions
Bernard A. Weisberger on the Contested Election of 1800
Arnold A. Rogow on the Hamiltion-Burr Duel
Michael H. Cottman on the Slave Ship Henrietta Marie

The Young Nation: 1815-1850
Joyce Appleby on the First Generation of Americans
Andrew Burstein on Celebrating Fifty Years of Independence
Harvey C. Mansfield on Tocqueville's Democracy in America

Slavery and the Civil War: 1850-1865
Stephen B. Oates on the Buildup to the Civil War
James M. McPherson on Volunteer Soldiers
Drew Gilpin Faust On Women of the Slaveholding South
Joseph E. Stevens on the Events of 1863
James M. Perry on Civil War Correspondents
Brooks D. Simpson on Ulysses S. Grant's Military Career
Douglas L. Wilson, Allen C. Guelzo, Lerone Bennett Jr,. and Differing Perspectives on Abraham Lincoln
H. W. Crocker III, Tom Wheeler, and the Leadership of Robert E. Lee
William J. Cooper Jr. on Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy

Rebuilding America and the Gilded Age: 1865-1901
Witold Rybczynski on Federick Law Olmsted and the Building of Central Park
David Haward Bain on the First Transcontinental Railroad
H. Paul Jeffers on Grover Cleveland's Political Career
H. W. Brands on the Events of the 1980's
Ben Procter on William Randolph Hearst and the Rise of Yellow Journalism
Jean Strouse on J. P. Morgan, National Banker

Progressive Era and Reaction: 1901-1929
Linda O. McMurry on the Crusades of Ida B. Wells
Dorothy Herrmann on the Celebrity of Helen Keller
Gina Kolata on the 1918 Influenza Pandemic
Emily Bernard on Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten
Edward J. Larson on the Scopes "Monkey" Trail
Robert A. Slayton on Al Smith and the 1928 Election
Larry Tye on Edward L. Bernays and the Birth of Public Relations
A. Scott Berg on Charles Lindbergh's Reluctant Public Life
Peter Collier on the Roosevelt Dynasty

Depression and War: 1929-1945
David M. Kennedy on the Great Depression and World War II
Allen Weinstein on the Early Days of Soviet Espionage
Elizabeth M. Norman on the Nurses Captured on Bataan
Amity Shlaes on the Creation of the Withholding Tax
James Bradley on Rising the Flag on Iwo Jima
Tom Brokaw on the World War II Generation
Nicholas Lemann on the Great Black Migration
Sally Bedell Smith, David Brinkley, Peter Jennings, and Early Network News

Early Cold War: 1945-1957
David Fromkin on Five Men Who Shaped the Post-World War II World
Christopher Matthews on the Unlikely Kennedy-Nixon Friendship
Jean Edward Smith on Lucius D. Clay and Postwar Berlin
Zachary Karabell on Truman Defeats Dewey
Arthur Herman on the Rise and Fall of Joseph McCarthy
Norman Podhoretz on the New York Intelligentsia

Social Transformation: 1957-1975
Roy Reed on Orval Faubus and the Desegregation of Central High School
Robert Dallek on Lyndon Johnson and the 1960 Election
Jay Parini on Robert Frost and the Kennedy Inauguration
Donald Kagan on the Cuban Missile Crisis
Andrew Young on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Diane McWhorter on the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing
Ben Bradlee on the Kennedy Years
Arlen Specter on the Warren Commission
Jeff Shesol on the RFK-LBJ Feud
Anthony Lewis On New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
Jon Margolis on Stories from 1964
Tinsley E. Yarbrough on John Marshall Harlan and the Warren Court
Leonard Garment on Getting to Know Richard M. Nixon
Charles V. Hamilton on the Life and Career of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Elizabeth Taylor on Richard J. Daley and Chicago's Political Machine
Peter R. Kann and Francis FitzGerald on Reporting from Vietnam
Stuart I. Rochester on American POWs in Vietnam

The Culture Wars: 1975-2002
Irving Kristol Nina J. Easton, and the Rise of the Neoconservatives
Kiron K. Skinner on the Forgotten Radio Scripts of Ronald Reagan
John A. Farrell on the Political Lore of Tip O'Neill
Shelby Steele, Cornel West, Thomas Sowell, Randall Robinson: A Symposium on Race
Don Oberdorfer on the Reagan-Gorbachev Summits
Marlin Fitzwater on Reagan, Bush, and the Press
Bob Woodward on Planning the Persian Gulf War
John Podhoretz on the Last Days of the First Bush White House
Richard E. Cohen on Dan Rostenkowski's Fall from Power
Tim Russert on a Half-Century of Meet the Press
Bonnie Angelo on Modern Presidents' Mothers
Jeff Greenfield, Ralph Nader on the 2000 Election
Peter Bergen On September 11 and Osama bin Laden
Bernard Lewis on September 11 and the Roots of Islamic Terrorism

Complete List of C-Span Booknotes (1989-2002)

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