Constructing the American Past, Volume II / Edition 6

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Constructing the American Past Volume II Sixth Edition By Elliott J. Gorn, Randy Roberts, Terry D. Bilhartz

Challenge your students to become historians with the hands-on history of letters, articles, journalistic sources, photographs and posters.

Constructing the American Past achieves a level of inclusion and depth rarely found in other source books. Each chapter focuses on a particular problem or moment in American history, providing students with several different sources and points of view. An array of written sources, photographs, posters and maps asks students to analyze the visual sources of American history. By exposing students to these “conversations” of primary sources, the building blocks of history, Constructing the American Past fosters a solid foundation and invites its readers to analyze and interpret American events as historians do.

New to the Sixth Edition

  • NEW! Chapter 10 on World War II explores how Americans fought the “good war” for freedom, but how some Americans—specifically of Japanese, Mexican or African ancestry—found that the good war left a legacy of problems.
  • NEW! Chapter 11 on the Cold War has been expanded to include poet Thomas McGrath’s statement to the House Un-American Activities Committee.
  • NEW! Chapter 14 now includes Dennis Hayes’s inaugural Earth Day speech.
  • More visual sources appear throughout the volume, including a diverse selection of poetry and newspaper advertisements.
  • All of the “Additional Readings” sections have been updated to include the most recent scholarship.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321482037
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 8/8/2007
  • Series: Constructing the American past (Longman)
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

Volume 2.

(Each chapter begins with “Historical Context” and concludes with “Defining the Terms,” “Probing the Sources,” “Interpreting the Sources,” and “Additional Reading.”)



1. Reconstruction and the Rise of the Ku Klux Klan.

Initiation Oath of the Knights of White Camelia.

Testimony of Victims of the Ku Klux Klan.

Congressional Inquiry into Klan Activities.

Hon. Job E. Stevenson of Ohio, Speech to the House of Representatives.

Benjamin Bryant, From Experience of a Northern Man Among the Ku-Klux.

W.H. Gannon, “How to Extirpate Ku-Kluxism from the South.”

2. The Great Strike of 1877.

“Fair Wages” by a Striker.

“The Recent Strikes” by the President of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Allan Pinkerton, from Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives.

Samuel Gompers, “...A Declaration of Protest in the Name of American Manhood...”

Marry Harris “Mother” Jones, “The Great Uprising.”

Henry Ward Beecher, “There Is No Rich Class and No Working Class Under the Law.”

3. When Cultures Collide: Wounded Knee.

Z.A. Parker, “The Ghost Dance Observed.”

Letters from Reservations by United States Agents.

Selwyn's Interview with Kuwapi, “...No White People in the Other World...”

“...Indians Armed to the Teeth...”

“...Defrauding Us of Vested Rights...”

Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1891.

Three Letters by Military Leaders.

Eyewitness Reports of Indians Interviewed by the Office of Indian Affairs.

Government and Military Statements on Wounded Knee.

4. New Americans: The Immigrants.

Jacob Riis, “Little Italy.”

Rocco Corresca, “The Biography of a Bootblack.”

Jacob Riis, “Chinatown.”

Lee Chew, “The Biography of a Chinaman.”

Jacob Riis, “Jewtown.”

Rose Schneiderman, “A Cap Maker's Story.”

5. Building an Empire: America and the Philippines.

Albert J. Beveridge, “The March of the Flag.”

William Graham Sumner, “The Conquest of the United States by Spain.”

Theodore Roosevelt, “The Strenuous Life.”

Press Opposition to the War.

Theodore Roosevelt, “National Duties”.

Proceedings of the Congressional Committee on the Philippines.

6. The Progressive Era: Two Issues

Part One: Upton Sinclair and the Meat Packing Industry

From The Jungle

Antanas Kaztauskis’s Story

Report to Congress

Letter from Louis F. Swift

Part Two: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement

Margaret Sanger, From The Woman Rebel.

Anthony Comstock on Birth Control.

Margaret Sanger, From The Case for Birth Control.

Michael P. Dowling, From Race-Suicide.

Physicians' Statements on Birth Control.

Birth Control Forum, New York City, 1920.

7. Selling the War: Recruitment Posters of World War I.

George Creel, “How We Advertised America”

World War I Posters.

8. Science on Trial: Tennessee Versus John Thomas Scopes.

George William Hunter, From Civic Biology.

Darrow Versus Bryan.

H. L. Mencken, “In Memoriam: W. J. B.”

9. Writing the Great Depression.

Americans Write to Their Leaders.

Tom Kromer, From Waiting for Nothing.

Meridel Le Sueur, “Women on the Breadlines.”

Meridel Le Sueur, “I Was Marching.”

Mike Gold, From Jews Without Money.

10. The Good War

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Annual Message to Congress, January 6, 1941”

Norman Rockwell, “The Four Freedoms,”

“The Army Must Act,”

“An Open Letter to President Roosevelt–An Editorial”

Hirabayashi v. United States, Majority Opinion

Concentration Camp: U.S. Style

Zoot Suit Riot

11. The Cold War.

Mission to Moscow

The Truman Doctrine March 12, 1947

Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Speech in Wheeling, West Virginia

Thomas McGrath’s Testimony Before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address January 20, 1961

Stan Lee, Iron Man is Born

12. The Civil Rights Movement: Freedom Summer, 1964.

Anne Moody, From Coming of Age in Mississippi.

SNCC Pamphlet on Voting Rights.

Prospectus for the Mississippi Freedom Summer.

Robert Moses, Memorandum.

Reporting Freedom Summer.

Howard Zinn, Journey to Understanding

13. My Lai: The Nadir of the Vietnam War

Press Release, March 17, 1968

Report of Investigation, April 24, 1968

Letter to Military and Political Leaders, March 29, 1969

Nine Rules for Personnel of US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam

The Enemy in Your Hands

“…You Do What You Want to Do…”

Michael Bernhardt

Eugene Kotouc

Gregory T. Olson

Herbert L. Carter

William L. Calley

Nguyen Hieu

14. The Rise of Liberalism in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Plan of Delano

Martin Luther King, Jr. to Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez on Money and Organizing

Hon. Shirley Chisholm of New York, Equal Rights for Women

The Equal Rights Amendment

Kathi Roche, The Secretary: Capitalism’s House Nigger

‘Women’s Liberation’ Aims to Free Men, Too

The First Earth Day

15. The Conservative Revolution

The Perils of Power

The Soviet Menace

President Ronald Reagan on Russia as an “Evil Empire”

Pat Robertson Launches his Presidential Bid, September 17, 1986

Speech Given to Libertarians

Contract with America, 1994



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