Freedom: A History of US

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Master storyteller Joy Hakim has excited millions of young minds with the great drama of American history in her award-winning series A History of US. Hailed by historians, educators, and parents for its exciting, thought-provoking narrative, the books have been recognized as a break-through tool in teaching history and critical reading skills to young people. And the kids themselves agree: Hakim has piles of fan letters as testimony.
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Overview


Master storyteller Joy Hakim has excited millions of young minds with the great drama of American history in her award-winning series A History of US. Hailed by historians, educators, and parents for its exciting, thought-provoking narrative, the books have been recognized as a break-through tool in teaching history and critical reading skills to young people. And the kids themselves agree: Hakim has piles of fan letters as testimony.
Beginning in January, PBS, in association with Thirteen/WNET, General Electric and Kunhardt Productions, will present Freedom: A History of US, an innovative television mini-series based on Joy Hakim's award-winning books. Katie Couric will host the series, George and Laura Bush will introduce the first episode, and celebrated actors such as Paul Newman, Glenn Close, Robin Williams, Matthew Broderick, Angela Bassett, Jeremy Irons, John Lithgow, and Morgan Freeman will participate as narrators. The program will focus on the history of the United States through the inspiring story of our fight to uphold the ideal of freedom, beginning with the Declaration of Independence in 1776, culminating in the Civil Rights movement, and concluding with the challenges posed by the September 11th attacks. In 8 one-hour episodes appearing nationally on public television, the story of America will unfold through Joy Hakim's vision: her belief that freedom survives again and again, despite all the mistakes and tragic setbacks, and that in order to succeed in upholding this great ideal we must examine the past.
The Freedom: A History of US companion book to the PBS series will capture both the visual energy of the programs and Hakim's rare gift for telling history through the lives of its makers. The book will follow the thread of the programs and also expand on them, providing a more complete picture of the people and events that shaped a defiant band of thirteen colonies into a great nation of 50 states. More than 400 illustrations, sidebars, and historical documents enhance this stunning look at American history for families to share, discuss, and treasure. Freedom: A History of US is an essential book for every household in America, and reminds us that great storytelling and a passion for freedom will always have a place at the table.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This companion book to a PBS series whose name it shares, Freedom: A History of US presents the history of the United States as a ongoing struggle for freedom. Its vivid text, illustrations, sidebars, and documents unfold the development of this struggle from the Declaration of Independence to the successes of the civil rights movement. A bold and beautiful reminder of who we are.
From the Publisher

"Lavishly illustrated, the book includes key historical documents like the Declaration of Independence, stories from the lives of ordinary Americans at important junctures, and Ms. Hakim's trademark bouncy prose. President Bush and Laura Bush contributed a brief foreword, lending the power of their shared pulpit to get people talking about our national history."--New York Times

"A lucid picture of the events and people that shaped our country: our treatment of Native American as settlers pushed westward: early industry with its child laborers; slavery; and the Civil War. Other topics include Reconstruction, women's suffrage, the labor movement, the Depression, World War I, and World War II, the cold war, the Vietnam War, and the civil rights movement. With more than 400 illustrations, the book's theme--our continuous struggle for freedom--is explored visually as well as through the author's fluid narrative."--Booklist

Publishers Weekly
If members of the History Book Club do not recognize the name Joy Hakim, grade school students know her as the grandmother who writes history. Hakim's widely acclaimed 10-volume A History of US has earned a place in classrooms across the nation. Now she aims to bring history into the nation's homes as well with a companion book for the upcoming PBS miniseries Freedom. She considers herself a storyteller, and indeed, she writes U.S. history from colonial times to the new millennium as the story of the march of liberty. As she recounts the struggles of women, workers, blacks, immigrants and other minorities to participate equally in American society and government, she reiterates the ideals of freedom of religion and speech, and the right to vote, to a fair trial and to education. Despite advertising claims that the book is "for families," Hakim seems to be writing for children. Young readers will like the personable characters, lively action and conversational style ("There's a whole lot more to this freedom story"). Parents may find her chummy "we" presumptuous and her references to the "founding daddies" impudent. The commitment to liberty and justice for all, Hakim writes, is "not corny; it's not maudlin." True; yet for even the most patriotic Americans, her telling of the nation's history may appear a bit of both. 400 color and b&w illus. (Nov. 15) Forecast: The weekly 16-part PBS miniseries begins airing January 12, 2003, hosted by Katie Couric and introduced by George and Laura Bush, with such noted actors as Paul Newman and Julia Roberts. The inevitable media fest includes a Parade magazine feature and a Today show appearance, an author tour, joint advertising with PBS and series sponsor GE. All this plus Hakim's reputation among teachers, parents and students promise strong sales for the 300,000 first printing.
Library Journal
Both of these works provide a refreshing approach to narrative histories of the United States. Weinstein (Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case), the founder and president of the Center for Democracy, and juvenile author Rubel here offer a college-level work that revolves around 26 events from American history, beginning with Cort s and Moctezuma and concluding with September 11, 2001. This approach allows the authors to contextualize events by describing a period in greater detail than in a broad overview. This thematic approach is nicely supplemented by a broad array of illustrative material, ranging from cartoons to contemporary maps, and both the layout and the graphic design are aesthetically pleasing. Each chapter is supplemented by a two-page biographical essay written by a well-regarded historian (e.g., Elliot West, Joseph Ellis, and Robert Dallek). Hakim's Freedom: A History of Us is the companion to the PBS series set to air in January 2003 and is loosely based on her popular ten-volume series, A History of Us. Hakim, a former reporter, editor, and teacher, was reportedly so appalled by the history texts her grandchildren were reading in junior high school that she set out to write her own. Her book is an extraordinary departure from the typical text found in most public schools. Her voice resonates throughout, and her tone is that of a knowledgeable but opinionated maternal figure who doesn't let every detail keep her from crafting a great story. Her work too is copiously illustrated. Although written for different audiences, both of these books are highly recommended for public libraries.-Daniel Liestman, Florida Gulf Coast Univ. Lib. Svcs., Ft. Myers Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This lavishly illustrated, sweeping history of our country focuses on the founding principle of the nation-"Liberty and justice for all," which the author considers both our legacy and our destiny. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195157116
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/15/2002
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Joy Hakim
Former educator and editor Joy Hakim made learning about American history hip for kids around the world with her Michener Prize-winning series A History of U.S. Her secret? Says Hakim: "to find the story in a subject is to discover its essence."

Biography

Don't know much about history? That's where Joy Hakim comes in. Dedicated to the ambitious cause of making learning about our country's past actually seem like fun, Hakim has helped readers of all ages get hip to history. Her award-winning ten-volume series A History of U.S. is considered nothing less than a revolution in education circles, and historians and celebrities alike endorse Hakim's mission.

Armed with a bachelor's degree in government from Smith and a master's from Goucher College, Hakim started out as a teacher, and later worked as a newspaper writer and editor. Realizing that the rather dry text and lifeless prose of some history books she was using to teach with made her students less than enthusiastic learners -- and believing that U.S. history should be as fun to read as fiction -- Hakim began to develop the A History of U.S. series of American history lessons. It took Hakim seven years to finish the series -- which owes much of its kid-friendly appeal to the author's practice of using children as her editors.

A History of U.S. was a hit with students and critics alike, winning the James A. Michener Prize for Writing in 1997. In addition, esteemed historians have endorsed Hakim's teachings with as much enthusiasm as she brings to her subject. John Adams author David McCullough describes her lively and effective approach: "Never dull, never the least plodding, [Hakim] brings refreshing spirit and common sense to the telling of every episode."

In 2002's Freedom: A History of U.S., Hakim examines the theme of freedom and what it means to America -- from the actions of our founding fathers to the watershed events of the Civil Rights movement, through the challenges we face in the wake of the September 11 attacks. A 16-part PBS companion special features a star-studded roster of hosts from Today anchor Katie Couric to Hollywood power couple Christopher and Dana Reeve. The Reeves, on why they chose to participate in the event, write on the book's jacket: "Freedom offers us the opportunity to examine the road we have traveled, to better understand why we have fought so hard to keep the idea of freedom at the core of what we believe."

According to Hakim, it's all about the story. On her publisher's Web site, she sums up her signature approach: "Finding the story in a subject is to discover its essence. If we can teach our students to pattern the world into stories, we can turn them into powerful, analytical thinkers."

Good To Know

Hakim is the only author to receive an award from the National Council for Social Studies for writing textbooks.

When she's not writing and researching at her Virginia home, she spends time sharing stories with her grandchildren in Colorado.

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    1. Hometown:
      Virginia
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Government, Smith College; M.A., Goucher College

Table of Contents

Foreword viii
Introduction: Ordinary People x
Part 1 Independence 2
Part 2 Revolution 20
Part 3 Liberty for All? 50
Part 4 Wake Up, America 74
Part 5 A Fatal Contradiction 94
Part 6 A War to End Slavery 122
Part 7 What Is Freedom? 154
Part 8 Whose Land Is This? 178
Part 9 Working for Freedom 202
Part 10 Yearning to Breathe Free 224
Part 11 Safe for Democracy? 246
Part 12 Depression and War 270
Part 13 Democracy and Struggles 294
Part 14 Let Freedom Ring 314
Part 15 Marching to Freedom Land 338
Part 16 Becoming Free 368
The Declaration of Independence 398
Freedom in the Constitution 399
Index 401
Credits 406
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2003

    THIS BOOK IS SO FAR GOOD

    Look at the subject first then read on. I been reading it since I got it on saturday. Its better then the text books or any other history books that feel like or feel like textbooks that I read. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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