History of the American People

History of the American People

4.2 29
by Paul Johnson
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0060930349

ISBN-13: 9780060930349

Pub. Date: 02/28/1999

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

"The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures," begins Paul Johnson's remarkable new American history. "No other national story holds such tremendous lessons, for the American people themselves and for the rest of mankind." Johnson's history is a reinterpretation of American history from the first settlements to the Clinton

Overview

"The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures," begins Paul Johnson's remarkable new American history. "No other national story holds such tremendous lessons, for the American people themselves and for the rest of mankind." Johnson's history is a reinterpretation of American history from the first settlements to the Clinton administration. It covers every aspect of U.S. history—politics; business and economics; art, literature and science; society and customs; complex traditions and religious beliefs. The story is told in terms of the men and women who shaped and led the nation and the ordinary people who collectively created its unique character. Wherever possible, letters, diaries, and recorded conversations are used to ensure a sense of actuality. "The book has new and often trenchant things to say about every aspect and period of America's past," says Johnson, "and I do not seek, as some historians do, to conceal my opinions."

Johnson's history presents John Winthrop, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, Cotton Mather, Franklin, Tom Paine, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison from a fresh perspective. It emphasizes the role of religion in American history and how early America was linked to England's history and culture and includes incisive portraits of Andrew Jackson, Chief Justice Marshall, Clay, Lincoln, and Jefferson Davis. Johnson shows how Grover Cleveland and Teddy Roosevelt ushered in the age of big business and industry and how Woodrow Wilson revolutionized the government's role. He offers new views of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover and of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and his role as commander in chief during World War II. An examination of the unforeseen greatness of Harry Truman and reassessments of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush follow. "Compulsively readable," said Foreign Affairs of Johnson's unique narrative skills and sharp profiles of people.

This is an in-depth portrait of a great people, from their fragile origins through their struggles for independence and nationhood, their heroic efforts and sacrifices to deal with the 'organic sin' of slavery and the preservation of the Union to its explosive economic growth and emergence as a world power and its sole superpower. Johnson discusses such contemporary topics as the politics of racism, education, Vietnam, the power of the press, political correctness, the growth of litigation, and the rising influence of women. He sees Americans as a problem-solving people and the story of America as "essentially one of difficulties being overcome by intelligence and skill, by faith and strength of purpose, by courage and persistence...Looking back on its past, and forward to its future, the auguries are that it will not disappoint humanity."

This challenging narrative and interpretation of American history by the author of many distinguished historical works is sometimes controversial and always provocative. Johnson's views of individuals, events, themes, and issues are original, critical, and admiring, for he is, above all, a strong believer in the history and the destiny of the American people.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060930349
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/1999
Series:
Harper Perennial
Pages:
1104
Sales rank:
99,051
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.76(d)

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History of the American People 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 29 reviews.
Charlie_the_Bear More than 1 year ago
I have been a student of History for over 50 years and believe that I have a good grip on American History. Paul Johnson's History of the American People is the best I have ever read. He assiduously avoided the mythological aspects of every subject, staying with the facts and objective analysis. His writing style is lucid, straightforward, and very easy to read. I can't remember a single time when I had to go back and reread a sentence. That's out of almost a thousand pages. I will give you every negative thing I found (2 of them). He very occasionally covers a subject in less depth than usual. With the history of the American People as his task, that is unavoidable. It takes nothing from the book as a whole. He allowed himself to include some of the popular negative aspects of the story of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Most of the important facts are there, but some of the "myths" are there also - unique in this book. That's it. The rest is all excellent. If you want to do more than just read about American History, and want to learn about how it all comes together, this is the book for you. A+ easily.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a history course in college. Although Johnson shows his preference for conservative politics, he still presents an accurate accound of American History. It is interesting to see the view of Johnson as he is from England, and got a different portiat painted in England. He seems to have fallen in love with America and the American way of life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally, A one volume history of America that sets the politically correct on their heads...The perfect counter balance to the works of Howard Zinn! Bravo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will find no political correctness, apologetics or pulled punches. Just a hard look at our history from the viewpont of an outsider Englishman trying to answer the question, "Did they really succeed at building thier City on a Hill?" And if so, how did they really get there. Must read for all Americans, they won't teach you this stuff in school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent history of the development of this nation supported with many quotations and documented sources. The reader's interest is held by the almost novel-like writing style. It is, in deed, history as literature. It is more than a chronology of famous personages and memorable events. It includes the place of music, art, literature, education, architecture, religion, migration, immigration, regional development, and more, in the evolution of the country. For those who think of history as nothing more than a tired list of dates and names, this refreshingly paints a picture of a people, culture and values. After reading cover-to-cover, keep it handy as a credible and trustworthy reference.
fab4fan More than 1 year ago
History is my passion and Paul Johnson has captured a tremedous amount of history into a very readable book. It sould be a required book for every high school student.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very thorough, well-researched book. Highly readable and concise, discussing all phases of U.S. history from the first exploratory voyages through the presidency of Bill Clinton. HOWEVER, the Nook edition has one major flaw: it is shot through with typographical errors. For example, "1" is sometimes rendered as "I" or "i". a 3-digit number that was supposed to render the number of electoral votes received by a Presidential candidate was rendered all in alpha letters where I couldn't make out what the number should have been. In a few instances, whole words are missing. I would have hoped that the publisher would have used the same care in rendering the Nook version as the print version, showing respect for the intelligence and literacy of Nook readers. Unfortunately, because of the typographical errors, I can only give this otherwise excellent work an average rating.
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great us history. Johnson is at his best in this book. Understands the importance of people in history. Should be a required text.
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