Witness to America: An Illustrated Documentary History of the United States from the Revolution to Today

Overview

In this newly updated edition, Douglas Brinkley, one of our most distinguished historians, brings together a stunning collection of eyewitness accounts that chronicles the American experience from the perspectives of those who participated in its making.

Witness to America includes nearly 150 works drawn from America's history, from the first shots of the Revolutionary War to the twenty-first century. From Patrick Henry's rousing "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" speech to ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (64) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $7.15   
  • Used (53) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 11 (2 pages)
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$7.15
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(144)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
1999 Hard cover First edition. 1st Printing. Not a remainder. Audience: General/trade. Heavy Book. Media Mail Shipping Only.

Ships from: port townsend, WA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$7.19
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(440)

Condition: New
Gift quality, Fine. 4to. A superior copy without defect. Clean, unmarked pages. Fine binding and cover. Hardcover and dust jacket. Ships daily.

Ships from: Boonsboro, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$14.99
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(10)

Condition: New
New York, NY 1999 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. still in shrinkwrap-brand new Audience: General/trade.

Ships from: Staten Island, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$15.00
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(48)

Condition: New
1999 Hardcover New jacket First Edition. An EXCELLENT NEW FIRST EDITION. A newly revised and updated edition by two distinguished historians who bring together a stunning ... collection of eyewitness accounts and illustrations that chronicle the American experience from the perspectives of those who participated in the making. Great book! Immaculate text. DJ excellent. Value for the price. We ship within 24 hours, carefully wrapped. We sell books from New to Acceptable. We take care to be accurate in our description. Most of our books w. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Tucson, AZ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$16.79
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(71)

Condition: New
1999 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Still in original shrinkwrap Audience: General/trade.

Ships from: Delaware, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$22.90
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(19)

Condition: New
1999 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Includes CD. This book is ONLY available for orders in USA due to its size and weight. Audience: General/trade.

Ships from: Miami, FL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$25.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
1st.ed. 1999,haedcover with dust jacket ,605 page with cd.Illustrated with black and white photos.

Ships from: Williamsville, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$25.00
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(320)

Condition: New
1st Ed(AsSuch), VG+/Fine- Owner name embossment, ink name stamp on front endpaper, small ink date stamp, name inside rear endpaper, o.w. clean, bright & tight. No tears, etc. ... Rest of book & DJ in like new condition. Has unopened audio CD inside rear cover. ISBN 0062716115 Read more Show Less

Ships from: Troy, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$31.00
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(320)

Condition: New
1st Ed(AsSuch), VG+/Fine Ink owner name stamp, owner name embossment on Dedication Page, small ink date stamp, word on last text page, o.w. clean, bright & tight. Price ... unclipped. DJ not torn, chipped, etc. Rest of book & DJ in Fine Like New condition. ISBN 0062716115 Read more Show Less

Ships from: Troy, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(164)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 11 (2 pages)
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

In this newly updated edition, Douglas Brinkley, one of our most distinguished historians, brings together a stunning collection of eyewitness accounts that chronicles the American experience from the perspectives of those who participated in its making.

Witness to America includes nearly 150 works drawn from America's history, from the first shots of the Revolutionary War to the twenty-first century. From Patrick Henry's rousing "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" speech to John Brown's stand at Harpers Ferry; from Franklin D. Roosevelt's promise of a New Deal to Neil Armstrong's account of walking on the moon; from 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to Barack Obama's landmark speech on race: this sweeping volume brings the milestones in American history vividly to life.

Here are unique and revealing selections from such historical figures as John Adams, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, as well as influential individuals, among them Booker T. Washington, Charles Lindbergh, Ernie Pyle, Rosa Parks, and Betty Friedan. While many of the selections come from notable citizens, most are from ordinary Americans—schoolteachers, students, homemakers, pioneers, and soldiers—who describe the everyday events that have epitomized American life over the course of its history, indelibly demonstrating both the variety and vitality of the American character.

Witness to America sweeps across the vast territory that is our nation, illuminating the movements, ideas, inventions, and events that have shaped and defined us—from the Pony Express to the personal computer; from the frontier to the rise of suburbia; from farming to modernization and the information age. Within these pages discover the art of whaling, learn about survival on the Gold Rush trail, experience the glory and trauma of war, and glean new insight on the great leaders. Here are debates and speeches, diary entries, letters, memoirs, court records, and more—including many first-person accounts that make history come alive as never before, such as a powerful description of the atomic explosion from a correspondent on the Enola Gay and a young student's evaluation of the changing roles of women at her high school.

Witness to America is a fascinating, highly readable, and entertaining collection that shows us what America is and where it may go.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Doris Kearns Goodwin
"The selection of first person narratives is superb, the connective passages are clear and convincing, and the overall effect is to transport the reader on an fascinating journey through American life."
Donald L. Miller
"This is living history, wonderfully readable."
Steven Spielberg
"Witness to America reads as if it were today’s news about unforgettable chapters of our history, told by those who lived it and those who observed it. Personal and perceptive, the book brings to life pivotal moments of drama, intrigue, challenge and triumph."
Joseph E. Persico
"Lest we imagine that the United States dropped full blown from the sky, here are the eyewitness accounts of those who were present at the creation. It reads like discovering a nation’s diary."
Harold Evans
"These firsthand narratives and commentaries stretching from the Boston Tea Party to the Millennium are compelling—the gold dust of history."
Frank Keegan
"This continues a strong vivid thread in what Dr. Martin Luther King called ‘America’s Garment of Destiny’. It should be required reading for every citizen."
Michael R. Beschloss
"If you came from a distant planet and could have only one book to tell you what America is all about, you could not do better than this."
Tom Brokaw
"Witness to America is a rich and rewarding journey through the history of the United States. . . . I’ll pick it up again and again."
Booklist
"For both scholars and lay readers who like American history, this work will be an invaluable resource."
Arthur Schlesinger
In Witness to America two celebrated historians illuminate American history by reviving the testimonies of the men and women who were actually there. Voices ring out of the past to explain the present and foretell the future. This is a feast of a book. —Jr.
Donald L. Miller
This is a beautifully conceived work. Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley have given fresh life to a classic account of the American epic. This is living history, wonderfully readable and handsomely illustrated.
Michael R. Beschloss
Two superb historians have brought us a great gift. If you came from a distant planet and could have only one book to tell you what America is all about, you could not do better than this.
Evan Thomas
Ambrose and Brinkley, like Commager and Nevins before them, know how to make history rich, raw, and vivid: let the men and women who were there tell their stories— and what great stories they are.
Joseph E. Persico
Lest we imagine that the United States dropped full blown from the sky, here are the eyewitness accounts of those who were present at the creation. It reads like discovering a nation's diary.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Only in the hands of such fine historians as Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley could Witness to America have been created. The selection of first person narratives is superb, the connective passages are clear and convincing, and the overall effect is to transport the reader on an fascinating journey through American life.
Tom Brokaw
Witness to America is a rich and rewarding journey through the history of the United States with an all-star cast of guides. I'll pick it up again and again.
Steven Spielberg
Witness to America reads as it were today's news about unforgettable chapters of our history, told by those who lived it and those who observed it. Personal and perceptive, the book brings to life pivotal moments of drama, intrigue, challenge and triumph. Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley keep you glued to these eyewitness narratives that take you on a journey from the American Revolution to the new millennium.
Frank Keegan
This continues a strong vivid thread in what Dr. Martin Luther King called 'America's Garment of Destiny'. It should be required reading for every citizen.
Harold Evans
These first hand narratives and commentaries stretching from the Boston Tea Party to the Millennium are compelling— the gold dust of history. —The American Century
American Way
This illustrated collection of essays, articles, and speeches remains a valuable look at an evolving country— from the American Revolution to the "X" Generation.
Library Journal
Ambrose and Brinkley, both of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies of the University of New Orleans, present a collection of nearly 170 primary historical documents paired with roughly 120 black-and-white illustrations. As the editors note, this book is an expanded version of The Heritage of America, issued a half-century ago by Henry Steele Commager and Allan Nevins, two late renowned interpreters of the American past. This revision adds 45 new selections covering the eventful years since World War II to the material presented by Commager and Nevins, whose choices have been weeded to reflect changes in historical interest and interpretation over the years. The problem with this revision lies not so much with the editors' choices, which generally demonstrate judicious, balanced coverage of both great events and common people, but with the availability of any number of other historical readers offering similar selections of primary historical material. Certainly, the Ambrose and Brinkley edition is intended for the trade market, as opposed to a more specialized education readership, but beyond the reputations of the editors, the content does not prove significantly superior to that of other collections.--Charles K. Piehl, Mankato State Univ., MN Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
From Barnes & Noble
60 years after its original publication, Ambrose and Brinkley have revised this compendium of eyewitness accounts to history. Hundreds of photos and illustrations highlight the events and an audio CD adds "earwitness" perspective to this new American classic.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062716118
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/1999
  • Edition description: Book & CD
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him "America's new past master." His most recent books are The Quiet World, The Wilderness Warrior, and The Great Deluge. Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Introduction


The United States has to move very fast to even stand still.
--John F.Kennedy, July 21, 1963


Americans are instinctively looking forward.So it's not surprising that so few have traveled the rivers of history transcribed in America since November 1773, when Samuel Adams incited New England merchants and shopkeepers to spill tea in Boston Harbor.They are unaware of just how broad and variegated are history's forms, how filled with adventure, drama, and color.Still fewer realize how much of that history has been set down on paper by both contemporary participants and observers--countless vivid, enlightened, can-did narratives penned by settlers, soldiers, traders, boatmen, gold seekers, runaway slaves, fur trappers, railroad builders, merchants, educators, preachers, civil rights activists, computer wizards, and politicians.The writers range from pioneers to presidents, from nurses to nabobs, from admirals to aviators, from engineers to environmentalists."America is woven of many strands," Ralph Ellison wrote in his indispensable 1952 novel The Invisible Man."I would recognize them and let it so remain ... our fate is to become one, and yet many--This is not prophecy ... but description."

For too many, the word history implies an arid pedantry associated with dusty libraries and musty monographs.That association must be broken.History is not a matter of libraries but of life.At its best, history pulses with hope and despair, ardor and endurance, and the joy and sorrow of ordinary people everywhere.As editors of Witness to America, we tried to bring home this point.We hope the bookwill contribute to an understanding of the variety, the vitality, and the fascination of that immense part of our historical literature that flows from the pens of the men and women who helped to make history.

Dr. Samuel Johnson once remarked that "A man will turn over half a library to make one book." This bit of poetic license became a reality in the hands of our distinguished predecessors, historians Henry Steele Commager and Allan Nevins.It was these men who first compiled between 1939 and 1949 an anthology of first-person narratives titled Heritage to America.Our Witness to America is modeled on that pioneering effort.Dissatisfied with traditional textbooks and the interposition of a ghostly curtain of interpretation between writer and reader, Commager and Nevins wanted American history to ring with the voices of history's eye-witnesses.These trailblazers hoped to help readers rediscover a collective heritage that seemed to grow more remote with each passing sunset.All the articles from the Boston Tea Party to World War II were selected by Commager and Nevins; we provided the contributions from the Enola Gay to 1999.

On its face, there is nothing radical about Commager and Nevins' approach to history.After all, generations of dedicated scholars have relied on the same narratives excerpted in Witness to America as primary sources: diaries, letters, newspapers, court records, travel journals, memoirs, popular broadsides, sermons, speeches, and random jottings people leave behind, in one printed form or another, for posterity to ponder.But instead of synthesizing these historical nuggets into our own narrative, we've decided, like Commager and Nevins before us, to serve them up raw.This approach was recently popularized by Ken Burns' PBS Civil War and Baseball series, which used spo-ken diary entries to great dramatic effect.It allows people to feel what life was like when Patrick Henry burst into a classic bit of tidewater eloquence or when the horseless carriage was a dubious contraption in Henry Ford's Dearborn garage."We go forth all to seek America," Waldo Frank wrote in his largely forgotten 1919 classic Our America."And in the seeking we create her.In the quality of our search shall be the nature of the America we created."

Of course, no single volume can embrace the totality of America within its covers, and this was not our intent as we expanded and revised Witness to America.Our book is a smorgasbord of tasty dishes comprising the American feast, and we invite everyone to partake of it.We hope to whet the appetites of those with ready access to libraries to explore further on their own.For those without such access, we hope this book will suffice unto itself, a generous meal representative of the large body of writings, some of which are not widely available.We make no claim that this collection is the best" of anything, because best is too self-limiting a concept.We offer it simply as a fairly comprehensive harvest, representing what we ourselves have found the most illuminating and delightful, chosen to capture the interest and awaken the imagination of a broad swathe of readers.In making our selections we have applied various touchstones.The principal criterion, besides our insistence upon a reasonable accuracy and authenticity, has always been that of broad human interest.The volume is not for specialists, nor does not it fall into, or even approximate, the category of "collected documents" or "source books," of which large numbers already exist.Our hope is that it will afford instruction to students as well as pleasure to general readers.

No collection of personal writings, no matter how extensive, can provide a connected narrative of America's history.Many personal narratives are tangential rivulets.Reflecting more or less unique experiences, they lie somewhat apart from the general stream of affairs, or traverse it from an angle.So we have tried to supply some coherence, context, and integration.The book is divided into sections, each representing a different phase or era of American life.Within each section we have attempted to group narratives so that they have some relation to one another and so the section provides some overall conception of the era.Editorial additions (or italicized headnotes) provide background and offer a measure of continuity.We believe that the book can be studied from begin-ning to end without the reader feeling any glaring gaps.Surely that is sufficient, for had we added more, we would have found ourselves writing another general history of America, something we both had no interest in doing.

Our guiding principle in dealing with original texts has been to serve the general reader and the ordinary student, not to minister to the needs of scholars.

Witness to America. Copyright © by Stephen Ambrose. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)