“Nothing short of a masterpiece.” —NPR Books A New York Times Bestseller and a Washington Post Notable Book of the Year In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation.
Widely hailed for its “sweeping, sobering account of the American past” (New York Times Book Review), Jill Lepore’s one-volume history of America places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—“these truths,” Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise?
These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore wrestles with the state of American politics, the legacy of slavery, the persistence of inequality, and the nature of technological change. “A nation born in contradiction… will fight, forever, over the meaning of its history,” Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. With These Truths, Lepore has produced a book that will shape our view of American history for decades to come.
Jill Lepore is the David Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. She’s also the host of the podcasts The Last Archive and Elon Musk. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, her many books include the international bestseller These Truths; If Then, longlisted for the National Book Award; and the audiobook Who Killed Truth?
“Having that store of memories that history can be, if done well, is a really tremendous form of solace.” Jill Lepore, historian and author of These Truths, returns with The Deadline, a collection of essays ranging from the personal to the political. Lepore joins us to talk about how she came to compile this collection, […]
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