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Books on American History - Reviews 

Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea by Gary Kinder 
Every scrap of information that could be extracted from the few survivors was recorded somewhere, enabling Mr. Kinder to reconstruct the disaster, and many of the people involved, with hair-raising precision. The people were interesting. One really cares about the literary captain, the honeymooners, the young poet--even the canary. Mr. Kinder makes the shipwreck so enthralling that it seems any later events are doomed to anticlimax. Not so.... Even readers familiar with Mr. Thompson's salvage operation are likely to find new information in Mr. Kinder's text, and for those with no previous acquaintance, it is a truly great tale, cleverly organized and expertly written. -- The Atlantic Monthly, Phoebe-Lou Adams Order Now!

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay 
"This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren ... should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties." So wrote John Jay, one of the revolutionary authors of The Federalist Papers, arguing that if the United States was truly to be a single nation, its leaders would have to agree on universally binding rules of governance--in short, a 
constitution. In a brilliant set of essays, Jay and his colleagues Alexander Hamilton and James Madison explored in minute detail the implications of establishing a kind of rule that would engage as many citizens as possible and that would include a system of checks and balances. Their arguments proved successful in the end, and The Federalist Papers stand as key documents in the founding of the United States. -- History Editor Order Now!
Don't Know Much About History : Everything You Need to Know About  American History but Never Learned by Kenneth C. Davis 
Finally, someone who tells history like it was, without the old textbook gloss that's put so many students into premature naptime and misinformed the few who stayed awake. Davis corrects the myths and misconceptions from Columbus up through the Clinton administration, and shows that truth is more entertaining than propaganda. -- Reference Editor Order Now!
The Encyclopedia of The City of New York by Kenneth T. Jackson (Eeditor), New York Historical Society 
McSorley's Old Ale House? Park Slope? Madame Restell? Pfaff's Cellar? CBGB? Look 'em up... Just about anyplace or anyone notable in New York is contained in this huge book, which is roughly the size of the Manhattan white pages. The Encyclopedia of New York City is a fitting tribute to the city it both documents and celebrates: it's a sprawling and endlessly interesting read. This unique project was 
supervised by the New York Historical Society, and boasts more than 4300 alphabetical entries (with hundreds of illustrations) spanning 1300 pages--a feast of facts. You're not sure when New York's first subway opened? Don't know the capacity of Ebbett's Field? Can't place "Dead Man's Curve?"  Puh-leeeze... just look it up! -- Order Now!
American Scripture : Making the Declaration of Independence 
by Pauline Maier 
American Scripture immediately takes its place as the definitive statement of the Declaration of Independence as the embodiment of the American mind and historical experience, rather than as a product of Jefferson's pen or of some British philosophy of natural rights. -- The New York Times Book Review, Richard Alan Ryerson Order Now!
Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen 
Miracle at Philadelphia is Catherine Drinker Bowen's classic history of the Federal Convention at Philadelphia in 1787, the stormy, dramatic session that produced the most enduring of political documents - the Constitution of the United States. -- The Publisher Order Now! 
Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by Mark M., III Boatner 
A reference on American history from 1763 to 1783, containing articles on people, issues, and events of the day, arranged alphabetically. About one-third of the entries are biographical, while the rest cover campaigns, battles, naval actions, and political issues and events, and the participation of the Germans, British, and French. Includes nine genealogical charts of famous families, numerous maps and diagrams, and a map index. Originally published in 1966, this is a reprint of the 1974 bicentennial edition, published by David McKay Co. -- Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. Order Now! 
Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer 
An iconic patriot, or an insignificant courier--Fischer plays these opposing images of the Bostonian silversmith against the middle in a lively reconstruction of the man and his role in the outbreak of war on Lexington Green. Supported by meticulous research, but using a brisk pace, Fischer begins his recounting of "contingent events" with the British decision in late 1774 to seize colonial munitions. The British commander, General Gage, had mounted several raids before the fateful one on Concord; and Revere in response had galloped hither and yon, keeping his fellow Whigs alert to the next attempt to disarm them. The midnight rides (there were two other messengers besides Revere) and the bloody clashes on April 19 unfold in a volley-by-volley drama that factors in all known participants, including a few spies unknown to this day. Once celebrated as an event that galvanized, much like Fort Sumter, each side in the irreconcilable imperial/colonial dispute, Revere's period of glory has perhaps been unduly relegated to obscurity (many school texts don't mention him). This balanced recounting of his activities restores his importance--and the feel for the motivations of his compatriots and their antagonists. An enjoyable work that doesn't compromise its scholarly accuracy. 
-- Gilbert Taylor, Booklist, Copyright© 1994, American Library Association. All rights reserved Order Now! 
The Fifties by David Halberstam 
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Best and the Brightest, The Powers That Be, and The Reckoning has created his masterpiece--a stunning, panoramic view of a pivotal and popular American decade. From Ike to Elvis, McCarthy to Marlon Brando, all the people and phenomena of that fabulous time are captured in Halberstam style. 32-page photo insert. -- Order Now! 
Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy 
The Pulitzer Prize-winning account of men of principle, integrity and bravery in American politics is here available in a handsome illustrated format. Eight men who served the United States Senate were selected by John F. Kennedy as models of virtue and courage under pressure. These eight men persevered in their pursuit of justice and the right path, in spite of the coercion and vilification of the majority. 

These heroes include Mississippi's Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar who stood up to unbounded calumny when he moved to reconcile Northern and Southern differences during the years after the Civil War, and George Norris, who, in 1910, cursaded against the strong and often dictatorial leadership of his own party. The others profiled by Kennedy are John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, Sam Houston, Edmund G. Ross, and Robert A. Taft. 

More than 150 full-color and black-and-white photographs, paintings, and drawings enhance this classic of American history. 

-- Order Now! 
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