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I've always been a history buff but it's always been more about European countries like England and France. But recently I've become more interested in American history. I'd like to read some books about the country's history, but there are so many and I don't know where to start. So I thought I'd ask you guys. What are your favorite books on American history? I'm looking to buy a few when I get the chance.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 22nd, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
I love biographies actually. As for a particular era I'd say the early colonial times and the beginning of the 20th century.

I don't have a Kindle, but I do have a Nook though, so I'll look for it!
Oct. 22nd, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
If you're into the Revolutionary War era, I definitely recommend John Adams and 1776 by David McCullough.
Oct. 22nd, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
I'll check them out!
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 22nd, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
Interesting. I'll be checking them out. Thanks for your help!
Oct. 22nd, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
Colonial Period:
"The Island at the Center of the World" by Russell Shorto
American Revolution:
"Redcoats and Rebels" and "Wolfe at Quebec" by Christopher Hibbert
"The Perils of Peace" by Thomas Fleming
U.S. Civil War:
"The Killer Angels" by Michael Sharra (fiction)
"Lincoln at Gettysburg" by Garry Wills
"April 1865" by Jay Winek

Hope this help some. Good luck.
Oct. 22nd, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
Ah my to read list is growing. I'll check them out!
Oct. 22nd, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)
I love America's Women by Gail Collins. You won't get much about women unless it's written by women authors, and only getting the men's perspective (which must of history is) gives you a skewed look at things.
Oct. 22nd, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
I'm totally checking this out! I love reading about women in history!
Oct. 22nd, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
The most readable book on the settlement by the Pilgrims was Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick. It gets into a lot of the early-early history, before America was America. It sets up the environment our founding fathers were steeped in pretty well, I thought.
Oct. 22nd, 2011 08:22 am (UTC)
It's definitely biased (and whether or not that's a good thing depends on your perspective), but I though Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States was interesting.

How Lincoln Learned to Read by Daniel Wolff is more of a daily life-type history--it talks about how Lincoln and some other "famous" Americans were educated as children. It really shows how what people were expected to need to know changed as time passed, and it goes into more detail about certain time periods and places than the average history book does.

If you're interested in fiction, too, you could try some of Gore Vidal's books. Lincoln was the first book of his that I read, and of his American history-related books I think it's still my favorite.
Oct. 22nd, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
I prefer the small slice of history books over the general overview ones, so:

The Poisoner's Handbook, by Deborah Blum
     Excellent book covering the rise of forensic science, which happened to coincide with Prohibition. There are some gripping stories in here.

Slavery by Another Name, by Douglas Blackmon
     As we all know, officially sanctioned slavery may have ended with the Civil War, but the Jim Crow laws lasted for decades later. Blackmon finds that it was even worse than that, as prison sentences were used to get free labor out of black prisoners.

Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime, by Geoffry Stone
     It didn't start with Bush/Cheney. Attempts to stifle speech go back to the very beginning of the Republic. Stone covers the conflicts the U. S. was in, the attempts to quash dissenting speech, and the people who fought those attempts.

Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
     I'm only in the middle so I can't give a complete summary, but I'm liking what I'm reading of Lincoln's handling of his cabinet, many of whom wanted his job.

Edited at 2011-10-22 06:44 pm (UTC)
Oct. 25th, 2011 01:33 am (UTC)
Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer
No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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