A History of the American People


by: Johnson, Paul
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description "The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures," begins Paul Johnson. "No other national story holds such tremendous lessons, for the American people themselves and for the rest of mankind." In his prize-winning classic, Johnson presents an in-depth portrait of American history from the first colonial settlements to the Clinton administration. This is the story of the men and women who shaped and led the nation and the ordinary people who collectively created its unique character. Littered with letters, diaries, and recorded conversations, it details the origins of 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. Johnson discusses contemporary topics such as the politics of racism, education, the power of the press, political correctness, the growth of litigation, and the influence of women throughout history. He sees Americans as a problem-solving people and the story of their country 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." Sometimes controversial and always provocative, A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE is one author’s challenging and unique interpretation of American history. Johnson’s views of individuals, events, themes, and issues are original, critical, and in the end admiring, for he is, above all, a strong believer in the history and the destiny of the American people. Amazon.com Review Paul Johnson, whose previous works include the distinguished and , has produced an epic that spans the history of the American people over the past 400 years. The prolific narrative covers every aspect of U.S. history, from science, customs, religion, and politics to the individual men and women who have helped shape the nation. His detailed, provocative examinations of political and social icons, from Lyndon Johnson to Norman Rockwell, are especially strong. Johnson's text is intelligent and rich with detail, and yet extremely accessible for anyone interested in a reinterpretive analysis of America's past. What makes this book unique is Johnson's approach to this self-professed Herculean task. The prevalent tone throughout is optimism. Whether he's discussing race relations, industrialization, the history of women, immigrants, Vietnam, or political correctness, Johnson--a staunch conservative who was born, bred, and educated in England--is openly enamored with America's past, particularly the hardships and tribulations that the nation has had to overcome. He sees this story as a series of important lessons, not just for Americans but for the whole of mankind as well. At a time when other contemporary scholars find it easier to bemoan the past, Johnson offers the reader "a compelling antidote to those who regard the future with pessimism." From Library Journal Johnson (Intellectuals, LJ 3/1/89; Modern Times, LJ 5/1/83) is used to tackling grand themes in his books, and this one is no exception. Even for the comparatively short period of American history, it is a daunting task. Still, Johnson does a good job of weaving together the story of American history. He takes more of a "social history" approach?including presentation of a background for each period and discussion of the various social issues involved in each. The author also uses quotations from personal diaries and other historical documents, providing a refreshing change from the usual "battle & general" technique in retelling the American story. Recommended for all persons interested in American history. Also useful as a college-level introductory text.?Mark Ellis, Albany State Univ., Ga. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Informat


Product Code: 9780060168360
ISBN: 0060168366
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: 1998-02-17
Number of Pages: 1104 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Dimension: 6.18 x 2.6 x 9.29 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.35 pounds