How the past shapes our present and informs our future.
“History is an extension of life. It both enlarges and intensifies the experience of being alive. It’s like poetry and art. Or music. And it’s ours, to enjoy.” – David McCullough
by Jill Lepore
The American experiment rests on three ideas—“these truths,” Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. 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 traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News. Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism.
If You Liked These Truths: A History of the United States…
the Constitution--and Why
by Kim Wehle
September 17 is Constitution Day! Check out this insightful, urgent, and perennially relevant handbook that lays out in common sense language how the United States Constitution works, and how its protections are eroding before our eyes—essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and parse the constantly breaking news about the backbone of American government.
If You Liked How to Read the Constitution--and Why…
“History encourages, as nothing else does, a sense of proportion about life, gives us a sense of the relative scale of our own brief time on earth and how valuable that is.” — David McCullough
For more on American History
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