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A Concise History of the United States of America

$109.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Concise Histories

  • Date Published: March 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521848251

$109.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Born out of violence and the aspirations of its early settlers, the United States of America has become one of the world's most powerful nations, even as its past continues to inform its present and to mould its very identity as a nation. The search for nationhood and the ambiguities upon which the nation was founded are at the root of this intelligent and forthright book. Taking a broadly chronological approach, it begins in colonial America as the first Europeans arrived, lured by the promise of financial profit, driven by religious piety, and accompanied by the diseases which would ravage and consume the native populations. It explores the tensions inherent in a country built on slave labor in the name of liberty, one forced to assert its unity and reassess its ideals in the face of secession and civil war, and one that struggled to establish moral supremacy, military security, and economic stability during the financial crises and global conflicts of the twentieth century. Woven through this richly crafted study of America's shifting social and political landscapes are the multiple voices of the nation's history: slaves and slave owners, revolutionaries and reformers, soldiers and statesmen, immigrants and refugees. It is their voices, together with those of today's multicultural America, that define the United States at the dawn of a new century.

    • Thoughtful, witty and engaging, a new history of America told from the perspective of its people and their engagement with the past
    • Highlights the persistent tensions throughout American history between freedom and enslavement, race and gender, material strength and moral imperative
    • Illustrations are captioned with stories that are key to the narrative
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Susan-Mary Grant's vigorous new history of the United States is the ideal text for our troubled times. A fast-paced account of the martial roots of American national identity, it fairly bristles with insight, information, and indignation. This book should be required reading for anyone interested in the making of today's uneasy superpower.” – Robert Cook, Professor of American History, University of Sussex

    “In this elegantly written, immensely readable and fresh distillation of American history, Susan-Mary Grant brings a keen eye to bear on the processes that created and have since sustained the United States’ sense of nationhood. Notably, she shows how war and conflict, from colonial times to the present, have shaped and redefined American identity, and how – despite the gap between civic ideals and reality – national ligaments have remained remarkably strong. A Concise History of the United States provides the general reader with a superb introduction to the American past, while the author’s authoritative but lightly-worn scholarship offers much to reward the specialist, too.” – Professor Richard Carwardine, President, Corpus Christi College, Oxford

    "Recommended." -Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521848251
    • length: 472 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 70 b/w illus. 5 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. New found land: imagining America
    2. A city on a hill: the origins of a redeemer nation
    3. The cause of all mankind: from colonies to Common Sense
    4. Self-evident truths: founding the revolutionary republic
    5. The last, best hope of Earth: toward the second American revolution
    6. Westward the course of empire: from union to nation
    7. A promised land: gateway to the American century
    8. The soldier's faith: conflict and conformity
    9. Beyond the last frontier: a new deal for America
    10. A land in transition: America in the atomic age
    11. Armies of the night: counterculture and counterrevolution.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • American Experience
    • United States history from colonization to the present
  • Author

    Susan-Mary Grant, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    Susan-Mary Grant is Professor of American History at Newcastle University. She is the author of North over South: Northern Nationalism and American Identity in the Antebellum Era (2000), The War for a Nation: The American Civil War (2006) and editor of Legacy of Disunion: The Enduring Significance of the American Civil War (2003) and Themes of the American Civil War: The War Between the States (2010).

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