Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > History Book Reviews
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

History Book Reviews History Book Review Forum - Discussion of Non Fiction Books and Historical Novels


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 3rd, 2017, 11:34 AM   #11
Archivist
 
Joined: Dec 2016
From: Utah
Posts: 150

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
You do realize that "A Patriot's History of the United States" is JUST as guilty of bias as Zinn's book, just on the other side?
I would not go that far at all. I have both books sitting next to each other on my shelf.
I'm not saying Zinn's book is of no value but for one to begin with Zinn is to be asking for socialist indoctrination.

Western civilization is bad, blah blah blah. There, I saved you a few hours.
Utah Jay is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 3rd, 2017, 12:22 PM   #12

Ancientgeezer's Avatar
Revisionist
 
Joined: Nov 2011
From: The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
Posts: 7,690

I bought a great book some years ago, in paperback "Don't know much about history". It shafts most of the silly self-gratification myths of US history and is very readable and amusing.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ha%2BZgquiL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0061960543/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
Ancientgeezer is online now  
Old January 4th, 2017, 11:30 AM   #13

David Vagamundo's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2010
From: Atlanta, Georgia USA
Posts: 2,073

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianCoder View Post
I don't know one that would constitute a book for 'beginners', but the best American history I've read is Howard Zinn's 'People's History of the United States'.

He takes the perspective of oppressed people's throughout the book, to give the reader a look at America's real history.

Many modern books will likely be somewhat unbiased like this, but it's often hard to find histories that don't glaze over the really shitty stuff.

If you want to know what really happened, this is your book.
Zinn is really biased. Read what he has to say about WWII, for example--a chapter I chose at random from the pdf.

A People's War?

In short, the US can do little good in the world, and any good it does has to be balanced with a litany of all the evils.

The US is not perfect, but it is whole lot better than Zinn portrays it.
David Vagamundo is online now  
Old January 4th, 2017, 12:41 PM   #14

David Vagamundo's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2010
From: Atlanta, Georgia USA
Posts: 2,073

On the OP's question, while I don't know of any one book that would do justice to US history, I am currently reading McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom, which is the Oxford History of the US volume on the US Civil War. I've read a lot about the Civil War, and McPherson's is a really good history of the period (beginning in 1848) so it provides enough background to understand the War and the issues--and it covers the glories and warts on both sides. If you decide to read it, you will also need a good map of the US (or a book of maps on the Civil War).

The Civil War was probably the key event in US history.
David Vagamundo is online now  
Old January 4th, 2017, 01:51 PM   #15

Pedro's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
Posts: 15,369
Blog Entries: 2

I would suggest googling 'project gutenburg' log in and use their search feature for 'american history'. Most of the books most likely will be old school texts or written for the so teen market. Any old title will probably be just want you want.
Pedro is offline  
Old February 1st, 2017, 06:11 PM   #16

ManifestMidwest's Avatar
Citizen
 
Joined: Feb 2017
From: New England
Posts: 36

Let's move away from ideology where possible here. Zinn is definitely worth taking a look at, but it isn't the best decision to read him alone. Depending on how good your English is, and how devoted you are to reading American history, Eric Foner's Give Me Liberty! is as good as textbooks come. It must be mentioned, however, that this is a university textbook (although geared towards first year students). If you are capable, I recommend starting there. I have not read A Patriot's History of the United States, so I cannot weigh in on that matter.

For a third partisan perspective, you could look at A Renegade History of the United States by Thaddeus Russell, where he argues that American history is defined by those who live on the margins of society.
ManifestMidwest is offline  
Old February 4th, 2017, 07:16 AM   #17
Archivist
 
Joined: Dec 2016
From: Utah
Posts: 150

Foner is a Marxist.
Utah Jay is offline  
Old February 4th, 2017, 10:12 AM   #18

Asherman's Avatar
Moderator
 
Joined: May 2013
From: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 2,357
Blog Entries: 34

The Oxford History of the American People, (1965) Morrison, Samuel Eliot. Morrison is an excellent writer and historian. He is particularly good with materials having to do with maritime affairs. At over 2000 pages this book manages to encompass American History without putting a lay reader to sleep. It is NOT a definitive American History, though only specialists in the subject are likely to demand more detail. The book has all the bibliography, Indexes, notes, etc. that we expect of a proper history.

Even so, this a "gateway" to American History study. The subject is far too large to cram into a single volume and sub-topics, like the History of Mexico are peripheral to this book. If you can only have one history of the American People, this probably should be it.
Asherman is online now  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > History Book Reviews

Tags
absolute, american, beginners, book, books, starters



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Indian history for beginners YouLoveMeYouKnowIt Asian History 7 November 27th, 2013 12:29 AM
Best book on the American Civil War? Vintersorg History Book Reviews 6 August 28th, 2013 05:54 PM
The best book on the American Civil War ReaganSmash History Book Reviews 13 August 19th, 2013 01:00 PM
History channels: The American Book of Secrets Panthera tigris altaica Art and Cultural History 6 September 27th, 2012 01:07 AM
New Book on History of Britian -- I Should Like this Book davu Ancient History 4 May 1st, 2011 05:49 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.