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Old October 13th, 2016, 10:04 AM   #1
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American history book for absolute beginners


Hello everyone,

In my country, education on history is not of good quality. There is nearly nothing about American History in curriculum. Since the US is the superpower of the world, I thought to read about it first. But I couldn't find what I looked for. Could you recommend some books ?
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Old November 13th, 2016, 12:44 PM   #2
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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.
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Old November 13th, 2016, 04:44 PM   #3

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You could always just start with Wikipedia, which will give you a general outline of the history for free.
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Old November 13th, 2016, 06:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevapalooza View Post
You could always just start with Wikipedia, which will give you a general outline of the history for free.
Agreed. Wikipedia is great for general overviews. I even tend to use it for overviews of books, in lieu of actually reading them sometimes.
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Old November 14th, 2016, 08:23 AM   #5
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Another productive source would be YouTube. Type in "History of the United States of America" and many videos will come up. You can get a good overview that way.
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Old December 1st, 2016, 09:55 PM   #6
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Zinn is Marxist poison. I'm reading "A Patriot's History of the United States" and it is solid.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 08:51 AM   #7
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Zinn is Marxist poison. I'm reading "A Patriot's History of the United States" and it is solid.
Marxist poison. Definitely not what the US needs right now, as it's citizens ruin their lives when they sprain an ankle.

Regardless of ideology, Zinn captures realities of our history that few other books have, and that's why it's so valuable.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 12:33 PM   #8
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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.
Totally agree. Zinn was one of the best example of "History from below". Every country needs more masterpieces with this kind of historical narrative. Sad thing is it only covers the timeline of cold war era plus+father Bush and Clinton administrations.


Also, Robert Remini has a nice book too called "A Short History of the United States" which was about 400 pages long and very nice introduction to learn the main features of the whole American history from colonization period to the Obama years.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 10:11 PM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah Jay View Post
Zinn is Marxist poison. I'm reading "A Patriot's History of the United States" and it is solid.
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?
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 09:23 AM   #10
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Well, I guess it has been a long time since I last checked the forum. I was busy for a month and I couldn't read much, but for US History I was able to read the Turkish translation of Histoire des Etats-Unis by René Rémond. I wouldn't recommend it but maybe the problem was in the translation.

Thanks for the replies, now I can start to read again.
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