Skip to main content

United States, AH History of the


In this rich and inspiring book, acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley takes us on the incredible journey of the United States - a nation
formed from a vast countryside on whose fringes thirteen small British colonies fought for their freedom, then established a democratic
nation that spanned the continent, and went on to become a world power. This book will be treasured by anyone interested in the story
of America.


"Douglas Brinkley and American Heritage have done a grand job. This is a first-rate book: fair, clear, and enormously welcome."
--David McCullough

Review by Booklist
The idea of the lavishly illustrated U.S. history book seems to attract authors with fame and media power. The recent books of Harold
Evans (The American Century [BKL Ag 98]) and Peter Jennings (The Century [BKL O 1 98]) exemplify the type. It comes as a vindication of
cornball American values, then, when a real historian, who has worked hard to write several works, is offered the high-profile chance to
write American Heritage's U.S. history volume. A specialist on the post^-World War II period who has written works about James Forrestal,
the UN, and Jimmy Carter, Brinkley faces choices in the daunting task of narrowing the whole shebang of the American story. How much
Civil War to include? How much cultural history? Brinkley defends his selections by hewing to his "main objective" of explaining America's
outstanding characteristic--its economic dynamism. What Americans were doing to make money, and live better, infuses all his chapters
and many hundreds of the illustrations. Trading and slaving in colonial times, laying railroads in antebellum days, unleashing capitalism in
the Gilded Age, restraining it in the Progressive Era, then creating the consumer society in the twentieth century--Brinkley's Americans are
part dealmakers and part democrats and idealists. Brinkley bestows the politicians with the general reputations they've acquired--no
revisionism there--but his synthesizing skill will interest even those overly familiar with the presidents. A gracefully written overview that
will serve a library for years, not just for one holiday season. --Gilbert Taylor
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

Review by Library Journal
Distinguished Professor of History and director of the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans, Brinkley here gives America a
good going-over.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.