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SparkNotes 101 History: Colonial Period Through 1865
SparkNotes Editors
1411403355
July 2005
Paperback
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The Constitution of the United States
Floyd G. Cullop
0451627245
Oct 1969
(Paperback) - Revised Ed.
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Book Description
Floyd G. Cullop's study of The Constitution Of The United States carefully explains and comments on its Preamble, main body and amendments so that readers may fully understand what it meant to our founding fathers and what it means to us today. This revised and updated edition covers all the changes that have been made in the structure of the federal government since the original publication of the book. This is the ideal introduction to a document that remains as relevant today as when it was first drafted over two hundred years ago.


A Bride Most Begrudging

0764200720


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Carol Lynn Stewart, ForeWord Magazine
"[a] tender love story... [an] exquisite novel..."

Romance Designs
"This book was well written, well researched, emotionally engaging, and featured two wonderful protagonists....I most definitely recommend it."

See all Editorial Reviews


Drums of Autumn
Diana Gabaldon
044022425X
November 1997
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
Set in pre-Revolutionary War America, readers finally have the much awaited fourth book in what will probably become a six book series (The Outlander series). The talented Diana Gabaldon continues Claire and Jamie's romantic love affair, and introduces Brianna and Roger's story. Eight hundred pages, and several wonderful new characters later, we wonder why we were waiting for a conclusion. It'll be a long wait for book five, so I recommend you go back and reread Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and Voyager to keep yourself sane. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
Gabaldon has few rivals in writing exciting?and hefty?historical romances. The fourth in a series of linked sagas (Outlander; Dragonfly in Amber; Voyager), her...


The Island at the Center of the World
Russell Shorto
1400078679
Apr 2005
Paperback
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Review
"Astonishing . . . A book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past." --The New York Times

“A tour de force. . . . The dramatic story of New York’s origins is splendidly told. . . . A masterpiece of storytelling and first-rate intellectual history.” --The Wall Street Journal

“As readable as a finely written novel. . . . social history in the Barbara Tuchman tradition.”
“Literary alchemy. . . . Shorto’s exhaustively researched and highly readable book is a stirring re-examination. . . . Brilliant and magisterial narrative history” —Chicago Tribune

“Masterly . . . A new foundation myth . . .Shorto writes at all times with passion, verve, nuance and considerable humor.” —The...


Winthrop's Journal, History of New England, 1630-1649 : Volume 1

1402195990


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Book Description
This Elibron Classics book is a facsimile reprint of a 1908 edition by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.


Roanoke
Lee Miller
0142002283
May 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony by Lee Miller provides clear and convincing explanations for the disappearance of the late 16th-century British settlement on Roanoke Island off North Carolina. In probing Native American land disputes and intrigue, Miller uncovers the reasons for the colonists' disappearance. Miller's prose is commanding as she speculates on what really happened to the colonists after they left Roanoke and on the inevitability of their leaving. An ethnohistorian and anthropologist, Miller authoritatively removes the fog she claims was intentionally wrapped around this mystery. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal
What happened to the first English...


Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898
Edwin G. Burrows
0195140494
October 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
Like the city it celebrates, Gotham is massive and endlessly fascinating. This narrative of well over 1,000 pages, written after more than two decades of collaborative research by history professors Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace, copiously chronicles New York City from the primeval days of the Lenape Indians to the era when, with Teddy Roosevelt as police commissioner, the great American city became regarded as "Capital of the World." The sheer bulk of the book may be off- putting, but the reader can use a typically New York approach: Those who don't settle in for the entire history can easily "commute" in and out to read individual chapters, which stand alone nicely and cover the major themes of particular eras very well.

While Gotham is fact-laden (with a critical apparatus that includes a bibliography and two...



The War That Made America
Fred Anderson
0670034541
Dec 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The author of the award-winning, scholarly account of the French and Indian War Crucible of War (2000) offers a scaled-down, popular version of that history in this companion volume to the January 2006 PBS documentary. It is an excellent introduction to a conflict that most Americans know little about, and that Winston Churchill called the first worldwide war. Anderson focuses on the North American theater, the outcome of which he claims "transformed the colonists' world forever" and, in effect, "made America." He shows how the conflict encouraged colonials "to conceive of themselves as equal partners in the [British] empire," a concept that Britain did not share and that led inexorably to postwar strife and revolution. In a departure from earlier accounts, Anderson gives unprecedented coverage to the role of...


A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Diana Gabaldon
0385324162
September 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
After waiting nearly four years since The Fiery Cross (2001), readers will find every expectation fulfilled in the sixth book of the popular Outlander series. Gabaldon shines as she unfolds the continuing story of the Frasers, heartbreakingly heroic highlander Jamie and his time-traveling wife Clare. Set during the three years leading up to the American Revolution, this compulsively readable mix of authentically set historical fiction and completely satisfying romance maps both violent loss and strong family ties. On the eve of war much is changing on Fraser's Ridge and Jamie and Claire encounter much harm. This vivid and haunting novel, therefore, brings an aching sadness, but it is balanced with sheer joy, revelation, and solace. The large scope of the novel allows Gabaldon to do what she does best, paint in exquisite detail the...


Mayflower : A Story of Courage, Community, and War
Nathaniel Philbrick
0670037605
May 9, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this remarkable effort, National Book Award–winner Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea) examines the history of Plymouth Colony. In the early 17th century, a small group of devout English Christians fled their villages to escape persecution, going first to Holland, then making the now infamous 10-week voyage to the New World. Rather than arriving in the summer months as planned, they landed in November, low on supplies. Luckily, they were met by the Wampanoag Indians and their wizened chief, Massasoit. In economical, well-paced prose, Philbrick masterfully recounts the desperate circumstances of both the settlers and their would-be hosts, and how the Wampanoags saved the colony from certain destruction. Indeed, there was a first Thanksgiving, the author notes, and for over 50 years the...


King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
Adam Hochschild
0618001905
September 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
King Leopold of Belgium, writes historian Adam Hochschild in this grim history, did not much care for his native land or his subjects, all of which he dismissed as "small country, small people." Even so, he searched the globe to find a colony for Belgium, frantic that the scramble of other European powers for overseas dominions in Africa and Asia would leave nothing for himself or his people. When he eventually found a suitable location in what would become the Belgian Congo, later known as Zaire and now simply as Congo, Leopold set about establishing a rule of terror that would culminate in the deaths of 4 to 8 million indigenous people, "a death toll," Hochschild writes, "of Holocaust dimensions." Those who survived went to work mining ore or harvesting rubber, yielding a fortune for the Belgian king, who salted away...


Miracle at Philadelphia
Catherine Drinker Bowen
0316103985
Sept 1986
Paperback
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Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism
Eric Burns
158648334X
March 1, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Considering the many noble accomplishments of early American culture, Burns observes, the levels of vulgarity and partisanship in colonial newspapers should strike modern readers as shocking. Given the ideological jousting taking place on talk radio and in the blogosphere today, he may be overstating the case, and at times the condemnation feels as if it's laid on a bit thick, but Burns's historical examples of journalistic excess—rabid language, character assassination, even outright fabrication—never bore. From the sniping feuds among Boston's first papers to sex scandals involving Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, the snappy patter gives clear indication of how much Burns, a Fox News anchor and accomplished historian (The Spirits of America), relishes telling his story. With so much...


American Colonies: The Settling of North America the Penguin History of the United States
Alan Taylor
0142002100
July 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
First in Viking's new five-volume series the Penguin History of the United States, edited by noted Columbia historian Eric Foner (Reconstruction), this book by Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor (William Cooper's Town) challenges traditional Anglocentric interpretations of colonial history by focusing more evenly on the myriad influences on North America's development. Beginning with the Siberian migrations across the Bering Straits 15 millennia ago, Taylor lays out the complicated road map of ownership, occupation and competition involving the Native Americans, African slaves and Spanish, Dutch, French and English colonists. He covers settlement and conquest from Canada to Mexico, and from the West Indies and mainland colonies to the Pacific islands. "The colonial intermingling of peoples and of microbes, plants, and...


Albion's Seed
David Hackett Fischer
0195069056
Mar 1991
Paperback
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From Library Journal
This cultural history explains the European settlement of the United States as voluntary migrations from four English cultural centers. Families of zealous, literate Puritan yeomen and artisans from urbanized East Anglia established a religious community in Massachusetts (1629-40); royalist cavaliers headed by Sir William Berkeley and young, male indentured servants from the south and west of England built a highly stratified agrarian way of life in Virginia (1640-70); egalitarian Quakers of modest social standing from the North Midlands resettled in the Delaware Valley and promoted a social pluralism (1675-1715); and, in by far the largest migration (1717-75), poor borderland families of English, Scots, and Irish fled a violent environment to seek a better life in a similarly uncertain American backcountry. These...


The Glorious Cause
Robert Middlekauff
0195162471
Feb 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
Many histories of the American Revolution are written as if on stained glass, with George Washington's forces of good battling King George III's redcoat devils. The actual events were, of course, far more complex than that, and Robert Middlekauff undertakes the difficult task of separating the real from the mythic with great success. From him we learn that England taxed the colonials so heavily in an attempt to retire the massive debt incurred in defending those very colonials against other powers, notably France; that the writing of the Constitution was delayed for two years while states argued among themselves in the face of massive military losses; and that demographic shifts during the Revolution did much to increase America's ethic diversity at an early and decisive time. Vividly told, this is a superb account of the...


If You Lived in Colonial Times
Ann McGovern
059045160X
May 1992
Paperback
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Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 6/7/64
"Gives a great deal of information and is nicely appropriate to the capability of the beginning reader.... The illustrations are plentiful, attractive, and often humorous.... The young reader can get a good picture of daily life in the colonial period."

Book Description
Ann McGovern's gay and informative book gives young readers a vivid picture of life in colonial New England from 1659 to 1730. The drawings help children imagine what it was really like to be a boy or girl in colonial days. The author answers many intriguing questions that children are likely to ask. "What did colonial boys and girls wear?" "What happened if they didn't behave in school?" "What did they do on Sunday?" "Were there special laws about fun? "What happened...


John Adams
David McCullough
0684813637
May 22, 2001
Hardcover
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Book Review's Best of 2001
Left to his own devices, John Adams might have lived out his days as a Massachusetts country lawyer, devoted to his family and friends. As it was, events swiftly overtook him, and Adams--who, David McCullough writes, was "not a man of the world" and not fond of politics--came to greatness as the second president of the United States, and one of the most distinguished of a generation of revolutionary leaders. He found reason to dislike sectarian wrangling even more in the aftermath of war, when Federalist and anti-Federalist factions vied bitterly for power, introducing scandal into an administration beset by other difficulties--including pirates on the high seas, conflict with France and England, and all the public controversy attendant in building a nation.

Overshadowed by the lustrous presidents...



In Small Things Forgotten : An Archaeology of Early American Life
James Deetz
0385483996
August 1, 1996
Paperback
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Book Description
History is recorded in many ways. According to  author James Deetz, the past can be seen most fully  by studying the small things so often forgotten.  Objects such as doorways, gravestones, musical  instruments, and even shards of pottery fill in the  cracks between large historical events and depict  the intricacies of daily life. In his completely  revised and expanded edition of In Small  Things Forgotten, Deetz has added new  sections that more fully acknowledge the presence  of women and African Americans in Colonial  America. New interpretations of archaeological finds  detail how minorities influenced and were affected  by the development of the Anglo-American...


Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
Cokie Roberts
0060090251
April 2004
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
ABC News political commentator and NPR news analyst Roberts didn't intend this as a general history of women's lives in early America-she just wanted to collect some great "stories of the women who influenced the Founding Fathers." For while we know the names of at least some of these women (Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Eliza Pinckney), we know little about their roles in the Revolutionary War, the writing of the Constitution, or the politics of our early republic. In rough chronological order, Roberts introduces a variety of women, mostly wives, sisters or mothers of key men, exploring how they used their wit, wealth or connections to influence the men who made policy. As high-profile players married into each other's families, as wives died in childbirth and husbands remarried, it seems as if early...


New York Burning
Jill Lepore
1400040299
Aug 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
New York Burning is a well-told tale of a once-notorious episode that took place in Manhattan in 1741. Though, as Jill Lepore writes, New York's "slave past has long been buried," for most of the 18th century one in five inhabitants of Manhattan were enslaved, making it second only to Charleston, South Carolina, "in a wretched calculus of urban unfreedom." Over the course of a few weeks in 1741, ten fires burned across Manhattan, sparking hysteria and numerous conspiracy rumors. Initially, rival politicians blamed each other for the blazes, but they soon found a common enemy. Based solely on the testimony of one white woman, some 200 slaves were accused of conspiring to burn down the city, murder the resident whites, and take over the local government. Under duress, 80 slaves confessed to the crimes and were forced to...


I Walk in Dread: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1691 (Dear America Series)
Lisa Rowe Fraustino
0439249732
October 2004
Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–These two entries in the popular series illuminate tragic events in American history. When local girls begin to act strangely and accuse others of being witches, Deliverance Trembley believes them. However, after a trusted neighbor is implicated, she begins to have doubts and struggles to make up her own mind about the people accused. The story shows how one person's view could evolve over time. However, it is sometimes difficult to keep the characters straight, especially who is an accuser and who is accused. In 1909, Angela Denoto, a 14-year-old garment-factory worker, lives with her parents in New York City. She works long days and gives all of her pay to her Italian immigrant family. When union organizers come on the scene, Angela joins in the excitement. Later, her sister barely escapes...


The First Emancipator
Andrew Levy
0375508651
Apr 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. On the most fundamental level, this work can be seen as an exploration of the "'gross imbalance' between promise and execution" that characterizes American culture. We hold the loftiest ideals of freedom and progress ("liberty and justice for all"; "no child left behind"), argues Levy, but more often than not, these ideals fall flat in practice. Levy presents a painstakingly rich portrait of an American who overcame this imbalance: Robert Carter. A contemporary of Jefferson and Washington, Carter has largely been forgotten by historians because he seems less heroic than these great men; nevertheless, he managed to do something that they and the other founding fathers-for all their greatness-could not: free his slaves with little or no material gain. In so doing, Levy argues, Carter provides an...


Empires of the Atlantic World : Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830
John H. Elliott
0300114311
May 8, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In a masterful account, Oxford don Elliott explores the simultaneous development of Spanish and English colonies in the so-called New World. Though colonists tried to recreate traditional institutions on American soil, there were inevitable differences between colonial life and life in the mother countries: familial roles, for example, were reconfigured across the ocean. In addition to differing from Europe, Spanish and British settlements differed from one another, says Elliott. Whereas Spain determined to prevent Jews and Moors from entering its territories, Britain's grudging acceptance of religious diversity was evidenced in the Crown's allowing, and in some cases encouraging, persecuted minorities to join colonial ventures. The English colonies' fractious Protestantism made Spain's...


John Jay
Walter Stahr
1852854448
Mar 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The greatest founders--such as Washington and Jefferson--have kept even the greatest of the second tier of the nation's founding generation in the shadows. But now John Jay (1745-1829), arguably the most important of this second group, has found an admiring, skilled student in Stahr, an international lawyer in Washington. D.C. Since the last biography of Jay appeared 60 years ago, a mountain of new knowledge about the early nation has piled up, and Stahr uses it all with confidence and critical detachment. Jay had a remarkable career. He was president of the Continental Congress, secretary of foreign affairs, a negotiator of the treaty that won the United States its independence in 1783, one of three authors of The Federalist Papers, first chief justice of the Supreme Court and governor of his native New York....


Washington's Spies : The Story of America's First Spy Ring
Alexander Rose
0553804219
April 25, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The unfamiliar terrain of Britain's American colonies made it vital for both sides to gain knowledge of enemy troop movements during the Revolutionary War. But acquiring that information called for a level of espionage that neither side was prepared for, requiring both to make up many of their operational procedures as they went along. Rose (Kings in the North) focuses on a small band of Americans, longtime friends who created an intelligence network known as the Culper Ring to funnel information to George Washington about the British troops in and around New York City. The author quotes extensively from their correspondence, showing how contentious the relationship between the general and his spies could get, especially when Washington thought they were underperforming. Rose also delves into technical aspects of...


The Fiery Cross
Diana Gabaldon
0440221668
August 2005
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
The fiery cross, once used to summon Highland clans to war, now beckons readers to take up Diana Gabaldon's fifth installment in the Outlander series featuring the time-traveling Frasers. Historical fiction fans who have waited four long years since the publication of Drums of Autumn will thrill to Gabaldon's trademark detail and sensuality, both displayed liberally throughout the nearly 1,000 pages of The Fiery Cross. In this pre-Revolutionary War period, Claire Fraser and her husband, Jamie, have crossed oceans and centuries to build a life together in the bucolic beauty of North Carolina. But tensions both ancient and recent threaten not only Claire and James, but their daughter, Brianna, her new husband, Roger, and their infant son, Jemmy, as well as members of their clan. Gabaldon delivers on what she does...


Complicity : How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery
Anne Farrow, et al
0345467825
September 27, 2005
Hardcover
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Book Description
Slavery in the South has been documented in volumes ranging from exhaustive histories to bestselling novels. But the North’s profit from–indeed, dependence on–slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret . . . until now. In this startling and superbly researched new book, three veteran New England journalists demythologize the region of America known for tolerance and liberation, revealing a place where thousands of people were held in bondage and slavery was both an economic dynamo and a necessary way of life.

Complicity reveals the cruel truth about the Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that lucratively linked the North to the West Indies and Africa; discloses the reality of Northern empires built on profits from rum, cotton, and ivory–and run, in some cases, by...


The Crucible (Penguin Classics)
Arthur Miller, Christopher Bigsby (Introduction)
0142437336
March 25, 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
Based on historical people and real events, Arthur Miller's play uses the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence unleashed by the rumors of witchcraft as a powerful parable about McCarthyism.

Introduction by Christopher Bigsby

About the Author
Arthur Miller, born in New York City, has been a prominent and influential playwright for the last half-century. His works include Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and All My Sons. He has twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and in 1949 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Christopher Bigsby is professor of American studies at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England.

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