A Short History of the United States
By Robert V. Remini
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780060831448, 384pp.)
Publication Date: October 2008
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Offering an abbreviated, accessible, and lively narrative history of the United States, this erudite volume contains the essential facts about the discovery, settlement, growth, and development of the American nation and its institutions. Robert V. Remini explores the arrival and migration of Native Americans throughout the Western Hemisphere and their achievements; the discovery of the New World by Europeans and the establishment of colonies by the Spanish, French, English, and Dutch; the causes of the American Revolution; the founding of a republic under the Constitution; the formation of political parties; the War of 1812 and the resulting economic and cultural changes; the democratic impetus during the Jacksonian era; westward expansion and the Mexican War; the struggle over slavery, which led to the Civil War; Reconstruction and the rise of big business; the emergence of the United States as a world power; the descent into the Great Depression; the global conflicts of the twentieth century; the rise of conservatism; and the outbreak of terrorism here and abroad.
In addition, Remini illustrates how former English subjects slowly transformed themselves into Americans, and shows how a collection of sovereign, independent colonies united to create a workable, constantly evolving republican government whose democratic principles reflect the changing mores and attitudes of the citizens it represents. He explains the reasons for the nation's unique and enduring strengths, its artistic and cultural accomplishments, its genius in developing new products to sell to the world, and its abiding commitment to individual freedoms.
Robert V. Remini is professor of history emeritus and research professor of humanities emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and historian of the United States House of Representatives. He is the winner of the National Book Award for the third volume of his study of Andrew Jackson, and he lives in Wilmette, Illinois.
“A masterful recounting of the Amercian experience from the discovery of the New World to the present. . . . It is a perfect history for our times.”
-Robert Dallek, author of Nixon and Kissinger
“In 2008, Americans face war, terrorism, recession and the rising economies of China and India. Yet the author avers there is still reason to hope for good leadership. Astute assessments of an evolving nation and ideal reading for November voters.”
“Provides everything a casual (or bewildered) reader needs to know about the United States from the first English colonists until the beginning of 2008. . . . An objective narrative of this nation’s history that readers of all political stripes will appreciate.”
“One of our great historians has now given us yet another great work. . . . [It] may be brief, but it is wise, eloquent and authoritative. Readers in search of a sprightly tour of the nation’s lives and times need look no farther than Remini’s latest achievement.”
-Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House