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American History Titles

Browse our American History titles listed below.

Ashes of Soldiers

Walt Whitman Responds to the Civil War

by Walt Whitman

American History

For three years during the Civil War, Walt Whitman was a voluntary visitor and “consolant” to the wounded soldiers in Washington hospitals. His record of ministering to young soldiers in their critical moments of courage and suffering is one of the most tender accounts of war’s consequences. 

Learning the Great River

How I Became a Pilot on the Mississippi

by Mark Twain

American History

A Mississippi steamboat pilot needed to know every twist and turn and sandbar of the ever-changing river to navigate it safely. Sam Clemens studied the Mississippi’s two thousand miles for more than two years before he received his steamboat pilot license in 1859. The occupation gave him his pen name, Mark Twain, from "mark twain," the cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms. In these excerpts from Life on the Mississippi, Twain’s memoir of his experiences on the great river, he recalls his adventures—and misadventures—in learning to be a pilot. 

The Influence of Democracy on the Feelings of Americans

by Alexis de Tocqueville

American History

In this excerpt from his classic analysis of American political life, Tocqueville seeks to understand why democracy causes Americans to feel the way they do about equality, freedom, individualism, religion, associations, and physical pleasures.

A Streetcar Named Pleiku

Vietnam 1965: A Turning Point

by John Prados

American History, Vietnam War

The story of a major turning point in the Vietnam War, and whether the attack on Pleiku was only an excuse for Washington’s escalation.