An Eye for an Eye

Simone de Beauvoir explains why she refused to call for ...


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American History Titles

Browse our American History titles listed below.

The Quintessential American

Selections from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

by Benjamin Franklin

United States History, American History, U.S. History

In his famous Autobiography, Franklin displays the iconic American virtues of thrift, ambition, hard work, self-improvement, and common sense. In these selections he reflects upon his rise and the self-taught lessons that brought his success.

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Enemies, A Love Story

The oral history of Siskel and Ebert

by Josh Schollmeyer

United States History, American History, U.S. History, Television History

Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, competing Chicago film critics, started out as enemies in print.  When someone put them together on TV to critique coming attractions, they became legendary—and friends, but no less acerbic.  Witty and engaging, in the end they stood tallest when they stood together.

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Getting Connected

Radio and the Movies in the Daily Life of Americans, 1920-1940

by David E. Kyvig

United States History, American History, U.S. History

Early-20th-century electrification affected the daily lives of millions of ordinary Americans. Electric lights lengthened days and reshaped nights. As its use expanded, electricity prepared the way for radio and the movies, new marvels of the age. 

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Too Fantastic to Be True

The Failure of the Jewish Rescuers at the Onset of the Holocaust

by Raul Hilberg

United States History, European History, American History, U.S. History

Despite information about the plight of the European Jews, the major Jewish organizations in Europe and the U.S. either failed to act or failed to persuade governments to act. Even when the “final solution” became apparent, some leading Jewish figures remained unconvinced of the catastrophe.  

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Rethinking National Security

An Outmoded Concept Is Sapping America's Strength

by John Prados

United States History, Political Science, Military History, American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Essays

 The distinguished historian John Prados calls for a total rethinking of our expansive concept of national security. If we fail to make hard decisions about existential threats, he concludes, we will find ourselves in a death spiral as a nation.

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Women in Slavery

Selections from her Journal of Residence on a Georgian Plantation, 1838-1839

by Frances Anne Kemble

United States History, American History, U.S. History

Married to a wealthy American slaveholder, Fanny Kemble recorded her experience on her husband’s estates from the perspective of an “insider” as well as an “outsider.” Her ability to translate life so vividly onto the page provided readers with a sense of being eyewitness to events.

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Bonnie Parker Writes a Poem

How a Couple of Bungling Sociopaths Became Bonnie and Clyde

by Steven Biel

United States History, American History, U.S. History, Biography

In their time, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker attracted much less attention than star criminals like John Dillinger. Steven Biel plots the strange path by which this pair of ne’er-do-wells became the stuff of myth and legend.

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The Story of a Photograph

Walker Evans, Ellie Mae Burroughs, and the Great Depression

by Jerry L. Thompson

United States History, American History, U.S. History, Essays

Walker Evans’s iconic photograph of Ellie Mae Burroughs of Hale County, Alabama, made while he was working with James Agee, has become a memorable symbol of the Great Depression. How it came to be, and what consequences it provoked, make for a fascinating tale.

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