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Dress British, Think Yiddish
How the Ivy League style at Yale—purveyed by Jewish clothiers—faded while the university changed its ideas ...
And We Shall Overcome
The important background and text of President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 Voting Rights speech to Congress.
Selections From: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
This story of a slave and his yearning to be free is one of the great ...
Race Goes To War
How questions of race followed black troops to the battlefields of World War II, and how ...
The Rise of the Standard Oil Company
With a singular vision, drive, and ruthlessness, John D. Rockefeller builds the Standard Oil Company into ...
These perceptive and loving letters during a time of decisive ferment are unparalleled in American history.
Birth of the Skyscraper
Louis Sullivan explores the cultural ideas as well as the engineering and architectural realities that led ...
An Eye for an Eye
Simone de Beauvoir explains why she refused to call for ...
The Quintessential American
Selections from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
"Franklin seems to have a unique appeal,” writes the historian Gordon S. Wood. “He seems the most accessible, the most democratic, and the most folksy of the Founders. . . . Indeed, perhaps no person in American history has taken on such emblematic and imaginative significance for Americans as has Franklin.” Yet the man came late to his identity as an American, enjoying a wide circle of European contacts and living abroad more years than any other American leader. In his famous Autobiography he displays the iconic American virtues of thrift, ambition, hard work, self-improvement, and common sense. But the promotion of good morals in his book was, observed the North American Review in 1818, a fraud. “The groundwork of his character, during this period, was bad; and the moral qualities, which contributed to his rise, were of a worldly and very profitable kind.” In other words, like many of the Founders, aspects of Franklin’s character remain something of a puzzle. In these selections from his Autobiography, Franklin reflects upon his rise in the world and the self-taught lessons that brought his success.
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