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American History
Old 06-08-2019, 07:08 AM   #1
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American History

I'm looking for recommendations for books on American History.

I am particularly, but not solely, interested in the development of the political parties, and how they related to social conditions in the country.

thanks
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:16 AM   #2
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I read mostly history and it was my college major, so I appreciate your interest. Since we only have two major parties in the U.S., it helps to view each one as made up of diverse parties-plural, with roiling regional and cultural factions within. Therefore, to understand the parties, it helps to understand the nationís regions. The best book Iíve read in a long time is American Nations: A History of Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by journalist Collin Woodward. It will sharpen a readerís understanding of our countryís otherwise seemingly unintelligible politics and, to some extent Canada and Mexicoís too.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:46 AM   #3
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American Nations: A History of Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by journalist Collin Woodward.
+1
An outstanding book.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:02 PM   #4
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If you havenít already discovered this classic (and I feel like probably you have): Zinnís ďA Peopleís History of the USĒ
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:35 AM   #5
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thanks for the tips.
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:46 AM   #6
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Also an avid reader of American/European history between the period 1650 to WWI. Might I suggest that you focus on the period 1796-1809 because that is when political parties in the US first developed during/post the Adams administration and during the election of 1800. Washington decried political parties including in his farewell address. Those that followed Jefferson and Madison became known as the Jeffersonian Republicans as opposed to the Federalists. These parties evolved and it is interesting to see how their views changed leading up to the Civil War. Just my thoughts.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:08 AM   #7
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If you haven’t already discovered this classic (and I feel like probably you have): Zinn’s “A People’s History of the US”
Classic? Please...

It certainly provides an insight into a certain viewpoint, but know what you are getting into if you wade into this. It’s not mainstream history.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:34 AM   #8
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+1 on a People's History .

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail was a fun read.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:48 AM   #9
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I'm partial to biographies as I think they lend context to historical events. David McCullough's bio of John Adams does a fine job of tracing the period when our political parties were beginning to form.

A couple great bios of Andrew Jackson have also been published in recent years, "Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times" by H.W. Brands and of course "American Lion" by David Meacham. Jackson brought dramatic change to the White House and American politics as the nation's first populist president, first Democrat in the White House and, some would argue, its first "imperial" president.
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