1. Davis, Kenneth C.,
Don’t Know Much About History
, Avon Books, New York, 1991.
This book begins with the question “Who really discovered America?” and continues through to the Iran-Contra affair. Kenneth Davis dishes out American History in eight easy to digest chapters, each beginning with a series of questions designed to promote better comprehension. Written with humor and candor, Davis includes fascinating facts to explode long-held myths and misconceptions. His work reveals the very human side of history, which is often neglected by textbooks.
2. Davis, Sue,
American Political Thought
, Prentice Hall, Englewood Clifts, New Jersey, 1996.
This is a book intended for use as a textbook for undergraduate courses in American Political Thought. It begins with an overview of what Davis refers to as “The Four Themes,” which include Individual-Community, Liberty-Equality, Democratic Ideas and Practices, and The American Dream. The nine chapters are infused with Davis’ commentary, followed by selected readings as the larger portion of each chapter of study.
3. LeClerc, Paul, et al. New York Public Library,
American History Desk Reference
, Macmillan, New York, 1997.
This very large volume is a good desk and classroom reference for frequently sought information about American history. The American History Desk Reference contains a great amount of information of all facets of American History, from its pre-colonial days to the present. Virtually every history making American is included. Complementing this information are timelines, maps, biographies, and a detailed, easy to use index.
4. Ravitch, Diane.
The American Reader-Words that Moved a Nation
, Harper Perennial, New York, 1991.
This anthology is a marvelous collection of text and images, which provides a broad and accurate journey through the American experience. Ravitch is careful to show the contributions of diverse Americans, and how each has articulated our common, democratic ideals. Teachers will find Albert Shanker’s endorsement a fitting reason for including this work as a resource in the classroom. In this volume teachers can access such works as Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Independence Day address, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “self-reliance,” and an except from the Supreme Court opinion in Brown v. Board of Education.
5. Sinopoli, Richard C.
From Many One,
Georgetown University Press, Washington, 1997.
This is an intellectual, broad anthology of America, which spans the period from the Declaration of Independence to 1995. This work is thematically grouped into five parts, each with its an introduction written by Richard Sinopoli. Teachers will find that the attention given to diverse minority writings, including a wide range of ideas about gender, immigration, race, and religion, make this book a very useful professional tool.
6. Thomas, Benjamin P.
Abraham Lincoln: A Biography
, Random House, New York, 1968.
7. Web Site, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc., http://www.monticello.org/Day/cabinet/fun.html, November 15, 1996.
This is an invaluable web site with first-hand resources for sale, as well as commentary about Thomas Jefferson and his family. Some of the information is free, and may be downloaded easily.