Major Problems In American History Since 1945 Ebook Download
Overall, this is one of the most comprehensive and engaging textbooks I have ever read! The vast majority of events, issues, and themes that I introduce in class and want my students to think about were covered, or at least introduced. The way the book integrates histories of underrepresented groups, for instance--especially those of Native Americans, African Americans, and women--are, with few exceptions, intertwined with the rest of the historical record rather than presented as separate "niche" subjects. One major exception is that the experiences of enslaved peoples during the Middle Passage, in Northern areas, and even in the South prior to the Civil War, are largely overlooked. Slavery is consistently mentioned as a political issue, but students are not really introduced to people's lived experiences until Chapter 12, which focus entirely on plantations in the Deep South leading up to the Civil War. The book also does a great job of presenting the United States within a global framework. This begins right from the start, as the American colonies are examined within the context of European power struggles, and the creation of racialized chattel slavery is presented as the result of political and religious struggles among European nations, and with the Middle East and Africa. This excellent global context continues with Southern struggles during the Civil War linked to the English decision to purchase cotton from India rather than engage with a rebellious nation, and in the chapter on World War Two, which does a much better job than most texts of explaining the road to war in Germany and Italy. Two places where the historical record seems oddly confined to the United States are the various sections on labor movements and on immigration in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Although the book does a good job of examining the many branches of labor politics in the United States (including the Communist Party's support of civil rights), I was surprised that it did not contextualize these struggles by discussing similar movements in Germany, Italy, and England. Indeed, clearer references to Karl Marx's writings as a whole would be helpful, especially given the lack of knowledge so many students have about Communism and other forms of Leftist politics. Similarly, the sections on immigration do a great job of explaining what life was like for people once they came to the United States, and how their cultural traditions impacted the United States in early 20th-century America. But students so often assume that people made this journey for "a better life" or strictly for economic purposes that it would help to make clear the war and discriminatory policies in Ireland, Italy, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire that informed people's decisions.I really appreciated the last two chapters, which look at recent history, especially since it is often so difficult to teach. I often find that historical patterns are not yet obvious, but these chapters do a great job of identifying some of the connections back to major themes, particularly how September 11 set into motion many current challenges, and the entire section on "New Century, Old Disputes." Section 31.2, which includes a look at the War on Drugs and the Road to Mass Incarceration, is also an exemplary way to get students to think about current problems, but could be expanded by including a look at Stop-and-Frisk programs and the rise in privatized prisons.
major problems in american history since 1945 ebook download
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