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Old 06-30-2016, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
5,182 posts, read 6,383,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statz2k10 View Post
I guess it would make since to focus on US History first. I just know that I want to really know more facts about the history that goes on because so much is lies via social web.
I agree with the first two responses. No single book, other than a high school or college survey course textbook, will cover all US history but they can be a good starting point. You could pick up a couple of used college textbooks online at Amazon very inexpensively. I have found a few inaccuracies in high school textbooks and they often gloss over some information.

Wikipedia is also a good source and is typically more accurate than high school textbooks.

The trouble with asking for recommendations on a site like this is you will get suggestions from people who are serious students of history who have dozens of books on specific periods of American history. It sounds like you want a broader view.

I suggest you focus on a few periods of history. The founding fathers and the American Revolution is a good starting point. The books by Joseph J. Ellis and Gordon S. Wood are readable by non-historians yet provide an insightful understanding of the period and people. Ron Chernow has also written biographies of Washington, Hamilton, and a few others.

David McCullough is another popular author who has written on the American Revolution and other specific topics in American history.

Jon Meacham has also written books spanning American history from the Revolution to George H. W. Bush.

Doris Kearns Goodwin's book on Lincoln is a classic and she won a Pulitzer Prize in history for her book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.

I'm also a fan of historical fiction for lighter reading and have enjoyed books by Michael Shaara and
Rick Atkinson.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,365 posts, read 54,783,496 times
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Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose is about Lewis and Clark's party's journey. Because Lewis kept journals, although there are gaps, it provides a glimpse of what much of our country looked like through the eyes of the first white men who saw it, most of which is gone or altered forever. I recommend it.

For one good book that provides a lot of base information about the civil war in a relatively short and readable format, try April 1865--The Month That Saved America--by Jay Winik.
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Old 06-30-2016, 09:47 PM
 
2,972 posts, read 2,761,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose is about Lewis and Clark's party's journey. Because Lewis kept journals, although there are gaps, it provides a glimpse of what much of our country looked like through the eyes of the first white men who saw it, most of which is gone or altered forever. I recommend it.

For one good book that provides a lot of base information about the civil war in a relatively short and readable format, try April 1865--The Month That Saved America--by Jay Winik.

Great suggestion. I actually read the Lewis and Clark condensed journals years ago after doing a road trip along westernmost part of Lewis and Clark trail. I had a great conversation with a history loving National Park worker at Ft Clatsop. I asked for his best recommendations of Lewis And Clark Exploration readings and that was his suggestion. It was fascinating and very fulfilling to understand the hardship, trials, pace and context of such a historic exploration.

Some other favorites were a compilation of the ocean going explorers (Magellen, Columbus, De Leon et al) can't remember the title at the moment. The other was The Exploration of the Colorado River and its canyons by John Wesley Powell. Amazing to read the amount of activity they engaged in while mapping the region and drainage basin.

Others that come readily to mind, since I kept them in personal library are Jack Weatherford's Ghengis Khan and the making of the modern world, The Battle That Stopped Rome by Peter S Wells, fascinating forensic historic telling of the battle of Teutoburg Wald, The East Came West, Peter J Huxley-Blythe (WW2 forced repatriation of Russian and other East Europeans -operation Keelhaul). And of course that light reading classic The Politically Incorrect Guide to US History, Thomas E Woods.

Recently picked up at used book library sale: Jon Meacham's Thomas Jefferson and the Art of Power; Colossus, the building of the Hoover Dam and the making of the American century, and The Aviators, Winston Groom. So I'm set for a while.

Finished the Fox and The Flies which was good, (more crime history) but got bogged down in way too much detail of one of the worst international criminals, whom the author makes a compelling case of him being the infamous Jack The Ripper based on myriad number of factors overlooked at the time of investigation. Worth reading just for the last section where he attempts to connect the dots over a century later.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:19 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,758 posts, read 8,632,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statz2k10 View Post
So been out of school for almost 20 years now & feel like learning. But one thing I've realized now is to always be careful of your source of information.

I really want to find a book that does a great job at telling truthful information about our countries history. But I think it would be important to also find a book that goes over some great world history.

I feel like knowledge is power & I'm tired of being ignorant of so much.

Any recommendations? I'd prefer a physical copy versus an online web page just because it's easier to read.
Our country's history?

I learn it in pieces.
Take, for instance, Final Voyage. https://www.amazon.com/Final-Voyage-...=1&*entries*=0

It is the story of how the first oil industry - the whale oil industry - failed and does a great job of putting you "on site" so to speak. It dove-tails into the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

King Leopold's Ghost does a wonderful job of explaining how and why there was a Belgian Congo, and how such a tiny country fooled the world into believing that Africa was being "settled". You will learn how Sanford, FL (Trayvon Martin) got its name.

Video?
The Men Who Built America will keep you glued to the TV, I guarantee.

For me, learning comes in packets of interest, so to speak. I read Moby Dick (not easy) and then got interested in whaling, so that led me to Final Voyage, which led me to Farthest North to learn about Elisha Kane, who when he died, had the longest funeral train in history at that time. And he was never mentioned in my history classes.

Don't forget audio books and podcasts. Dan Carlin's Hard Core History is a free podcast and he will keep your attention for hours as he talks about who the Mongols were, World War I, and on and on..
Dan Carlin - Hardcore History Library

BOL!
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,365 posts, read 54,783,496 times
Reputation: 66900
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciceropolo View Post
Great suggestion. I actually read the Lewis and Clark condensed journals years ago after doing a road trip along westernmost part of Lewis and Clark trail. I had a great conversation with a history loving National Park worker at Ft Clatsop. I asked for his best recommendations of Lewis And Clark Exploration readings and that was his suggestion. It was fascinating and very fulfilling to understand the hardship, trials, pace and context of such a historic exploration.

Some other favorites were a compilation of the ocean going explorers (Magellen, Columbus, De Leon et al) can't remember the title at the moment. The other was The Exploration of the Colorado River and its canyons by John Wesley Powell. Amazing to read the amount of activity they engaged in while mapping the region and drainage basin.

Others that come readily to mind, since I kept them in personal library are Jack Weatherford's Ghengis Khan and the making of the modern world, The Battle That Stopped Rome by Peter S Wells, fascinating forensic historic telling of the battle of Teutoburg Wald, The East Came West, Peter J Huxley-Blythe (WW2 forced repatriation of Russian and other East Europeans -operation Keelhaul). And of course that light reading classic The Politically Incorrect Guide to US History, Thomas E Woods.

Recently picked up at used book library sale: Jon Meacham's Thomas Jefferson and the Art of Power; Colossus, the building of the Hoover Dam and the making of the American century, and The Aviators, Winston Groom. So I'm set for a while.

Finished the Fox and The Flies which was good, (more crime history) but got bogged down in way too much detail of one of the worst international criminals, whom the author makes a compelling case of him being the infamous Jack The Ripper based on myriad number of factors overlooked at the time of investigation. Worth reading just for the last section where he attempts to connect the dots over a century later.
Wow, all of those sound interesting.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:01 PM
 
9,483 posts, read 10,219,120 times
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Like other posters I would recommend books on the Civil War. There are over 25,000 books and documents on the subject so I would ask around for the right book or else you will get bogged down in each battle and each maneuver of every day of the war. IMO Civil War and The Journey of Discovery books are a good starting point because they only lasted up to four years. Trying to absorb hundreds of years of history can get you glassy eyed on the subject real quick.

Pick sub categories of history like; the opening of the west, history of American Sailing, the Industrial age or the Pony Express, something that had a beginning and an end. I just read a 200 page book that was titled, The Death of Slavery, by Elbert B. Smith., turns out it was a Civil War book. I was really impressed with this particular writer, after everything I have read on the Civil War I would not have thought 200 pages would make that much of a difference. The suggested readings went on for 12 pages.

I have heard historians say that sometime around the 70's the writing of history books took on a concerted change to be more of a narrative style. Before that period books were written for academics and historians rather than people who enjoy history.
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Old Yesterday, 11:07 PM
 
2,972 posts, read 2,761,077 times
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Crimes and Coverups in American Politics 1776 - 1963, by Donald Jeffries
The Assassination of James Forrestal, David Martin
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Old Today, 07:55 AM
 
251 posts, read 39,920 times
Reputation: 555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Statz2k10 View Post
I really want to find a book that does a great job at telling truthful information about our countries history.
Consider that 150+ years ago maybe 5% of Americans could read and write. Who was writing the history books? Were those people economically or politically unbiased?
Unless there's a scientific, data supportable message, we don't know exactly what happened. We don't even know who killed JFK.
What does it tell you about our leadership and bias when 99% of one side of the aisle thought Kavanaugh was innocent and 99% of the other side thought he wasn't innocent - and this for an apolitical, domestic incident?
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Old Today, 10:20 AM
 
4 posts, read 67 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Native View Post
Consider that 150+ years ago maybe 5% of Americans could read and write. Who was writing the history books? Were those people economically or politically unbiased?
Unless there's a scientific, data supportable message, we don't know exactly what happened. We don't even know who killed JFK.
What does it tell you about our leadership and bias when 99% of one side of the aisle thought Kavanaugh was innocent and 99% of the other side thought he wasn't innocent - and this for an apolitical, domestic incident?
Do you have a source to quote for that 5% figure? Seems awfully low to me; just the sheer amount of personal letters from Civil War soldiers ( including my great-great grandfather) seem to challenge that number.
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Old Today, 11:55 AM
 
787 posts, read 175,119 times
Reputation: 2808
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Native View Post
Consider that 150+ years ago maybe 5% of Americans could read and write. Who was writing the history books? Were those people economically or politically unbiased?
Unless there's a scientific, data supportable message, we don't know exactly what happened. We don't even know who killed JFK.
What does it tell you about our leadership and bias when 99% of one side of the aisle thought Kavanaugh was innocent and 99% of the other side thought he wasn't innocent - and this for an apolitical, domestic incident?


Quote:
Originally Posted by USC1986 View Post
Do you have a source to quote for that 5% figure? Seems awfully low to me; just the sheer amount of personal letters from Civil War soldiers ( including my great-great grandfather) seem to challenge that number.
Yes, 5% is way off.

On the eve of the Civil War, adult literacy among northern whites was well above 90% and pushing 60% for southern whites. Even factoring in much lower literacy rates among non-whites, given that whites accounted for more than 83% of the population, and that the North had twice as many people (and an even more disproportionate number of whites, around 70% of the adult populace was literate.
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