American History Connecting with the Past Vol 2 15th Edition by Alan Brinkley
About the Author
In addition to being a best selling textbook author, ALAN BRINKLEY is the Allan Nevins Professor of History and former Provost at Columbia University. He is the author of Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression, which won the 1983 National Book Award; The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War; and Liberalism and its Discontents. His most recent books are John F. Kennedy: The American Presidents Series: The 35th President, 1961-1963 and The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century both published recently. He was educated at Princeton and Harvard and taught previously at MIT, Harvard, and the City University Graduate School before joining the Columbia faculty In 1991. In 1998-1999, he was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. He won the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Award at Harvard in 1987 and the Great Teacher Award at Columbia in 2003. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the board of trustees of the National Humanities Center and Oxford University Press, and chairman of the board of trustees of the Century Foundation. He has been a visiting professor at Princeton, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), and the University of Torino (Italy). He was the 1998-1999 Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.
WHY do so many people take an interest in history?
It is, I think, because we know that we are
the products of the past—that everything we know, everything
we see, and everything we imagine is rooted in our history. It
is not surprising that there have been historians throughout
almost all of recorded time. It is only natural that we are interested
in what the past was like. Whether we study academic
history or not, we all are connected to the past.
Americans have always had a love of their own history. It is
a daunting task to attempt to convey the long and remarkable
story of America in a single book, but that is what this volume
attempts to do. The new subtitle of this book, “Connecting
with the Past,” describes this edition’s focus on encouraging
readers to be aware of the ways in which our everyday experiences
are rooted in our history.
Like any history, this book is a product of its time and refl ects
the views of the past that historians of recent generations have
developed. A comparable book published decades from now will
likely seem as different from this one as this book appears different
from histories written a generation or more ago. The writing
of history changes constantly—not, of course, because the past
changes, but because of shifts in the way historians, and the publics
they serve, ask and answer questions about the past.
There are now, as there have always been, critics of changes
in historical understanding. Many people argue that history is
a collection of facts and should not be subject to “interpretation”
or “revision.” But historians insist that history is not and
cannot be simply a collection of facts. They are only the beginning
of historical understanding. It is up to the writers and
readers of history to try to interpret the evidence before them;
and in doing so, they will inevitably bring to the task their
own questions, concerns, and experiences.
Our history requires us to examine the experience of the
many different peoples and ideas that have shaped American
society. But it also requires us to understand that the United
States is a nation whose people share many things: a common
political system, a connection to an integrated national (and
now international) economy, and a familiarity with a shared
and enormously powerful mass culture. To understand the
American past, it is necessary to understand both the forces
that divide Americans and the forces that draw them together.
It is not only the writing of history that changes with time—
the tools and technologies through which information is delivered
change as well. Created as an integral part of the content
of this fi fteenth edition are an array of valuable learning resources
that will aid instructors in teaching and students