The American Journey, a cornerstone series for the U.S. History market, successfully blends the coverage of political and social histories of our great nation throughout the series. With this focus, the authors show that our attempt to live up to our American ideals is an ongoing journey. This journey, while still a work in progress, is increasingly more inclusive of different groups and ideas.
The path that led the authors to The American Journey began in the classroom with their students. The goal of this text is to make American history accessible to students. The key to that goal--the core of the book--is a strong, clear narrative and a positive theme of The American "Journey." American history is a compelling story that the authors tell in an engaging, forthright way, while providing students with tools to help them absorb that story and put it into context. This text combines political and social history, to fit the experience of particular groups into the broader perspective of the American past, to give voice to minor and major players alike, because the history of America is in the stories of its people.
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The journey that led us to The American Journey began in the classroom with our students. We wrote this book for them and we kept their needs foremost as we set about preparing this second edition.
Over the years we have subjected our students to many American history books—including the first edition of this one—and they have let us know what they liked and disliked, what they found difficult and what they grasped easily, what they skipped and what they devoured. Most important, they have told us what connects history to their own experience and brings it alive.
Our goal is to make American history accessible to students. The key to that goal—the core of the book—is a strong clear narrative. American history is a compelling story and we seek to tell it in an engaging, forthright way. But we also provide students with an abundance of tools—including outlines, key topics lists, chronologies, overview tables, highlighted key terms, review questions, and hundreds of maps, graphs, and illustrations—to help them absorb that story and put it in context. We introduce them to the concerns of the participants in history with primary source documents. And, in a new feature called "America's Journey: From Then to Now," we connect events and issues from the past to the concerns of the present.
But if we wrote this book to appeal to our students, we also wrote it to engage their minds. We wanted to avoid academic trendiness, particularly the restricting categories that have divided the discipline of history over the last twenty years or so. We believe that the distinctions involved in the debates about multiculturalism and identity, between social and political history, between the history of the common people and the history of the elite, are unnecessarily confusing.
What we seek is integration—to combine political and social history, to fit the experience of particular groups into the broader perspective of the American past, to give voice to minor and major players alike because of their role in the story we have to tell. Approach
In telling our story, we had some definite ideas about what we might include and emphasize that other texts do not—information we felt that the current and next generations of students will need to know about our past to function best in a new society.
CHRONOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION A strong chronological backbone supports the book. We have found that the jumping back and forth in time characteristic of some American history textbooks confuses students. They abhor dates but need to know the sequence of events in history. A chronological presentation is the best way to be sure they do.
GEOGRAPHICAL LITERACY We also want students to be geographically literate. We expect them not only to know what happened in American history, but where it happened as well. Physical locations and spatial relationships were often important in shaping historical events. The abundant maps in The American Journey—all numbered and called out in the text—are an integral part of our story.
COVERAGE OF THE SOUTH AND WEST The South and the West play significant roles in this text. American history is too often written from a Northeastern perspective, at least when it comes to discussing cities, economic development, and reform. But not only were the South and West developing in their own ways throughout American history, they were and remain important keys to the emerging character of the nation as a whole.
POINT OF VIEW The American Journey presents a balanced overview of the American past. But "balanced" does not mean bland. We do not shy away from definite positions on controversial issues, such as the nature of early contacts between Native Americans and Europeans, why the political crisis of the 1850s ended in a bloody Civil War, and how Populism and its followers fit into the American political spectrum. If students and instructors disagree, that's great; discussion and dissent are important catalysts for understanding and learning.
RELIGION Nor do we shy away from some topics that play relatively minor roles in other texts, like religion. Historians are often uncomfortable writing about religion and tend to slight its influence. This text stresses the importance of religion in American society both as a source of strength and a reflection of some its more troubling aspects.
Historians mostly write for each other. That's too bad. We need to reach out and expand our audience. An American history text is a good place to start. Our students are not only our future historians, but more important, our future. Let their American journey begin. Features of the Text
The American Journey includes an array of features and pedagogical tools designed to make American history accessible to students.
The Student Tool Kit that follows this preface helps students get the most out of the text and its features. It introduces students to key conventions of historical writing and it explains how to read maps, graphs, and tables. A new feature, America's Journey: From Then to Now, relates important issues and events in each chapter to the issues and events of today, letting students see the relevance of history to their lives. Examples include "The American Revolution and the Teaching of American History" (Chapter 6), "From the Eaton Affair to Monicagate" (Chapter 10), "The Confederate Battle Flag" (Chapter 19), and "The Culture Wars" (Chapter 26). An Outline and Key Topics list give students a succinct overview of each chapter. Each chapter begins with an engaging opening story that highlights important themes. The American Views box in each chapter contains a relevant primary source document. Taken from letters, diaries, newspapers, government papers, and other sources, these bring the people of the past and their concerns vividly alive. An introduction and prereading questions relate the documents to the text and direct students' attention to important issues. Overview Tables in each chapter summarize complex issues. Chapter chronologies help students build a framework of key events. Key Terms are highlighted within each chapter and defined in an end-of-book Glossary. Chapter Review Questions help students review the material in a chapter and relate it to broader themes. A list of Key Readings and Additional Sources at the end of each chapter directs interested students to further information about the subject of the chapter. Where To Learn More sections describe important historical sites students can visit to gain a deeper understanding of the events discussed in the chapter. Abundant maps, charts, and graphs help students understand important events and trends. The topographical detail in many of the maps helps students understand the influence of geography on history. Illustrations and photographs—tied to the text with detailed captions—provide a visual dimension to history.
The American Journey comes with an extensive package of supplementary print and multimedia materials for both instructors and students. Print Supplements
Instructor's Resource Manual
The Instructor's Resource Manual contains chapter outlines, detailed chapter overviews, activities, discussion questions, readings, and information on audiovisual resources that are useful for preparing lectures and assignments.
Test Item File
The Test Item File includes over 1000 multiple-choice, true-false, essay, and map questions organized by chapter. A collection of blank maps can be photocopied and used for map testing or other class exercises.
Prentice Hall Custom Test
This commercial-quality computerized test management program, available for Windows and Macintosh environments, allows instructors to select items from the Test Item File and design their own exams.
This set of transparencies provides instructors with full-color acetates of all the maps, charts, and graphs in the text for use in the classroom.
Study Guide (Volumes I and II)
The Study Guide provides students with a brief overview of each chapter, a list of chapter objectives, study exercises, multiple-choice, short answer, and essay questions. In addition, each chapter includes two to three pages of specific map questions and exercises.
Documents in U.S. History (Volumes 1 and II)
This set of documents, taken from the Retrieving the American Past customized reader, provides five additional primary and secondary source documents—with prereading and postreading questions—for each chapter of the textbook.
Retrieving the American Past: A Customized U.S. History Reader
This collection of documents is an on-demand history database written and developed by leading historians and educators. It offers eighty compelling modules on topics in American history, such as "Women on the Frontier," "The Salem Witchcraft Scare," "The Age of Industrial Violence," and "Native American Societies, 1870-1995." Approximately thirty-five pages in length, each mo
Key Benefit: The American Journey introduces readers to the Key features of American political, social, and economic history. Written in a clear, engaging style with a straightforward chronological organization, it provides readers with a solid framework for understanding the past. Key Topics: It gives prominent coverage to the West and South and highlights the importance of religion in American history. It traces the emergence of distinctively American ideals and the way the conflict between those ideals and reality has shaped our nation's development. It brings alive the crucial issues and events behind the continuing effort of Americans to live up to their ideals. Market: Appropriate for readers interested in U.S. History.
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