9780297815693

A History of the American People

Johnson, Paul

ISBN 10: 0297815695 / 0-297-81569-5
ISBN 13: 9780297815693
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:
A narrative history of the United States, which is also a reinterpretation of every aspect of American history, of its politics and economics, its literature and art, its society and manners, and its religious beliefs.

Review:
Paul Johnson, whose previous works include the distinguished Modern Times and A History of the Jews, has produced an epic that spans the history of the American people over the past 400 years. The prolific narrative covers every aspect of U.S. history, from science, customs, religion, and politics to the individual men and women who have helped shape the nation. His detailed, provocative examinations of political and social icons, from Lyndon Johnson to Norman Rockwell, are especially strong. Johnson's text is intelligent and rich with detail, and yet extremely accessible for anyone interested in a reinterpretive analysis of America's past.

What makes this book unique is Johnson's approach to this self-professed Herculean task. The prevalent tone throughout is optimism. Whether he's discussing race relations, industrialization, the history of women, immigrants, Vietnam, or political correctness, Johnson--a staunch conservative who was born, bred, and educated in England--is openly enamored with America's past, particularly the hardships and tribulations that the nation has had to overcome. He sees this story as a series of important lessons, not just for Americans but for the whole of mankind as well. At a time when other contemporary scholars find it easier to bemoan the past, Johnson offers the reader "a compelling antidote to those who regard the future with pessimism."

Review

 

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