Editorial Reviews for this title:
At last, American history is more than presidents and robber barons, elections and battles, names and dates to memorize. Who Built America? is about working Americans -- artisans, servants, slaves, farm families, laborers, women working in the home, factory hands, and office clerks -- who played crucial roles in shaping modern America: what they thought, what they did, and what happened to them.
The central focus of this two-volume history of the United States is the changing nature of the work that built, sustained, and transformed American society over the course of almost four centuries. It depicts the ways working people affected and were affected by the economic, social, cultural, and political processes that together make up the national experience. The result is a path-breaking integration of the history of community, family, gender roles, race, and ethnicity into the more familiar history of U.S. politics and economic development.
Volume One takes the reader through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the great railroad strike of 1877. Volume Two continues the story from the expansion of industrial capitalism during the Gilded Age and the rise of movements of opposition, through the decades of world war, depression, and industrial unionism, to the dramatic growth of U.S. military and economic power in the postwar era and the continuing struggle over the meaning of America in the contemporary era.
"This is an amazing job. The text reads as if it were the work of a single, eloquent, spirited and committed writer. The material is rich and interesting, the language forceful and compelling...the production of the book does it proud." --Roger Kennedy, Director of the National Museum of American History, on Who Built America? Volume One
"The first accessible yet sophisticated reinterpretation of early U.S. history based on the new social history. Who Built America?, Volume One clearly reveals ours as a land of many peoples, and so it will be welcomed not only by history teachers who believe workers and the labor movement have been left out of history books but also by those high school and college educators who want to address an increasingly diverse student population with a multicultural approach to U.S. history." --James Green, Boston Globe
"My task would have been easier if I had been using Who Built America? as [my] course text. Who Built America?, Volume One, offers the most effective visual record of 18th- and 19th-century America that I have seen in text... [presenting] the graphics as documents to be analyzed and interpreted in their own right.... Similarly the written documents...bring the values, aspirations, and prejudices of the past alive and help students to understand the kinds of records from which history is constructed."--Elizabeth Blackmar, Columbia University
From the Publisher
"Who Built America? is an extremely insightful and thoughtful compendium of social and labor history, skillfully interwoven with a far more critical than usual political history of the nation. It is a gracefully written chronicle that will serve as something of a counter-textbook, an antidote to conventional treatments that have generally given short shrift to a large segment of the population..."
-- Alex Keyssar, Duke University, in The Nation
"This is an amazing job. The text reads as if it were the work of a single, eloquent, spirited and committed writer. The material is rich and interesting, the language forceful and compelling...the production of the book does it proud."
-- Roger Kennedy, Director, National Museum of American History
From the Back Cover
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