Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the Major Problems in American History series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays on important topics in U.S. history. This text serves as the primary anthology, even the textbook, for the course, covering the subject's entire chronological span. With nearly 50% new documents, the Second Edition places greater emphasis on diplomacy and foreign affairs, popular culture, religion, and the history of national and group identities. Documents in each chapter identify key issues and capture the passionate spirit and conviction of the historical actors. The essay selections highlight classic and current scholarship on the social and cultural history of the early republic.
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Sean Wilentz, PhD Yale University, is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History at Princeton University. His book, The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (2006), won several national honors, including the Bancroft Prize. Dr. Wilentz's other books include Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850 (1984), and (with Paul E. Johnson) The Kingdom of Matthias (1994). He is currently at work on a study of the liberal historians of the mid-twentieth century. Dr. Wilentz has held numerous fellowships including, most recently, the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. His essays and reviews appear regularly in scholarly journals and anthologies, as well as in The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Dissent, and other national publications.
Jonathan Earle, Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas, earned his BA in History, magna cum laude, from Columbia College in 1990 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1996. His book Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil won the prize for best first book from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, as well as other awards. He is also the author of the Routledge Atlas of African American History and John Brown's Raid: A Brief History (forthcoming from Bedford/St. Martin's Press). He is currently writing a history of the critical election of 1860 and working on a longer study of antislavery conversions in the Atlantic world. Earle has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Huntington Library. He spent the 2006-7 academic year as the Ray Allen Billington Visiting Chair in U.S. History at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Earle and his wife, the historian Leslie Tuttle, live in Lawrence, Kansas.
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