America! Yours in 592 Pages

It may be that the best one-volume history of the United States has been penned by a Brit. David Reynolds takes us into the very essence of what it means to be an American, offering wisdom perhaps only possible from an outsider.

Issue: Nov-Dec 2009

David Reynolds, America, Empire of Liberty: A New History of the United States (New York: Basic Books, 2009), 592 pp., $35.00.

 

[amazon 046501500X full] LET US not mince words. In my judgment, this is the best one-volume history of the United States ever written. To be sure, not many such books are written anymore, mainly because historians have sliced and diced the American past into increasingly smaller segments, the monograph aimed at fellow specialists is the preferred scholarly vehicle, and textbooks covering all of American history are usually multiauthor affairs in which each contributor focuses on his or her designated piece of the chronological terrain.

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