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History of the United States

Charles Austin Beard and Mary Ritter Beard

Book Overview: 

Charles and Mary Beard published their History of the United States. A contemporaneous review stated: “The authors… assume enough maturity in high school students to justify a topical rather than a chronological treatment. They have dealt with movements, have sketched large backgrounds, have traced causes, and have discussed the interrelation of social and economic forces and politics. All this has been directed to the large purpose of helping the student to understand American today in all its national characteristics and as part of world civilization as well…The literary style is exceptionally clear and crisp, and the whole approach…is thought producing. As a textbook or handbook for the average citizen it ranks with very best.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Not once did an army of militiamen overcome an equal number of British regulars in an open trial by battle. "To bring men to be well acquainted with the duties of a soldier," wrote Washington, "requires time.... To expect the same service from raw and undisciplined recruits as from veteran soldiers is to expect what never did and perhaps never will happen."

How the War Was Won.—Then how did the American army win the war? For one thing there were delays and blunders on the part of the British generals who, in 1775 and 1776, dallied in Boston and New York with large bodies of regular troops when they might have been dealing paralyzing blows at the scattered bands that constituted the American army. "Nothing but the supineness or folly of the enemy could have saved us," solemnly averred Washington in 1780. Still it is fair to say that this apparent supineness was not all due to the British generals. The ministers behind them believed that a large part of the c. . . Read More

Community Reviews

School Days.

When I was a kid in school. History was my least favorite topic. School ruined how exciting and fun history can be. Memorizing a bunch of dates and a headline, leaving out the amazing stories. This book is great. It puts dates, events and explanation of those events in an easy to underst

As a classroom history teacher, I realize that I am out of my league in reviewing this book. Charles and Mary Beard are "name brand" historians. There are precious few historians that make it to that level, and for me, a classroom teacher, to deign to review the work of a historian that has an entir

In depth treatment of US history through the early 1920's, when this work was published. While the post 1900 chapters show a political preference (Wilson), it is well written with good references.

The authors (Dr & Mrs Beard) focused on subjects within a time frame so that the reader can examine mos

Probably one of the more accessible and deeper overviews of the beginning of the American government.

Written in 1921ish. Just snapshots of various themes throughout American history.

OMG. I totally didn't pay attention in school. Asked my daughter if she knew the meaning of indentured servitude. (I was well prepared to explain). But she immediately said "immigrants that traveled overseas and used their labor instead of money to travel to America" who doesn't know that she said.

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