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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

What criteria do you use to review a book like this? It holds up incredibly well for its age. It provides a lot of great context for bigger historical events. It's divided into logical and well researched sections. If you studied US History beyond high school, it's probably not going to be super...more

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 en...more

This book looks like it was meant to be a textbook to be studied at school, as the end of each chapter has review questions and further topics for research. The kindle edition has an extensive index that links you back to the appropriate portions of the text. It only covers the time period until...more

When I first picked up and started to read History of the United States by Charles A. Beard and his wife Mary Ritter Beard (two of the most influential historians of their time) I thought: “Let’s see what my parents had to study in school”. This high school textbook was first published in 1921. I...more

Learned more from a book published in 1921 than in my US history class.

This history book is pretty basic but covers U.S. History very thoroughly. I don't recommend it for someone who seriously wants to study the subject.

Beard's theory's of economic greed as the Founding Father's motivation I think are a bit twisted and make me think less of him. Sure, be...more

History of the United States

History of the United States by Charles A. Beard and Mary something, was disappointing. There were factual errors and spelling errors. I would cringe every time they misspelled Puerto Rico. This book is also outdated. Don't bother reading this book.

Charles Beard thought that an adequate US History book was needed for high school students. So being a historian he wrote one. It was published in 1921 and ends with the 1920 election. While is was intended to be a high school text it would be a good thing to read for most adults in this county....more

I downloaded this as an eBook from Amazon Kindle a couple of years ago when I received my first (and only) tablet. This is the first history textbook I have read for non-academic purposes, and it was phenomenal.

I really liked Charles A. Beard's narrative in this book. I was able to le...more

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