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The Limits of Liberty: American History 1607-1992 (Short Oxford History of the Modern World) Paperback – 9 Mar 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (9 Mar 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198205724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198205722
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 4 x 15.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

The clear exposition of the main ideas and the simple and agile notation the author uses help facilitate the comprehension of the different concepts presented. [] This book is highly recommendable due to the insight it gives into the field of quantum field theories, providing a sound basis for further research. (Journal of Statistical Physics)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By thepeopleschamp666@yahoo.com on 31 Mar 2001
Format: Paperback
As a third year student of history, I have done several modules on American history, including the colonial period, the struggle for Independence, the American Civil War,and 20th century American history, including the Presidential terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt,Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, for every module I have had a companion, and that is Maldwyn Jones' Limits of Liberty. Recommended in my first year by my course leader, this is essentially a text book. Jones does not go into significant depths with his book, he provides the facts,he tells what happened and tells the reader why. He does not offer controversial analysis, because this is not what the book is intended to provide, Jones has the task of educating the reader, providing an introduction to all aspects of general American history between 1607 and 1992. Utilising the book, the reader will obtain a good understanding of each area, which is nicely broken down into separate sections, helping the reader in terms of making it easy to read. Focused on the student, and the newcomer, not the expert, The Limits of Liberty provides an excellent starting ground for anyone who is new to general American history.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
Jones' book is one that everyone must read if they are to begin the study of american history. It is a comprehensive text with a broad range of subjects and topics that deals with the specifics of each as well as a broad overview. It is detailed enough as to be concise yet it does not overload you with unecessary information. It provides an objective look at american involvement in various conflicts and international affairs. An excellent narrative and analysis of the american history that encompasses nearly 400 years. A must for students and enthusiasts alike!
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Format: Paperback
What is wrong with this book is the same that goes wrong with all books about the USA. The period from the end of the Civil War to the beginnings of the First World War presents us with a very dry intermission where not a great deal appears to happen. For an unsophisticated reader such as myself someone is needed to grasp my hand and lead me through the points that are salient but not actually very engaging.

For instance, a lot of post-civil war policy-making hinged around the potency of the 'tariff' and the reform of this mechanism. By that I take it to mean the amount of taxation levied upon imports, and from that the definition escalates to how this tariff level affected differing levels of society in the US. This is all very interesting at first glance, but it has to be explained in full detail to get the full grasp of what it entails. It needs an 'idiot's guide' approach for a reader who is more used to reading about John Brown and Antietam and Sherman's march to the sea. If you want to understand the US over this period you need to understand the subtleties of what happened in peacetime. And its dullness can be ameliorated by a full explanation of what is actually happening. This book is not meeting the challenge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a review of the original 1983 edition, part of Oxford University Press's series on the history of the modern world. (According to the Guardian's obituary of Maldwyn Jones, who died in 2007, the second edition of 1995 added a discussion on "the conservative revival of the 1980s and the presidential election of 1992. It remains the most authoritative and comprehensive single-authored survey of American history to date.") The original edition, which ends in 1980, has twenty-eight chapter, fifteen maps, and five tables, details of which are given at the end of this review.

"The United States began as an extension of Europe. In some important respects it remained one." These are Jones's opening words, full of insight. He continues, "Yet even the first colonial settlements were never an exact replica of Europe. Right from the start American society and culture diverged from European models." Much about the American character is explained by Jones, but not the American penchant for referring to themselves with a middle initial, examples of which appear on virtually every page: indeed, it is notable when someone is not named in this fashion.

Jones punctures a few myths of the founding of the first colonies, but his work on their early history is relatively brief compared to subsequent years. For example, the first one hundred years of the colonies are contained within the opening twenty-page chapter, and independence from Britain is gained by the end of chapter three. Following chapters, though still following a broadly chronological progress, become based on themes: politics, economy, society, growth. Each chapter is about the right length, taking me about an hour each to read.
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