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U.S. History For Dummies [Paperback]

Steve Wiegand
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: £15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 2014 For Dummies
Ace your next history test with this concise, easy–to–read guide U.S. History for Dummies, 3 rd Edition fills the need to improve high school proficiency in history by providing a complete history of the United States, presented in an accessible, reader–friendly format designed to engage students while reinforcing lessons learned in class. The National Assessment of Educational Progress 2011 report showed that only 12% of high school seniors in the U.S. perform at a "proficient" level in history. This, coupled with the fact that U.S. History courses and AP exams have been redesigned to remedy the situation, means that many students and parents are in need of a supplemental study guide. Award–winning political journalist and history writer Steve Wiegand guides you through the events that shaped our nation, from pre–Columbian civilizations to the 21 st century. The explorers, the wars, the leaders, and the eras are all fully explored and explained, demonstrating how the past influences the future. From the Boston Tea Party to the current Tea Party, the updated 3 rd edition includes information about events that have occurred since the previous edition′s 2009 release. New coverage includes: Recession recovery, including federal efforts, unemployment, and the widening class divide The rise of the extreme right and the bitter divisions between political parties and geographic regions Seeking the balance between superpower and domestic caretaker The impact of social media, government surveillance, and cyber crime Not all history is old news, and what happened yesterday affects us all today. It is vitally important that all U.S. citizens are well–versed in the building of our nation, and remain aware of current events. For students and parents wondering what they′ve missed, U.S. History for Dummies, 3 rd Edition unlocks the door to the past—and the future.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 3rd Edition edition (6 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118888987
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118888988
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Learn: To appreciate the people, events, and places that shaped our nation The most controversial occurrences of the modern U.S. times The names and dates you need to know to score higher on your next U.S. History Exam The easy way to score higher in U.S. History U.S. History For Dummies, 3rd Edition guides you through the events that shaped our nation, from the Boston Tea Party to the current Tea Party, and everything in between. For students looking to ace their next history exam, or anyone who wants to brush up on U.S. history, this easy–to–follow guide covers the wars, leaders, and eras that influenced where we are now, as well as and where were headed. Theyre coming to America get to know the first–known settlers on American soil, the first non–Native Americans to explore the New World, and the first efforts of Europeans to create an actual settlement in America You say you want a revolution meet some of the most influential people in the early days of the United States and examine wars fought against pirates, England, Native Americans, and Mexico TV, Elvis, and reds under the bed take a look at the Cold War and how a booming economy, a move to the burbs, and the invention of television shaped American life The new face of America explore one of the most controversial presidential elections in U.S. history, the biggest terrorist attack in modern times, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and more Open the book and find: Interesting Americans, from political figures to national treasures The gold rush and industrial development The impact of the World Wars Causes and consequences of the Great Depression Life in America from Camelot to Watergate A look at how social media and technology are shaping America Ten events that helped define American culture

About the Author

Steve Wiegand, an award–winning political journalist and history writer for more than three decades, has been a reporter and columnist for the San Diego Evening Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee. He has authored or coauthored a half–dozen books on world and U.S. history.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limited introduction to US history 1 Sep 2014
By Dr. Paul Ell HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
US history gets the Dummies approach in this book which charts the history of the United States from, well, before it became the US, right up to the present. The early years get rather shorter treatment though with less that 20 pages on pre-European settlement to the early seventeenth century. In marked contrast, and perhaps more suited to a current affairs or US politics book, US 'history' from 2000 covers four chapters and close to 50 pages. Moreover the book seems to be largely aimed at an internal US market, especially for students, which impacts on the viewpoint the book takes. There's not much on US history and the world apart from a very US-focussed viewpoint. So some problems with this book for a non-US market where some issues would benefit from a different emphasis. This even comes down to the breakdown of chapters where the Cold War and its end doesn't really feature with chapters on 'TV, Elvis and Reds Under the Bed', 'Camelot to Watergate' and 'No Sex, Please, I'm the President.'

On a more positive note the book follows a straightforward chronological approach with each chapter broken down into many (too many?) subsections. There's the usual Dummies emphasis on remembering key facts and issues, and there's a good bibliography. It's a substantial book as well stretching to 400 pages.

Overall though, I can't help feeling there must be better ways of cramming for US history. I'm a fan of Dummies books but in this instance I don't think the book quite works. As a result three stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing Read 23 Aug 2014
By Stueeh Warburton VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The book is 396 pages long excluding the index. It is packed with loads of information from the start and it is done in a zany style which keeps the reader wanting to pick it up again. I found that I could happily read a couple of chapters before taking a break. Wiegand says that, “many people think of learning US history as a punishment”!
Don’t be fooled by the zany style though. There are plenty of no holds barred when mentioning how the native Indians were treated and the deeds –good and bad – of the Vikings, Spanish, French and British and by the “Americans” themselves to each other in the Civil War (4 years and 600,000 dead) and the shabby treatment of slaves. (The rest of the world is not guiltless either in this regard too). Mention is made of the Mason-Dixon Line above which slavery was outlawed.
The 3-400 hundred year history of the U.S. is broken down into a chronological journey covering 7 parts:- Getting Started with U.S. history ( a quick canter through the main events); Growing Pains; Coming of Age; America in Adulthood; Facing the New Millennium; The Part of Tens (10 that defined U.S. culture and 10 gaffs by presidents!) and Appendixes. The “history” is always based on perspective as the indigenous Indian population have lived there for a lot longer than 400 years. Indeed on page 7 he does comment about people “wondering in from Asia some 14,000 years ago”
There are grey shaded areas of information that we are advised can be read or ignored. But they are worth a read –the first one talks about the discovery of spears that date back several thousand years.
Christopher Columbus was 6 foot tall – well above the average for that time – he was also “one heck of a salesman”. He offered his trailblazing qualities to many country monarchs but wanted a piece of the action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, impartial history told with fun and gusto 28 Aug 2014
By R. WEST-SOLEY TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's a whole lot of history to fit into a single tome, but Dummies does it with style. Naturally, it's an extremely concise overview of 14,000 years, and there's no pretence that you're getting more than an overview, but the author manages to make it compelling, informative and factual throughout. In fact, the book rips along at a great pace, making this history lesson anything but dull. It has the tongue-in-cheek (though still reverent) humour characteristic of many of the other Dummies editions, quirky chapter titles and all, and it makes the process of covering so many years fun as well as comprehensive.

What's perhaps even more impressive about it is the impartiality - no mean feat when describing the highly partisan politics of 21st Century USA to date. Perhaps it's because there's simply no room for partisan discussion, but it does make a refreshing change to simply read about the events of the last 14 years in bare, factual terms, rather than coloured with opinion and conjecture. Really refreshing. There's a welcome, critical approach throughout; for example, the author spends time on de-stereotyping the native American, making this a progressive, fresh look at history, rather than the familiar, faulty vignettes.

An excellent resource for newbies and refreshers alike - not surprising that it's already in its third edition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A summarised history of the U.S. 14 Aug 2014
By Dante the Igniscient VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The "For Dummies" books offer readers an extremely accessible and easy way of learning about a specific subject. This book gives the reader the basic facts; dates, events, people from the history of the United States. All chapters are divided into titled sections and most of these are brief; usually less than a page; President Kennedy's assassination is only given one small paragraph on page 286. The text in shaded boxes gives brief biographical information, famous quotes or more obscure historical facts.

The book begins with a very brief chapter on the Anasazi culture which existed around AD1100 to 1300 and the Mound Builders who lived around the same time. While reading this book I learned a) Thorvald Ericsson was the first European to die in North America. b) At the time of Columbus' arrival there were at least 250 Native American tribes. c) More than 600,000 men died during the Civil War. d) The term "Hooker" meaning prostitute comes from the Union General, Joseph Hooker. e) The Vietnam War cost the nation $150 billion. f) Bill Clinton is only the second U.S. President to have been impeached.

The book ends with the legalization of gay marriage in 2013. The appendices are The Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Independence. For anyone who wants to know the basic facts about U.S. history this book is highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad
I don't find this that engaging. I am completely new to US history but I dont feel this explained things well enough and didnt add enough context to things.
Published 4 days ago by SuPeRsOnIc
4.0 out of 5 stars A good potted history
I knew very little about the history of the USA. What I did know had been picked up from films and snippets from the WWII history books I had read (by such authors as Steve... Read more
Published 10 days ago by M. O. HAYNES
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy summary of U.S. History
Like many people i assume of a certain age, approaching 50 fast, and im suddenly curious about the world, none of this of course interested me when i was young, a fact we often... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Beanie Luck Spud
4.0 out of 5 stars Americanised but full of easy to follow information
This book is (odd though it may sound) very Americanised but full of loads of easy to read relevant information. The cover states that it is about "our nation". Read more
Published 14 days ago by J. Lyne
4.0 out of 5 stars U.S HISTORY FOR DUMMIES?
This book is more about the story of America rather than the 'history' as such. While facts and figures are maintained like in most history books, it goes the extra mile to add the... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Uenna
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly easy read
Like most Britons I suspect the majority of my knowledge of American history has been drawn from popular culture in the form of books, films and television but I was drawn to this... Read more
Published 19 days ago by A Smile and a Wave
3.0 out of 5 stars but perhaps more interesting as an indicator of what American's think...
An interesting book, but perhaps more interesting as an indicator of what American's think of their own history than a good introduction to American history for a non... Read more
Published 19 days ago by artemisrhi
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful,easy guide to the whole History of the USA.....
This is a good basic guide to the History of the USA....it has good information about its beginnings all the way to the present day ... Read more
Published 22 days ago by mandynolan
4.0 out of 5 stars an easy to read but deceptively detailed overview of a subject
If you have ever so much as thumbed through any of the Dummies series you'll know what to expect; an easy to read but deceptively detailed overview of a subject. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Crazy Bald Heid
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