on 18 June 2014
This is a very readable and comprehensive history of the post Second World War period up to the resignation of Nixon. Its coverage of the Cold War, McCarthyism, segregation and the civil rights movement, as well as the legal cases that ended segregation is clear. Patterson has the rare ability to summarize and synthesize without making you feel cheated of the facts, so soundly and well-argued are his conclusions; also with some humour. Immensely knowledgeable and wide-ranging this book is an outstanding achievement of general history written in clear and enjoyable prose.
on 8 March 2000
Our US history A level class at school has found it increasingly difficult to find textbooks that don't just ramble on and on and give a load of jumbled information in what, to us, seems like old fashioned writing by old fashioned historians. I bought Grand Expectations after seeing that the teacher seemed to use it again and again in the lesson and it was definitely a good move. Finally, I had found a book that was easy to understand and gave me all the facts that I needed without overcrowding my brain with useless information. So far, it has been a lifesaver and several others in the class have also purchased copies too. I highly recommend this for all struggling American history A Level students and even for all those who aren't struggling because it's well worth having.