3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An excellent history of America, one of the best...,
This review is from: America, Empire of Liberty: A New History (Paperback)
This is one of the best single-volume histories of America I've ever read. Whilst it does have to sometimes skim over certain topics or eras in the interests of brevity, it doesn't leave out anything important, and the relative shortness of the text gives the benefit of a broad overview, particularly in terms of the persistent characteristic of having an enemy to fight and draw the country together - first it was the British, then the Native Americans, then the Spanish in Mexico, Nazi Germany, the Cold War and now Islamic fundamentalists.
Reynolds draws on three major themes that have defined America over the years - empire, liberty and faith - and shows how these have intertwined over the years to make America the country it is. These themes highlight more than any other the contradictions at the heart of America - "the empire forged by anti-imperialists, the land of liberty than rested on slavery, the secular state energized by godly ambition".