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Somewhat Informative, But Extremely Biased
on 10 December 2013
America is one of the most fascinating and influential countries in the history of the World. For a while now it has been recognized as a singularly important country in the World, be it in terms of its economic and military power, its cultural influence, or its remarkable scientific and technological advances. This is that much more remarkable considering that America is a relatively young country - as a nation it has only existed for close to a quarter of a millennium, and as an distinct political and cultural entity for perhaps a couple of centuries longer. This pales in comparison to any other major nation in the world, some of whose histories extend for several millennia. Nonetheless, America boasts of a rich and interesting history.
This very short introduction to American history aims to give a highlight of all the major historical developments over the last four centuries or so. It is for the most part a very accessible and digestible account. People who are already well familiar with American history will find a lot of information in here that they had already been exposed to in other settings. The first two thirds of the book or so is just a very straightforward and clearly written rehash of the main events and developments in American history.
Unfortunately as the book progresses it becomes increasingly tendentious and ideological. This is first manifested by the choice of topic covered (more and more space given to special grievance groups beloved by the liberal academics), then by the tendentious characterization of events and policies (liberal ones are always virtuous and "progressive," while the opposition to them comes from the misguided conservatives), to the downright falsehood and lies that have been discredited many times by all objective sources, but have become articles of faith by the left (Bush himself never declared "Mission Accomplished," there was no torture at Guantanamo Bay). The latter parts of the book read like a laundry list of highlights from the editorial pages of the New York Times or Huffington Post. They are not serious works of historiography by any measure. This is why I am unable to recommend this book to anyone interested in getting an objective and serious account of American history.