Read A Little History of the United States by JamesWest Davidson Online


How did a land and people of such immense diversity come together under a banner of freedom and equality to form one of the most remarkable nations in the world? Everyone from young adults to grandparents will be fascinated by the answers uncovered in James West Davidson’s vividly told A Little History of the United States. In 300 fast-moving pages, Davidson guides his reaHow did a land and people of such immense diversity come together under a banner of freedom and equality to form one of the most remarkable nations in the world? Everyone from young adults to grandparents will be fascinated by the answers uncovered in James West Davidson’s vividly told A Little History of the United States. In 300 fast-moving pages, Davidson guides his readers through 500 years, from the first contact between the two halves of the world to the rise of America as a superpower in an era of atomic perils and diminishing resources.   In short, vivid chapters the book brings to life hundreds of individuals whose stories are part of the larger American story. Pilgrim William Bradford stumbles into an Indian deer trap on his first day in America; Harriet Tubman lets loose a pair of chickens to divert attention from her escaping slaves; the toddler Andrew Carnegie, later an ambitious industrial magnate, gobbles his oatmeal with a spoon in each hand. Such stories are riveting in themselves, but they also spark larger questions to ponder about freedom, equality, and unity in the context of a nation that is, and always has been, remarkably divided and diverse....

Title : A Little History of the United States
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780300181418
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 344 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Little History of the United States Reviews

  • Corey Landon Wozniak
    2019-05-20 09:26

    4.5 stars.A joy to read! Badly needed a refresher on American history, and this did the trick. I had some gaping holes that this book helped fill in. This book was helpful enough, and pleasant enough, that I can imagine re-reading it again-- maybe even again this year-- to better remember all the fascinating people/events. I can also imagine reading/listening to it with my children.I want to learn more about about feminists Elizabeth Candy Stanton and Lucretia Mott, abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and David Walker. And I continue to be especially interested in American religionists: George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, William Bradford, John Winthrop etc., and the heretics Thomas Morton, Ann Hutchinson.

  • Casey Wheeler
    2019-05-07 13:25

    I received a prepublication copy of this book (September 15, 2015) through NetGalley with the understanding that I would publish are review on my blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google + pages along with NetGalley, Amazon and Goodreads.I requested this book because I am have an interest in the history of the United States.This is the type of history book that my late father-in-law would have loved. You can open it to any part and read a brief overview of some historical occurrence in America. The book is laid out in chronological order for those who want to read it from beginning to end with short chapters that are informative and entertaining. While it hits all of the highlights it does delve into some of the more unknown events in our history.I recommend this book to anyone who wants an easy to read, light on detail story of the United States.

  • MatthewIrvine91
    2019-05-16 14:29

    Really excellent book. Engaging and useful for filling in my very patchy knowledge of the Early Pilgrim Fathers, the War of Independence and the Civil War period.

  • Tim Conder
    2019-05-03 10:12

    A good overview of American History, that covers the period from Pre-Columbus to the modern era. The book has little critical analysis, and provides largely the received wisdom on major events, including events that are well known to be fabrications or exaggeration. However, the book does engage with a few key debates, and is somewhat critical of Columbus and other colonial figures.It is a good introductory book and will give young people a good overview and framework for engaging in deeper analysis in the future. However, it will not challenge people who already have a level of understanding of the topic.

  • Kristine
    2019-04-30 13:25

    A Little History of the United States is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late August, though a few days before attending the MN State Fair; sort of an American classic onto itself, I think.James West Davidson has created a Baz Luhrman-like tableau of scenery-plopping tales. The chapters ripple delightfully with hundreds of years of blink-and-you'll-miss-it details and major & minor characters that flit by in the course of a sentence. Terrific.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-24 10:17

    This was very interesting. He author was very good at being able to talk about the various things/people/ideas that have made America what it is today. And all without getting bogged down in side stories, tangents, or extraneous details.

  • Julia Knihs
    2019-05-11 12:17

    Esse livro não é um livro de história comum que você leria para entender melhor da história de algum lugar. Ele traz uma nova perspectiva sobre os Estados Unidos, e faz refletir sobre o que é verdadeiramente a igualdade. Mesmo ele estando um pouco desatualizado, já que foi publicado em 2015 e não leva em consideração os eventos que envolvem o Trump, é muito recomendado (principalmente para certo presidente que parece que esqueceu dos valores de igualdade da nação e de como o país foi criado por imigrantes).

  • George Dean
    2019-05-12 13:07

    Extremely impressive to cover almost 500 years of history in 300 pages. Unfortunately though I feel like this book has some major pacing problems, with some parts of history being glossed over very quickly and some almost inconsequential parts dwelled on for a considerable amount of time. All in all, not a bad read though, and great for a quick insight into American history

  • Marlies
    2019-05-21 10:09

    I am a BIG fan of the "little history" books--started, I believe, in honor of Gombrich's classic, A Little History of Art. Designed for younger readers, these books are enjoyable, informative and easy to dip into right before bed or if you have a few minutes at lunch.

  • Margaret Farrell
    2019-04-27 10:29

    interesting! cool details and concise writing.

  • Andrea
    2019-05-23 13:10

    Good refresher on American History. Not biased at all. Cut and dry.

  • Emma
    2019-05-05 08:12

    Engaging read filled with interesting tidbits. It spans 500 years of American history, so it doesn't go terribly in-depth, but it is a good overall overview.

  • Ryan
    2019-05-12 10:12

    In his well-told "little history" of the United States, Davidson brings a parade of American personalities before the reader all while telling of America's struggle for freedom and equality beginning with 1492 and concluding in the present. Part of the success of the book, besides its readability and gracious narrative, is Davidson's avoidance of polemics -- the book is neither conservative nor progressive, but rather, hopes to nudge the reader, ever sobered by the realities of historical terrors and missteps, towards a nobler vision of a nation striving to understand who "the people" are, how they can live freely, and what it means for them to be equal.

  • Darren Nyce
    2019-05-19 11:13

    Started a bit slowly, but overall a nice U.S. History summary.

  • Hilary
    2019-05-06 09:08

    I received a copy of this book for free through the GoodReads first-reads program in exchange for an honest review. A Little History of the United States had many aspects that I absolutely loved.First: From the very outset the book made clear that history books are inevitably biased. Anytime you read a history book you are reading history through the lens of a certain theme. In this case, the theme was that of equality and inequality, which they made exceptionally clear from the introduction and through the book itself. I appreciated how up front they were.Second: The book was divided into very short chapters, allowing this book to be a quick read. Although the chapters were short each had a very clear focus and was surprisingly in depth. Quotes were used often, and I'm a glutton for primary sources. I loved how much attention was given.Third: Maps! Well labeled maps of famous battlefields, as well as the way the territories were originally divided. Excellent!The book did a very good job of highlighting the diversity of the United States through the ages. It explained the slave trade exceptionally well, bringing up points that I'd never even considered before. I appreciated the vast scope of the project, and how neutral the tone was up through Reconstruction. It was only as the book got closer to modern day that it began to rush through events rather more quickly than I'd like, but I can understand the need to do so given the scope of the project and the limited space available.I think this is a good introductory history book. It whets the appetite and would allow a reader more ease of access to figure out what time period and topic they'd like to read about in US history.

  • Larry Hostetler
    2019-04-28 11:30

    Very interesting, and almost completely devoid of political slant. It must be difficult to fit 500 years of history into 300 pages and make it enjoyable reading, but Davidson accomplishes the task. It is obviously necessary to be selective in recounting the most important parts of history when you cannot limit it to political or social but have to cover the broad scope of events and decide which are most important to the tale. As the author explains in the last chapter, how do you cover the last 50 years without mentioning the moon landing or (even more important) the internet. But what do you leave out? How do you cover the civil war in a few pages? By giving a perspective of major issues, like equality and the multicultural milieu that is an enduring theme of U.S. history. I only had a couple of issues with the book. I felt too much credit was given to FDR for improving the recession when a far greater impact (in fact, the primary impact) on the end of the depression was WWII, not FDR's policies. (GDP didn't return to 1929 levels until we ramped up for WWII, and unemployment was still 15% - officially - in 1939. Down considerably, but nowhere near pre-depression levels.) And there seemed to me to be an overweening attention to the role of African-Americans in the history of the U.S. When you are limiting yourself in scope, the plight and role - while interesting and educational - was out of balance with the place African-Americans played in the historic narrative. It is certainly good to include the information, but my feeling was that more space was given to that aspect of history than warranted. Did Malcolm X have more impact on U.S. history than Bill Clinton?Tough decisions, but not diminishing the value of the content or the fact that the book is a good read.

  • Randall Wallace
    2019-05-25 11:11

    The author has lots of great insights such helping us envision that the 8 million occupants of Pre-Invasion North America in 1492 would visually mean that a floating hawk, wherever it would fly, would “see plumes of smoke”. Admiral Zheng predated Columbus onto our continent by 63 years. While Columbus had three tiny ships, Zheng had 100 times as many, and his ships were also more than four times as long. On the east coast, the majority of those who arrived aboard the Mayflower were not Pilgrims but were strangers accepted and accommodated for as part of the Mayflower Compact. Calvin and Luther brought the big new ideas of “Judge for yourself and build a holy commonwealth.” I loved the story of Cabeza de Vaca whose rare vision was for Spaniards and indigenous to farm and live together peacefully. If you want to see a US history student squirm, ask them “What happened in America between 1542 and 1682?” ☺ It’s a dead zone, the Bermuda triangle of American History.

  • Pratyu
    2019-04-29 14:29

    I am an immigrant student and I have been living in the United States for over 5 years now and know very little about American history. This book was perfect for me to get an overview of the history of United States. It's not merely written as a collection of important historical facts but Davidson tells the story of the US in a way that a non historian would appreciate the reason things happened the way they happened. It's hard to read more than a few chapters in one sitting because you learn so much about this country that it is overwhelming and you need to take a break and allow yourself to be blown away by the unique history that has shaped the country. I especially loved Davidson walking us through the Declaration of Independence and the constitution! It's a great read! Must read if you just arrived in this country and don't know much about the history.

  • Christine
    2019-05-14 15:06

    Davidson provides a competent narrative of the American story as understood by present-day citizens. He values the importance of unnamed Americans as much as the contributions of key historical figures. This is a modern account that asks modern questions about Americans' motivations: Has American ever been "one" nation? What does equality really mean in the United States? The implied answers and calls to action line up squarely with contemporary progressive politics. Anyone looking for historical background to questions of the day will find "A Little History of the United States" a useful little book.

  • Lea
    2019-05-16 15:20

    I received an advanced copy of this book with approval from the publisher through NetGalley in order to read and review it. This is a great quick read. Perfect for anyone who is a little rusty on their American history, or history buffs just looking for a fun read. Though the chapters are short, there is just enough story and character development to keep it interesting. Thus, in some ways it reads more like historical fiction than a textbook (I think that's a good thing.) Wouldn't it be great if every American had at least this baseline knowledge of American history? Sadly, I don't think we'll ever get there.

  • Mingunnkim
    2019-05-04 10:24

    This is a great history book written by James West Davidson. It is about the United States. He explains an easy to read but clear history. I believe that this book is for kids who are either at the end of elementary school, or around the start of middle school, but still, as it is a great book, it just should be for everyone who has a liking for history, and can read.

  • Steveking
    2019-05-20 09:07

    I loved this book. I wish I'd had it when I moved to the US five years ago, but I picked it up last year as it was new. It's a brilliantly accessible, entertaining and sometimes poetic account of North American and United States history from pre-Columbus times almost to the present day. It's beautifully written, and sparks curiosity to learn more.

  • Gregory Meul
    2019-05-22 13:26

    A beautifully written "short tale" of American history. The perfect way to get introduced to America's last 500 years. Loved it! And thanks James West Davidson for making your book so accessible to non-English readers. I want more!

  • Becca
    2019-05-13 14:00

    A delicious two-bite brownie of history. Somehow, Davidson managed to capture the essence of many historical moments in an engaging and enjoyable little snack.I RECEIVED THIS BOOK FROM NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST REVIEW

  • Osmond Wang
    2019-05-16 12:09

    Liked the perspective but difficult to follow in audio book format.

  • Mary
    2019-05-08 08:18

    I read this over the course of two months, on and off. Very interesting and it included a few maps, which I always enjoy studying. Covers about 500 years.

  • Jennings
    2019-05-16 16:03

    Clear, Concise, and oddly lyrical. It was a great overview of U.S. history and still enjoyable despite having most of this knowledge drilled into my head in school

  • Jim Blessing
    2019-05-25 11:09

    This was a nice read.

  • Sharon R Zuiderveld
    2019-05-05 12:00

    A delightful, perceptive overview of the history of the United States. A great way to review all those eras we either studied in school or have lived through in the past decades.

  • Joe Jeney
    2019-05-24 11:24

    Enjoyable narrative.