The Character of American History

The Character of American History

The Character of American History

The Character of American History

Excerpt

This book is intended primarily for those with no previous knowledge of the history of the United States; but it is hoped that those already acquainted with the history of that country will find its pages not altogether unprofitable. There is much omitted: there is little about the history of the West, military history makes but one brief appearance, intellectual history often receives cursory treatment, and geographical factors receive short measure. For these omissions I make no apology. The main concern of the book is with politics in their broadest sense, with the art of living together in society, and I have chosen the incidents and arguments which seem to me to throw most light upon American political evolution. For me the great success of the United States lies in their political achievement, while the greatest challenge to modern Americans is the proper use of their political power.

I have not attempted to equip the book with an apparatus of bibliographical references, and the footnotes are intended to illustrate, occasionally to amuse, and to introduce the reader in a fragmentary way to the rich literature of American history. The suggestions for further reading, which will be found at the end of the book, provide a course for those engaged upon a study of American history. This book is not an academic exercise, but I hope that those who read it will nevertheless be able to find in it some of the merits of professional history.

W. R. BROCK

Cambridge June 1959 . . .

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