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As American colleges and universities strive to prepare twenty-first-century students for an ever-changing world, the importance of studying history within a liberal arts curriculum can be forgotten. Noting that the students of today are very present-minded, the authors of Reading and Writing American Historyshow how learning about history can be seamlessly integrated with up-to-the-minute technology, blending the past, the present, and even the future. Following the philosophy that students should become doersrather than simple consumers, the book aims to teach historical methods and skills while engaging students in a way no ordinary textbook can. The book is thus really a work-text, with opportunities for students to pause and reflect on what they are learning every few pages. Each chapter presents students not only with a period of American history, but also with a specific task to help them become better historians; for example, the chapter on the Civil War encourages students to use the Internet for research but also instructs them on how to tell valid online sources from spurious ones. The chapters include in-depth examinations of previously ignored or marginalized peoples, fulfilling the new multicultural mandates of history departments. By bringing students face to face with the questions that every history teacher and scholar confronts, the authors ensure that history becomes a living and breathing field of study for today's students.
Table of Contents
What is History, and Why Should We Study It? (Native Americans and Old World Peoples)
The Elements of Style: Outlines, Paragraphs, and Papers (Encounters in the Americas)
Evidence of the Past: Primary Sources (The Colonial Period)
The Historian's Work: Secondary Sources (Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution)
History and Law (The Federal Constitution)
Reading Historical Maps and Interpreting Visual Data (Country and City in the New Nation)
Narrative: Telling the Story (The Way West)
Reading Literary Texts in History (American Literature in the Middle Period)
History and Economics (The Transportation Revolution, the Rise of Manufacturing, and the New Labor Classes)
Women's History and Gender Relations (The Rise of the Middle Class Family and Domesticity)
History and the Social Sciences (Antebellum Reformers and Reforms)
Groups, Numbers, and Patterns in History (The Antebellum South)
Biography: Life and Times (Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Their Generation)
History on the Internet (The Civil War and Reconstruction)
Conclusion: Inevitability, Morality, and the Lessons of History (Civil War and Reconstruction)