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Summary

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.

Davidson guides listeners 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 audiobook brings to life hundreds of individuals whose tales 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.

©2015 James West Davidson (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Tad Davis
  • 02-01-16

Brief but informative

Davidson's little history - part of a series apparently inspired by Gombrich's little history of the world - captures the essence of some of the critical issues of American history. He focuses on freedom and equality and how those concepts played out through the Revolution, the conflicts over slavery, the robber barons of the industrial revolution, the many crises of the twentieth century.

The narrative is mostly political and social, at the expense of military history: the battles of America's many wars race by at triple speed. The politics are described concisely and the coverage is broad, although I felt a gap in his discussion of the early Republic. The Constitution was like a musical score: the actual working government, and the implementation of checks and balances, had to be assembled almost on the fly. Davidson doesn't linger over the details of this process as much as I wish he had.

Arthur Morey has a great voice for this kind of straightforward historical narrative. He manages to sound objective without sounding passionless. It's a brisk and informative introduction / review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 20-05-16

Great

Well written, easy to follow along. Really enjoyed it. Western bias, but they stated that at the beginning.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexander
  • 28-06-18

It’s accurately titled “little history”

I bought this book, sadly, by the recommendation of another teacher I happened to meet at an history AP conference. This was one of the worst narratives on US history I’ve ever read. Honestly, textbooks are slightly better. The author glosses over, often inaccurately, difficult human rights moments in American history. There are so many errors with basic skills like cause and effect during the chapter on the civil rights era and others. Ww2 and the Cold War were awful. I almost wanted to stop listening after that chapter. Every time this author could offer some social justice history he failed miserably. Rosa Parks didn’t start the Civil Rights movement she was not just a seamstress but was a secretary for the NAACP. Brown v Board provided a legal bias to challenge Jim Crow segregation. JFK did not come up with the idea for voter registration as is alluded. Simply stuff to include even in a simple history book. It’s hard to be considered a credible historian without an honest, objective perspective on American history. Editorializing and choice words of bias by the author. Save your time and money, awful work here. I would donate this book but disagree with it’s contents too strongly to spread.

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  • Ultima Gaina
  • 09-04-18

excellent book

Loved this book. No knowledge prerequisites, except, maybe, for basic grammar concepts.
Very informative.
If I dare, I have one little correction: romanian kept the article at the end of the noun (e.g. "the man" is "omul", instead of "ul om"), because of its Latin heritage, not because it was influenced by the surrounding slavic languages, as stated in this course.

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  • Sam Walker
  • 29-03-18

More Progressive in viewpoint

For a short history, its striking how much time is given to individuals like Rachel Carson, and it ends with comparing nuclear war to global warming.

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  • BKOregon
  • 23-05-17

Wonderful book!

I loved this book! Well written, and narrated, it weaves a fascinating story of American history. In this time, where our leaders and followers seem to have little grasp of how our Republic came to be, this is especially important while being entertaining.