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History of the United States, Vol. IV: The West and Jacksonian Democracy

History of the United States, Vol. IV: The West and Jacksonian Democracy by Charles Austin Beard
By: (1874-1948)

Charles Beard was the most influential American historian of the early 20th century. He published hundreds of monographs, textbooks and interpretive studies in both history and political science. He graduated from DePauw University in 1898, where he met and eventually married Mary Ritter Beard, one of the founders of the first greek-letter society for women, Kappa Alpha Theta. Many of his books were written in collaboration with his wife, whose own interests lay in feminism and the labor union movement.

In 1921, Charles and Mary Beard published their textbook: History of the United States. A contemporaneous review stated: [i]The authors… assume enough maturity in…students to justify a topical rather than a chronological treatment. They have dealt with movements, have sketched large backgrounds, have traced causes, and have discussed the interrelation of social and economic forces and politics. All this has been directed to the large purpose of helping the student to understand American today in all its national characteristics and as part of world civilization as well…The literary style is exceptionally clear and crisp, and the whole approach…is thought producing. As a textbook or handbook for the average citizen it ranks with very best. (Summary from Wikipedia, Journal of History, and M.L. Cohen)

First Page:

HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES BY CHARLES A. BEARD AND MARY R. BEARD New York THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1921 All rights reserved COPYRIGHT, 1921, BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1921. Norwood Press J.S. Cushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co. NORWOOD, MASS., U.S.A. PREFACE As things now stand, the course of instruction in American history in our public schools embraces three distinct treatments of the subject. Three separate books are used. First, there is the primary book, which is usually a very condensed narrative with emphasis on biographies and anecdotes. Second, there is the advanced text for the seventh or eighth grade, generally speaking, an expansion of the elementary book by the addition of forty or fifty thousand words. Finally, there is the high school manual. This, too, ordinarily follows the beaten path, giving fuller accounts of the same events and characters. To put it bluntly, we do not assume that our children obtain permanent possessions from their study of history in the lower grades... Continue reading book >>

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