Print this page Share

Turning Points: Making Decisions in American History, Volume 2

David Burner (Editor), Anthony Marcus (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-881089-54-4
244 pages
August 1999, Wiley-Blackwell
Turning Points: Making Decisions in American History, Volume 2 (1881089541) cover image


Turning Points: Making Decisions in American History uses documents to reintroduce students to the contingency, the adventure of the American past. The decisions examined here all had complex historical roots, multiple causes that could have led to quite differing outcomes. They were not simply made in one intense moment by some single important individual. Even when an identifiable leader acted with the authority of Woodrow Wilson in taking the country into war or Harry S. Truman in ordering the use of nuclear weapons, the action was in response to the previous decisions of many, sometimes countless people. And in other instances-when women went to work in factories during World War II, for example, or families moved to the suburbs afterward-major changes in American life resulted from the private decisions of millions of Americans.

In Turning Points students will encounter what happened in the past in the light of what might have happened. They will see points where will and judgment produced one result rather than another.

See More

Table of Contents

1. "Forty Acres and a mule": Land for the Ex-Slaves?.

2. George Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Sioux War.

3. Selective Immigration: The Chinese Case.

4. Dam Hetch Hetchy?.

5. How America Fought Its First Drug War: The Harrison Act.

6. The United States Goes to War Against the Axis Powers, 1917.

7. Margaret Sanger Battles for Birth Control.

8. Sit Down and Fight: Labor Wars of the 1930s.

9. Leaving Home: American Women in World War II.

10. The Atomic Bomb and the Era of Total War.

11. Moving In: The Flight to the Suburbs.

12. "I Question America": Fannie Lou Hamer of Ruleville, Mississippi.

13. Vietman: Resisting the War.

14. Social Security: You Decide.

See More

Author Information

David Burner, a professor of history at SUNY at Stony Brook, received his doctorate at Columbia, where he studied under Richard Hofstadter. He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and was a Ford Fellow at Harvard. His early books are The Politics of Provincialism and Herbert Hoover: A Public Life. He is also the author of Making Peace with the Sixties (1996) and John F. Kennedy and a New Generation (2nd edition, 2003). He is currently writing a history of West Point.

Anthony Marcus teaches in the School of Anthropology, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Melbourne in Australia. He has published on globalization and culture change (Anthropology For A Small Planet, 1996) and American history, and his current writing focuses on Mexican migrants in the northeastern United States, poverty and public policy, the politics of the culture concept in development, and comparative mestizajes.

See More

Related Titles

Back to Top