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U.S. History For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Steve Wiegand

ISBN: 978-1-118-88898-8 April 2014 432 Pages

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Ace your next history test with this concise, easy-to-read guide

U.S. History for Dummies, 3rd Edition fills the need to improve high school proficiency in history by providing a complete history of the United States, presented in an accessible, reader-friendly format designed to engage students while reinforcing lessons learned in class. The National Assessment of Educational Progress 2011 report showed that only 12% of high school seniors in the U.S. perform at a "proficient" level in history. This, coupled with the fact that U.S. History courses and AP exams have been redesigned to remedy the situation, means that many students and parents are in need of a supplemental study guide.

Award-winning political journalist and history writer Steve Wiegand guides you through the events that shaped our nation, from pre-Columbian civilizations to the 21st century. The explorers, the wars, the leaders, and the eras are all fully explored and explained, demonstrating how the past influences the future. From the Boston Tea Party to the current Tea Party, the updated 3rd edition includes information about events that have occurred since the previous edition's 2009 release. New coverage includes:

  • Recession recovery, including federal efforts, unemployment, and the widening class divide
  • The rise of the extreme right and the bitter divisions between political parties and geographic regions
  • Seeking the balance between superpower and domestic caretaker
  • The impact of social media, government surveillance, and cyber crime

Not all history is old news, and what happened yesterday affects us all today. It is vitally important that all U.S. citizens are well-versed in the building of our nation, and remain aware of current events. For students and parents wondering what they've missed, U.S. History for Dummies, 3rd Edition unlocks the door to the past—and the future.

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with US History 5

Chapter 1: America: A Short Biography 7

Chapter 2: Native Americans and Explorers: 14,000 BC (?)–1607 21

Chapter 3: Pilgrims’ Progress: The English Colonies, 1607–1700 39

Chapter 4: You Say You Want a Revolution: 1700 –1775 53

Chapter 5: Yankee Doodlin’: 1775 –1783 69

Chapter 6: Blueprints and Birth Pains: 1783–1800 83

Part II: Growing Pains 95

Chapter 7: “Long Tom” and One Weird War: 1800–1815 97

Chapter 8: Pulling Together to Keep from Falling Apart: 1815–1844 115

Chapter 9: War, Gold, and a Gathering Storm: 1845–1860 137

Chapter 10: A Most Uncivil War: 1861–1865 151

Chapter 11: Putting the Country Back Together: 1865–1876 167

Part III: Coming of Age 179

Chapter 12: Growing Up: 1876–1898 181

Chapter 13: Growing into the 20th Century: 1899 –1918 199

Chapter 14: Gin, Jazz, and Lucky Lindy: 1919–1929 215

Chapter 15: Uncle Sam’s Depressed: 1930–1940 231

Chapter 16: The World at War: 1941–1945 247

Part IV: America in Adulthood 265

Chapter 17: TV, Elvis, and Reds under the Bed: 1946–1960 267

Chapter 18: Camelot to Watergate: 1961–1974 283

Chapter 19: Hold the Malaise, or, Ayatollah So: 1975 –1992 299

Chapter 20: No Sex, Please, I’m the President: 1993 –1999 313

Part V: Facing the New Millennium 325

Chapter 21: Terror Comes Home; America Goes to War(s) 327

Chapter 22: Recessions Can Be Really Depressing 341

Chapter 23: Reforming Healthcare Is No Tea Party 353

Chapter 24: This New America 367

Part VI: The Part of Tens 379

Chapter 25: Ten Events That Defined American Culture 381

Chapter 26: Ten Unfor tunate Statements by US Presidents 385

Part VII: The Appendixes 389

Appendix A: The Bill of Rights: Amendments 1–10 of the Constitution 391

Appendix B: The Declaration of Independence 393

Index 397