can anyone, please, recommend…

…a good history of the united states?

i’ve already read zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” (argh! i kid you not. i read it for a class in college. so, unfortunately, i’ve wasted a few hours of my life on that book which i cannot get back. but i, apparently, didn’t waste many brain cells on it, ’cause i can’t remember anything from it. whew!)

thnx! (^_^)


  1. Generally,
    “A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’s Great Discovery to the War on Terror”

    or The Battle of Midway from the Japanese POV:

    “Shattered Sword – The Untold Story of The Battle of Midway.”

    2 of my favs


  2. Not a history of the US, but “Albion’s Seed” is IMO indispensable for understanding it.


  3. I really love Ken Burns’ ~11-hour “Civil War” …which is not exactly obscure.

    Though I more and more see it as quite the ethnically self-interested corpus, and it’s far from being pure history, I would definitely recommend reading all of Moldbug including all the comments. It’s really after ingesting some years’ worth of that superior fare, that I experienced a sort of coalescence or phase transition where I began to feel fairly oriented and un-bewildered in dealing with history — including, quite importantly, in handling and coping with various ideological sheens and cloaks which are not to be taken at face value.

    I’m kinda curious about Yockey’s Imperium, though I have but sampled it. Certainly a ‘different perspective’ from “People’s History”! — which latter used to float around the ol’ commune-of-sorts in my leftie days, but I never read much of it.


  4. @jason – yeah, i was actually thinking about a general history of the united states, but i’m glad to hear recommendations on more specific topics! might turn out that i’m interested in something i’ve never thought about. (^_^)

    “a patriot’s history” is one that i’ve been eyeing, but i’ve wondered what people thought about it.



  5. Albion’s Seed. It’s long, but there is a wealth of information about pre-colonial America/American origins.

    As for A People’s History…that’s one of my next projects (a bit of a grudging one and I probably won’t post about it) as I know that it’s had some major influence on a segment of the American intelligentsia and my younger brother, who’s in the process of becoming an Alinskyite organizer (I kid you not), thought highly of it.

    Also, I have no clue about this but Razib is about halfway through 1493 by Charles C. Mann (looks to be early American colonization, not U.S. history per se) and he’s already raving about it both on his blog and on Google+, so I may be checking that one out myself (after finishing some drudgery reading).


  6. @r.s. – ah. ken burns’ “the civil war.” good stuff! personal anecdote: i used to work in an historical museum that had an archive which included letters and diaries written by soldiers who fought in the civil war. we would regularly get in guys from reinactment troupes who wanted to read the diaries from whatever regiment they were pretending to be in. quirky folks, the reinacters — but some of my favorite people ever! they really know their civil war stuff! (^_^)

    “unqualified reservations”! funny i hadn’t thought of something online, but was thinking of good, old-fashioned hard-copy books. i’ve read the occasional post over there — i will have to check it out further.


  7. @meng – “…who’s in the process of becoming an Alinskyite organizer (I kid you not)….”

    genetic inheritance of personality traits is a funny thing! (~_^)

    “albion’s seed” and “1493” — gotcha! thnx.


  8. genetic inheritance of personality traits is a funny thing! (~_^)

    Hey! What are you trying to say there‽

    To be honest, though, that’s a bit of a fair point. If you go delving back into my blog archive, you’ll see that I took somewhat of a participatory role in the 2008 election and that my chosen candidate at the time did pretty well. I would point out as a caveat on the notion that there’s a genetic linkage there that my brother is technically my half-brother as we were both conceived through artificial insemination by (different) anonymous donors.


  9. @meng – “…my brother is technically my half-brother as we were both conceived through artificial insemination by (different) anonymous donors.”

    really?! or are you just pulling my leg? (it’s so hard to tell on the innerwebs.)

    i’ve never met anyone conceived through a.i. before (that i’ve been aware of) … i guess technically haven’t met you or your brother either, but still — cool! (^_^)


  10. really?! or are you just pulling my leg? (it’s so hard to tell on the innerwebs.)

    Yes, my (non-genetic) father has a genetic condition that he did not want to risk passing on to his children, so he and my mother decided to use artificial insemination. All I know is that my genetic father was a med student and my brothers’ was from a sperm bank.


  11. @meng – cool! science is fantastic, huh?! (^_^)

    Yes, indeed.

    Referencing my earlier comment, it looks like the author of 1493 wrote another book called 1491, which is presumably about America pre-Columbus. Not having read either (I was just passing on Razib’s sentiments), I suspect that it may be a good idea to read the earlier book first.


  12. Paul Johnson’s is pretty good, though being a Brit he commits a few factual howlers. He has good sense of perspective. His Modern Times is even better in that regard.


  13. I liked very much Isaac Asimov’s “The Shaping of North America: From Earliest Times to 1763” then “The Birth of the United States”; and “Our Federal Union”; these 3 books go until 1865 american history. I don’t lnow if there are more, but I enjoyed all the 3.


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