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20th Century U.S. History Books – Modern American History

Modern American history, 20th Century U.S. History, free books online. 1st decade of 21st C. World War I, Great Depression, World War II, Korean War, Cold War, John F. Kennedy, Vietnam War, Civil Rights Struggle, Iraq War, more.

20th Century U.S. History Books – Collection

About 510 free online books 20th Century U.S., resulting from a search for books on “United States United States – 20th Century”. Be patient as the page loads. Some books: Great New England Storms of the 20th century, Great American Illustrators, Growing Up in Boston during the Great Depression, American Musical Life 1925-1945, 1950: Crossroads of American Religious Life, Merchants, Power and the Rise of a New American Culture, American Art Composers, their music and the American Scene, many more books on the U.S. in the 20th Century. U.S. history 20th century, modern American history.

‘Collections’ take longer to appear on your screen than single books.  On a phone, only about 25 books in a collection may appear.

U.S. Popular Culture 20th Century – 20th Century U.S. History Books Collection

About 280 free online books U.S. Popular Culture 20th Century. Some books: Art and Modernism in the United States, The Culture of the Cold War, All Consuming Images, Home Front America, American Culture in the 1910s, Popular Culture in the Age of Globalization, Coon Dogs that Lie to You, Killer Pancakes and other Lunacies, Pop Culture the Way it Almost Was, Many more. Modern American history, books on U.S. history.

U.S. Intellectual Life 20th Century – Books Collection

About 200 free online books U.S. Intellectual Life 20th Century. Be patient as the page loads. Some books: The Metaphysical Club, The Closing of the American Mind, Divided Knowledge: Across Disciplines – Across Cultures, Writers for the Nation: American Literary Modernism, Democracy Culture and the Voice of Poetry, American Culture in the Sixties, Postmodernist Turn, American Studies, many more books on American Intellectual Life. Modern American history books, 20th century US history of ideas.

U.S. Civil Rights Movement 20th Century – Books Collection

About 320 free online books U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Some books: Martin Luther King Jr., Struggling for Civil Rights, The Nation in Turmoil, The History of the American Civil Rights Movement, The Cultural Rights Movement, Struggle for Black Equality, Profiles of a New Black Vanguard, The Civil Rights Movement, Women of the Civil Rights Movement, many more books on the Civil Rights Movement. Modern American history, 20th Century Civil Rights movement.

U.S. in World War I (1914-1918) – 20th Century U.S. History Books Collection

About 550 free online books U.S. in World War I. Some books: The U.S. Enters WWI, Neutrality for the U.S. The Yanks are Coming, Hooray for Peace – Hurrah for War, The Great Departure, The U.S. in World War I, WWI and the Origin of Civil Liberties in the U.S., The U.S. in German Naval Planning 1889-1941, Crusader Nation, America’s First Air War, Labor Market Politics and the Great War, many more books on the U.S. in WWI.

U.S. History 1919-1933 – 20th Century U.S. History Books Collection

About 200 free online books U.S. History 1919-1933. Some books: The Crisis of the Old Order 1919-1933, Flappers, Bootleggers, Typhoid Mary and the Bomb, The U.S. 1929-1945, Only Yesterday, The Roaring Twenties, Portraits of America from the 1920s, Modern Scandals, Hard Times: an oral history of the Great Depression, That Jazz! idiosyncratic history of the American 20s, many more books on U.S. History 1919-1933. Modern American history.

We have free books about the Vietnam War on our Southeast Asia history page

U.S. in the Inter-War Period 1918-1939 – Books Collection

About 25 free online books U.S. in the Inter-War Period 1918-1939. Some books: The Great Depression, Resort City in the Sunbelt: Las Vegs 1930-1970, U.S. Navy Balloons and the Airship Program, The Munich Crisis 1938, Sports in America 1920-1939, The First American Film Avant-Garde 1919-1945, The Powder Puff Derby of 1929, The Seabiscuit Story, Isolationism, Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America, many more books on the Inter-War period.

U.S. New Deal 1933-1939 – 20th Century U.S. History Books Collection

About 100 free online books U.S. New Deal. Some books: Capitalists against Markets, A People’s History of the 1920s and the New Deal, Rural Migration in the U.S., Franklin Roosevelt, Depression America, FDR’s New Deal, Life in the Time of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Depression, How Corporate America Invented Christian America, Power Politics in the Age of Roosevelt, many more books on the New Deal era.

U.S. Politics & Government 1933-1945 – Books Collection

About 300 free online books U.S. Politics & Government 1933-1945. Some books: Contours of Public Policy 1939-1945, A History of the American Liberty League, The New Deal and the Triumph of Liberalism, The New Deal: analysis and interpretation, The Roosevelt Era, Father Coughlin and the New Deal, The Impact of the New Deal on American Thought, Conservatism, Rural American and the New Deal, many more books on Politics and Government 1933-1945.

U.S. Social Conditions 1933-1945 – Books Collection

About 110 free online books U.S. Social Conditions 1933-1945. Some books: War and Society, Daily Life in the U.S.: 1940-1959, The Crisis of Social Modernism in Postwar America, Studies in the Social Aspects of the Depression, The People and the President, Documenting America 1935-1943, Brother Can You Spare a Dime?, The 1930s in America, Dear Mrs. Roosevelt, many more books on U.S. Social Conditions. Modern American history.

U.S. Foreign Relations 20th Century – Books Collection

About 340 books free online U.S. Foreign Relations 20th Century. Some books: America’s Foreign Relations since World War I, Ideas and Interests in 20th Century American Foreign Policy, Imperial America, Modern American Diplomacy, American Diplomacy in the 20th Century, From Wilson to Roosevelt, America in World Affairs, America’s Rise to World Power, Intervention against Communism, many more books on 20th Century U.S. Foreign Relations.

U.S. Foreign Relations 1933-1945 – Books Collection

About 170 free online books U.S. Foreign Relations 1933-1945. Some books: The Age of Global Power, The Politics of War, Good Neighbor Diplomacy, Rendezvous with Destiny, America at War in Color, Fighting the Shadow War, America and the Origins of WWII, American Aid to France 1938-1940, The Illusion of Neutrality, The Roosevelt Foreign Policy 1933-1941, many more books on U.S. Foreign Relations. Modern American history.

U.S. Foreign Relations with the Soviet Union – Books Collection

About 320 books U.S. Foreign Relations with the Soviet Union. Some books: Soviet-American Relations in the Atomic Age, My Three Years in Moscow, The Story of Russia and America, The Cold War: Containment and its critics, U.S.-Soviet Relations, Public Diplomacy: U.S. vs USSR, Superpower Competition and Security in the Third World, Origins of the Cold War, many more books on U.S. – Soviet Relations.

See our photo collections from U.S. and Canada history

U.S. Foreign Relations 1989- – Books Collection

About 450 books U.S. Foreign Relations 1989-. Some books: Making U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War World, The Future of American Foreign Policy, Security Without War, Deterring Democracy, Contemporary Cases in U.S. Foreign Policy, A Search for Enemies, Idealism Without Illusions, Temptations of a Superpower, The Face of Imperialism, many more books on U.S. Foreign Relations after 1989. Modern American history.

U.S. Foreign Relations 2001- – Books Collection

About 400 books U.S. Foreign Relations 2001. Some books: The Imperial Temptation of America, Empire, Memo to the President Elect, After Bush: the case for continuity in American Foreign Policy, Managing American Hegemony, The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power, Bushworld, many more books on U.S. Foreign Policy after 2001.

See our book collection for U.S. History 1865-1900

U.S. in World War 2 – 1939-1945 – Books Collection

About 2,600 free online books U.S. in World War 2. Some books: The U.S. at War 1941-1945, The U.S. in World War II, The U.S. Marine Corps in WWII, The U.S. Army in WWII, Experience of War, History of U.S. Naval Operations in WWII, The Big Three: the U.S. Britain Russia, Hitler’s Plan to Attack the U.S., The Liberation of the Philippines, Destroyer Operations in WWII, many more books on the U.S. in WWII.

WWII – U.S. – Books Collection

About 500 books WWII-U.S.. Some books: The First Offensive 1942, American Society in Wartime, Defense of the Western Hemisphere, America at War, War as a Social Institution, Postcards from WWII, Administrative Reflections from WWII, WWII Letters from American Women on the Home Front, Commander in Chief, U.S. War Aims, many more books on the U.S. in WWII.

WWII-Diplomatic History – Books Collection

About 250 books WWII-Diplomatic History. Some books: The Diplomacy of Global War 1939-1945, Summit at Teheran, New Alliances 1940-1941, Why War Was Not Prevented, Allied Policy and the European Peace 1939-1945, Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1945, Hitler & Japan: the hollow alliance, British Foreign Policy in the 2nd World War, The Great Betrayal, The Great Powers Partition Europe from Munich to Yalta, many more book on diplomacy during WWII. Modern American history.

WWII-American Personal Narratives – Books Collection

About 470 books WWII-American Personal Narratives. Some books: The Taste of War, The Greatest Generation, To Hell and Back, Survivor, No Greater Love: the story of our soldiers, The Last Good War, WWII: it changed us forever, Serenade to the Big Bird, Remembering World War II, Women Remember the War, A True Story of Love, Families and WWII, Eyewitness D-Day, many more personal narratives of WWII.

Korean War 1950-1953 – Books Collection

About 480 free online books Korean War 1950-1953. Some books: The U.S. and Biological Warfare, The U.S. Air Force in Korea 1950-1953, Pictorial History of the Korean War, MIG Alley, Korea 1950: Pusan to Chosin, The Diplomacy of War: the case of Korea, Living through the Korean War, Rethinking the Korean War, The Battle for Pusan, The Coldest Winter, many more books about the Korean War.

U.S. Politics & Government 1945-1989 – Books Collection

About 770 free online books U.S. Politics & Government 1945-1989. Some books: American Politics since 1945, Inside the System, Democracy Challenged, The Failure of Polities in America, Essays and Commentary on American Politics, Stability and Change in Congress, The Conservative Decade, Readings in American Government, many more books on U.S. Politics and Government 1945-1989. Modern American history.

U.S. Foreign Relations 1945-1989 – Books Collection

About 600 free online books U.S. Foreign Relations 1945-1989. Some books: The U.S. and the World Communities in the Eighties, The Politics of Decision Making in Defense and Foreign Affairs, Major Problems of U.S. Foreign Policy, Reflections on American Foreign Policy since 1945, America’s Role in World Affairs, Estrangement: America and the World, Global Challenge to the U.S., many more books about U.S. Foreign Policy after 1945.

Cold War 1945-1989 – Books Collection

About 140 free online books Cold War 1945-1989. Some books: The Fifty Years War, The Cold War Ends, The Cold War: Collapse of Communism, McCarthyism, Cold War America, The Culture of the Cold War, The Global Cold War, The Cold War Reference Guide, Living under the Threat of Nuclear War, Cold War and Détente 1941-91, Neither Dead nor Red, many more books on the U.S. in the Cold War.

U.S. History Post-1945 – Books Collection

About 230 free online books U.S. History Post-1945. Some books: A History of the U.S. since 1945, Politics and Religion in the U.S., The Cambridge History of American Theater, A History of Mexican Americans in Houston, Modern Scandals, The Fifties: a women’s oral history, The Truman Presidency, American Life in the Reagan-Bush Era, Century of War, many more books on post-WWII. Modern American history.

Vietnam War 1961-1975 – Books Collection

About 2,200 books Vietnam War 1961-1975. Some books: The New Face of War, Memories of Vietnam: war in the first person, The Face of South Vietnam, The Agony of Viet Nam, Verdicts on Vietnam, The Vietnam War and International Law, Vietnam – the Christian – the Gospel – The Church, The Vietnam War: leaders and generals, The Vietnam Reader, many more books on the Vietnam War.

Watergate Affair – Books Collection

About 230 books Watergate. Some books: Watergate Revisited, Watergate: America in Crisis, Night-mare: the underside of the Nixon Years, The Fireside Watergate, The Watergate Hearings, The World Behind Watergate, “I Am Not a Crook”, The Presidential Scandal that Shook America, The Friends of Richard Nixon, many more books on Watergate.

U.S. Social Life and Customs 1971 and After – Books Collection

About 220 free online books U.S. Social Life and Customs. Some books: The Politics of Popular Culture, America as a Foreign Culture, Unknown America, Living in the USA, Waking Up Screaming from the American Dream, A Pictorial Celebration of America, A Cultural History of the U.S.: the 1990s, The Bubba Handbook, American Culture at Century’s End, many more books on U.S. Social Life and Customs after 1971. Modern American history.

U.S. Social Conditions 1960-1980 – Books Collection

About 370 free online books U.S. Social Conditions”. Some books: The U.S.: a study of a developing country, Racial Formation in the U.S., American Society Inc., American Counterculture of the 1960s, The Nation in Turmoil, The Geography of Social Well-being in the U.S., The Economic Crisis and American Society, Crisis in American Institutions, many more books on U.S. Social Conditions.

19th Century U.S. History Books

U.S. Social Conditions 1980 & After – Books Collection

About 680 free online books U.S. Social Conditions. Some books: Terrorism in the U.S., Experiencing Race, Class and Gender in the U.S., The New Face of America, Race Relations in the U.S. Social Stratification in the U.S., The Untold Story of Social Change in the U.S., Discovering America As It Is, Fractured Cities, Our Diverse Society, Dark Ages America, Moral Order and Social Disorder, many more books on U.S. Social Conditions. Modern American history.

U.S. Politics & Government 1989 & After – Books Collection

About 620 free online books U.S. Politics & Government 1989 & After. Some books: Idiot America: how stupidity became a virtue, George Herbert Walker Bush, Reaganism and the Death of Representative Democracy, An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America, Media and the Decay of American Politics, The Christian Coalition, Contemporary America, Drift: the unmooring of American military power, many more books on U.S. Politics and Government after 1989.

Persian Gulf War 1991 – Books Collection

About 470 free online books Persian Gulf War. Some books: Saddam Hussein’s Nuclear threat to the U.S., The Absence of Grand Strategy, Desert Storm – the First Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield, Persian Gulf War, U.S. Air Power in the Gulf War, The Presidency and the Persian Gulf War, U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf, The New World Order and America’s Purpose, many more books on the Gulf War.

U.S. Politics & Government 1993-2001 – Books Collection

About 430 free online books U.S. Politics & Government 1993-2001. Some books: The Clinton Years, Disunited States, The Disputed Presidential Election of 2000, Governance in the Clinton Years, Ending Welfare as we Know It, The Clinton Presidency, The American Congress in the 1990s, Defense Planning for the Late 1990s, The politics of Illusion in the Clinton Era, many more books on Politics and Government.

U.S. Politics & Government 2001 & After – Books Collection

About 850 free online books U.S. Politics & Government 2001 & After. Some books: Imperial America, Failed States, Encounters in the Disgruntled States, Anti-Americanism in Europe, The Ethics of George W. Bush, Who is Hillary Clinton? The Iraq War, Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, George W. Bush, Bush’s War, The New American Militarism, The Assassins’ Gate, U.S. Progressive Political Movements in the 21st Century, many more books on Politics and Government after 2001.

You may also like our collection of articles on U.S. events & issues in the 21st century.

War on Terrorism 2001-2009 – Books Collection

About 780 books on the War on Terrorism. Some books: Power – Terror – Peace and War, The Next Attack, War Without End, The War in Afghanistan, National Security, Are Efforts to Reduce Terrorism Successful, 10 Steps to Defeat Global Terror, Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism, The War on Terror, U.S. Counterinsurgency Methods & the Global War on Terror, many other books on the War on Terrorism.

Afghan War 2001 and After – Books Collection

About 550 free online books Afghanistan War. Some books: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, How Should the U.S. Proceed in Afghanistan, My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram and Kandahar, Operation Homecoming, The Taliban, The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare, Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan, many more books on the War in Afghanistan.

Iraq War 2003-2011 – Books Collection

About 960 free online books Iraq War. Some books: Failed States, When Diplomacy Fails, How Should the U.S. Proceed in Iraq, Attack in Iraq, Letters to Home from Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Second Iraq War, Ending the War in Iraq, The Iraq War: origins and consequences, many more books on the Iraq War. Modern American history.

U.S. Politics & Government 2009-2017 – Books Collection

About 180 free online books U.S. Politics & Government 2009-2017. Some books: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right, Clashing Views on Political Issues, Obama’s Four Horsemen, The Tea Party: a brief history, Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America, What Went Wrong?, How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery, 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America, Trump Talk, Best American Political Writing, many more books on Politics and Government since 2009.

Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department

Acheson, Dean
Norton 1987 Dewey Dec. 973.91

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. “With deft portraits of many world figures, Dean Acheson analyzes the processes of policy making, the necessity for decision, and the role of power and initiative in matters of state. Acheson (1893–1971) was not only present at the creation of the postwar world, he was one of its chief architects. He joined the Department of State in 1941 as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and, with brief intermissions, was continuously involved until 1953, when he left office as Secretary of State at the end of the Truman years. Throughout that time Acheson’s was one of the most influential minds and strongest wills at work. It was a period that included World War II, the reconstruction of Europe, the Korean War, the development of nuclear power, the formation of the United Nations and NATO. It involved him at close quarters with a cast that starred Truman, Roosevelt, Churchill, de Gaulle, Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Attlee, Eden Bevin, Schuman, Dulles, de Gasperi, Adenauer, Yoshida, Vishinsky, and Molotov.” -Publisher

The Price of Power: America since 1945

Agar, Herbert
University of Chicago 1957 Dewey Dec. 973.91

The author “reviews the events and crises that have marked postwar history— the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the Berlin airlift, the Eightieth Congress and Truman’s election, the Hiss case, the collapse of Nationalist China, the McCarthy hearings, the atom and hydrogen bombs, McCarthy’s “retirement,” and Eisenhower’s first election. .. He presents a vigorous and brilliant interpretation of the difficult years of America’s coming of age in the field of international politics and diplomacy and a candid evaluation of the price America must pay as the world’s most powerful nation.” – Publisher

Contents: From San Francisco to Potsdam – 1946: The year of frustration – The Eightieth Congress – Hiss, Chiang, Fuchs, and the bomb – McCarthy and Korea – “The Mess in Washington” – The making of a President – “Peace” and the Bandung Conference. Modern American history.

Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920’s

Allen, Frederick Lewis
Perennial Classics 2000 Dewey Dec. 973.91

Originally published 1931. “An account of the years from the spring of 1919 to 1931. It is a kaleidoscopic picture of American politics, society, manners, morals, and economic conditions.” – Booklist
“A swiftly moving, well-integrated American chronicle, recording with wit and sagacity ‘the fads and fashions and follies of the time, the things which millions of people thought about, and talked about and became excited about and which at once touched their daily lives,’ while indicating fundamental trends in national life and thought.” -NY Libr

Contents: Prelude: May, 1919 – Back to Normalcy – The Big Red Scare – America Convalescent – The Revolution in Manners and Morals – Harding and the Scandals – Coolidge Prosperity – The Ballyhoo Years – The Revolt of the Highbrows – Alcohol and Al Capone – Home, Sweet Florida – The Big Bull Market – Crash! – Aftermath: 1930-31

Since Yesterday: the 1930’s in America

September 3, 1929-September 3, 1939

Allen, Frederick Lewis
Perennial Classics 1986 Dewey Dec. 973.91

Originally published 1939. See the description of the other volume by Frederick Allen on this page; ‘Only Yesterday’.

Contents: Prelude: September 3, 1929 – Exit prosperity – Down, down, down – A change of government – New Deal honeymoon – A change of climate – Reform-and recovery? – When the farms blew away – The voice with the smile wins – With pen and camera through darkest America – Friction and recession – The shadow of war. Modern American history.

Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy since 1938

Ambrose, Stephen E.
Penguin 1988 Dewey Dec. 973.9

“Offers a concise and informative view of the evolution of American foreign policy from 1938 to the end of the Reagan presidency. In light of recent scholarship, Professor Ambrose discusses past events such as World War II, the Eisenhower administration, Vietnam, and the Iran hostage crisis. He also examines closely such recent topics as the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Iran scandal, Nicaragua, international terrorism, the Iceland Summit, and the American Summit. In light of the enormous global power of the United States, Ambrose analyzes how American character traits – economic aggressiveness, racism, fear of Communism – have shaped the country’s evolving foreign policy. Ambrose’s probing and thematic examination of events makes ‘Rise to Globalism’ an invaluable work.” – Book cover.

Contents: 1. The Twisting Path to War — 2. The War in Europe — 3. The War in Asia — 4. The Beginnings of the Cold War — 5. The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan — 6. Containment Tested — 7. Korea — 8. Eisenhower, Dulles and the Irreconcilable Conflict — 9. From Hungary and Suez to Cuba — 10. Kennedy and the New Frontiers — 11. Vietnam: Paying the Cost of Containment — 12. Nixon, Detente, and the Debacle in Vietnam — 13. America in the Middle East and Africa — 14. Carter and the National Malaise — 15. Reagan and the Evil Empire — 16. The End of the Cold War — 17. Bush and the Gulf War.

Encyclopedia of the Cold War

Arms, Thomas S.
Facts on File 1994

A comprehensive A-to-Z reference to the nearly 50 years of this historical era. It covers the political, military and economic aspects of the struggle, with particular attention to the events of the late 1940s and 1950s. It also deals with the effects of the Cold War on the domestic politics of the U.S. – and vice versa – and of other countries.

Our War with Germany; a History

Bassett, John Spencer
1919 Dewey Dec. 973.91

A concise, readable account of the war period.
Contents: 1. Early Effects of the World War in the united States 2. The Belligerents and Neutral Trade 3. Germany and the United States 4. American Ideals as Affected by the War in Europe, 1914-1917 5. The United States Drawn into the Great War 6. Preparations for War 7. Organizing the National Resources 8. The War Policies of the Administration 9. The American Expeditionary Force 10. Learning the War Game in France 11. Fighting in the Marne Salient, May to July, 1918 12. The Last Two Months of Fighting 13. Naval Operations 14. Preliminaries to the Peace Negotiations 15. The Treaty of Versailles

Prohibition: Thirteen Years that Changed America

Behr, Edward
Arcade 1996 Dewey Dec. 363.4

From the bestselling author of The Last Emperor comes this rip-roaring history of the government’s attempt to end America’s love affair with liquor—which failed miserably. On January 16, 1920, America went dry. For the next thirteen years, the Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the making, selling, or transportation of “intoxicating liquors,” heralding a new era of crime and corruption on all levels of society. Instead of eliminating alcohol, Prohibition spurred more drinking than ever before.
Formerly law-abiding citizens brewed moonshine, became rum- runners, and frequented speakeasies. Druggists, who could dispense “medicinal quantities” of alcohol, found their customer base exploding overnight. So many people from all walks of life defied the ban that Will Rogers famously quipped, “Prohibition is better than no liquor at all.” Here is the full, rollicking story of those tumultuous days, from the flappers of the Jazz Age and the “beautiful and the damned” who drank their lives away in smoky speakeasies to bootlegging gangsters—Pretty Boy Floyd, Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone—and the notorious St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Edward Behr paints a portrait of an era that changed the country forever.

All the President’s Men

Bernstein, Carl and Woodward, Bob
Warner 1975 Dewey Dec. 973.92

“The two Washington Post reporters whose investigative journalism first revealed the Watergate scandal tell the way it happened from the first suspicions, through the trail of false leads, lies, secrecy, and high-level pressure, to the final moments when they were able to put the pieces of the puzzle together and write the series that won the Post a Pulitzer Prize.”

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

Blackmon, Douglas A.
Doubleday 2008 Dewey Dec. 973.91

A Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the “Age of Neoslavery,” the American period following the Emancipation Proclamation in which convicts, mostly black men, were “leased” through forced labor camps operated by state and federal governments. In this groundbreaking historical expose, Douglas A. Blackmon brings to light one of the most shameful chapters in American history—an “Age of Neoslavery” that thrived from the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II. Using a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Douglas A. Blackmon unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude shortly thereafter. By turns moving, sobering, and shocking, this unprecedented account reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today.

The Progressive Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson

Blum, John Morton
Norton 1982 Dewey Dec. 973.91

“Advocates of a strong versus a weak presidency have struggled throughout American history, but never so fiercely as in the twentieth century, which saw the rise of progressivism. This is the story of four progressive presidents, from the first Roosevelt, who himself brought plenty of backbone to the office, to Woodrow Wilson , who articulated the theory of a progressive presidency, to FDR, who brought it unique power, and, finally, to Lyndon Johnson, who provided perhaps its last great surge in our century.” -Publisher

Contents: Prologue: Ascutney – Theodore Roosevelt and the Definition of Office – Woodrow Wilson and the Ambiguities of Reform – Franklin Roosevelt and the Problem of Priorities – Lyndon Johnson and the Uncertain Legacy – Epilogue: Past Imperfect

Twentieth-century American Foreign Policy

Braeman, John, ed.
Ohio State University 1971 Dewey Dec. 973.91

A collection of essays on various aspects of American foreign policy, including two on historiography, by a dozen academic analysts.

Contents: The Changing Interpretive Structure of American Foreign Policy – Writings on American Foreign Relations: 1957 to the Present – Bureaucracy and Professionalism in the Development of American Career Diplomacy – The United States a World Power, 1900-1917: Myth or Reality? – The United States and the Failure of Collective Security in the 1930s – The United States and the Atlantic Alliance: The First Generation – Canada in North America – Recent United States-Mexican Relations: Problems Old and New – The United States and Cuba: The Uncomfortable “Abrazo,” 1898-1968 – The United States and Great Britain: Uneasy Allies – From Contempt to Containment: Cycles in American Attitudes toward China – Notes on the Contributors. Modern American history.

America in Revolt During the 1960s and 1970s

Carlisle, Rodney P. and Golson, J. Geoffrey, eds.
ABC-CLIO 2008

Looks at 12 significant events, from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, from the student killings at Kent State to Richard Nixon’s resignation. Drawing on the concepts of alternative history, the book portrays each event as it happened, then considers some plausible alternative scenarios of how history would have been different if these events had not occurred. It is a uniquely thought provoking way of exploring an explosive era.

The Social and Political Ideas of the Muckrakers

Chalmers, David Mark
Books for Libraries 1970 Dewey Dec. 973.91

“During the first decade of the twentieth century, a group of magazine journalists educated the American people about the widespread corruption that had attended the growth of industrialism. These “muckrakers” have been amply credited with laying the groundwork for many of the reforms that followed. This book … traces the entire muckrake writings of the major journalists of exposure. The result reaches beyond the familiar depiction of widespread corruption to show the common agreement among the muckrakers as to the cause of the trouble. In addition, this book presents the reform solutions—sometimes shallow, sometimes deep—which each of the muckrakers came to present in his writings, solutions which ranged from the release of business from restrictive halters to the espousal of legislative regulation and socialism.” – Author’s Preface

Contents: The age of the muckrake.–Salvation through big business: George Kibbe Turner.–The law: Christopher Powell Connolly.–Competition I: Alfred Henry Lewis and Will Irwin.–Competition II: Burton Jesse Hendrick and Ida M. Tarbell.–Regulation of Wall Street: Samuel Hopkins Adams and Thomas W. Lawson.–The search for reform: Ray Stannard Baker.–Travelers along the way: Lincoln Steffens and David Graham Phillips.–Socialism: Upton Sinclair and Charles Edward Russell.–The celestial crown

The Armies of Industry: Our Nation’s Manufacture of Munitions for a World in Arms 1917-1918

– Volume 2

Crowell, Benedict and Wilson, Robert Forrest
New Haven: Yale University 1921 Dewey Dec. 973.91

“Much of the text of this account of the production of American munitions during [World War I] was published by the War Department as the report of Benedict Crowell, the Assistant Secretary of War and Director of Munitions in the War Government.” – Author’s Preface. These two volumes are intended to describe the U.S. Government’s effort to organize production of all types of munitions needed to prosecute the war effort.

Contents: (First 10 of 34 chapter headings) War department organization – The ordinance problem – Gun production – Mobile field artillery – Railway artillery – Motorized artillery – Sights and fire-control apparatus – Explosives, propellants, and artillery ammunition – Tanks – Machine guns

Demobilization; Our Industrial and Military Demobilization After the Armistice 1918-1920

Crowell, Benedict and Wilson, Robert Forrest
New Haven: Yale University 1921 Dewey Dec. 973.91

Author Benedict Crowell was U.S. Assistant Secretary of War and Director of Munitions 1917-20. Most of the material upon which the book is based was collected from various government bureaus.

Contents: Halt – The A.E.F. Embarks – The Transatlantic Ferry – Ebb Tide – The Process of Discharging Soldiers – Picking Up after the Army – Soldier Welfare – Car Contracts – The Settlement of the War Contracts – Ordnance Demobilization – Artillery – Ammunition and other Ordnance – Aircraft – Technical Supplies – Quartermaster Supplies = Buildings and Lands – Selling the Surplus – The Foreign Liquidation – The Balance Sheet.

Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression

Dickstein, Morris
Norton 2009 Dewey Dec. 973.91

Hailed as one of the best books of 2009 by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, this vibrant portrait of 1930s culture masterfully explores the anxiety and hope, the despair and surprising optimism of distressed Americans during the Great Depression. Morris Dickstein, whom Norman Mailer called “one of our best and most distinguished critics of American literature,” has brought together a staggering range of material – from epic Dust Bowl migrations to zany screwball comedies, elegant dance musicals, wildly popular swing bands, and streamlined Deco designs. Exploding the myth that Depression culture was merely escapist, Dickstein concentrates on the dynamic energy of the arts, and the resulting lift they gave to the nation’s morale. A fresh and exhilarating analysis of one of America’s most remarkable artistic periods.

See our collected articles about U.S. History in the 20th Century

Personal Perspectives: World War II

Dowling, Timothy C., ed.
ABC-CLIO 2005

Brings to life the experiences of specific segments of soldiers and civilians as they were affected by the conflict, capturing special characteristics of each group and the unique ways they experienced the war. Twelve essays written by top international scholars portray what it was really like to experience the war for groups ranging from marines, naval aviators, and liberators of concentration camps to prisoners of war, refugees, and women in factories.

Civil Rights Movement: People and Perspectives

Ezra, Michael, ed.
ABC-CLIO 2009

Looks at the struggle for individual rights from the social historian’s perspective, providing a fresh context for gauging the impact of the civil rights movement on everyday life across the full spectrum of American society. From the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case to protests against the Vietnam War to the fight for black power, Civil Rights Movement: People and Perspectives looks at events that set the stage for guaranteeing America’s promise to all Americans. In eight chapters, some of the country’s leading social historians analyze the most recent investigations into the civil rights era’s historical context and pivotal moments.

The Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s

Farber, David R; Bailey, Beth L.
Columbia Univ. 2001 Dewey Dec. 973.92

The 1960s continue to be the subject of passionate debate and political controversy, a touchstone in struggles over the meaning of the American past and the direction of the American future. Amid the polemics and the myths, making sense of the Sixties and its legacies presents a challenge. This book is for all those who want to take it on. Because there are so many facets to this unique and transformative era, this volume offers multiple approaches and perspectives.
The first section gives a lively narrative overview of the decade’s major policies, events, and cultural changes. The second presents ten original interpretative essays from prominent historians about significant and controversial issues from the Vietnam War to the sexual revolution, followed by a concise encyclopedia articles organized alphabetically. This section could stand as a reference work in itself and serves to supplement the narrative. Subsequent sections include short topical essays, special subjects, a brief chronology, and finally an extensive annotated bibliography with ample information on books, films, and electronic resources for further exploration.
With interesting facts, statistics, and comparisons presented in almanac style as well as the expertise of prominent scholars, The Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s is the most complete guide to an enduringly fascinating era.

How We Got Here: The 70’s, the Decade that Brought you Modern Life (for Better or Worse)

Frum, David
Basic 2000 Dewey Dec. 973.92

“In this first, thematic popular history of the decade, David Frum argues that it was the 1970s, not the 1960s, that created modern America and altered the American personality forever. A society that had valued faith, self-reliance, self-sacrifice, and family loyalty evolved in little more than a decade into one characterized by superstition, self-interest, narcissism, and guilt. Frum examines this metamorphosis through the rise to cultural dominance of faddish psychology, astrology, drugs, religious cults, and consumer debt, and profiles such prominent players of the decade as Werner Erhard, Alex Comfort, and Jerry Brown. How We Got Here is lively and provocative reading.” -Publisher

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