Of the People: A History of the United States
McGerr, Michael ; Townsend, Camilla ; Dunak, Karen M ; Summers, Mark ; Lewis, Jan Ellen
Oxford University Press, USA
does more than tell the history of America--of its people and places, of its dealings and ideals. It unfolds the story of American democracy, carefully marking how this country's evolution has been anything but certain, from its complex beginnings to its modern challenges.
The authors see American history as a story of the people, of their struggles to shape their lives and their land. Their narrative focuses on the social and political lives of people--some famous, some ordinary--revealing the compelling story of America's democracy from an individual perspective, from across the landscapes of diverse communities, and ultimately from within the larger context of the world.
The theme of democracy concentrates attention on the most fundamental concerns of history: people and power. These concerns have been especially relevant as the authors completed revising the book for this new edition. The tumultuous presidential campaign of 2020, one of the most divisive in American history, took place in the midst of a deadly pandemic and culminated in the extraordinary storming of the federal Capitol building in Washington, D.C. in January 2021. Recent history is always a challenge and always subject to revision, but the authors have wanted to show how contemporary struggles over democracy are rooted in the past. Their balanced, inclusive approach makes it more possible for teachers and students to deal with the most controversial events.