Recommend some old, non-slanted American History books

Recommend some old, non-slanted American History books

This is a discussion on Recommend some old, non-slanted American History books within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I've got some space on my bookcase for some good American history books. Being a wee lad of 27 I have not had the privilege ...

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Thread: Recommend some old, non-slanted American History books

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    Member Array ROFL SQUAD's Avatar
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    Recommend some old, non-slanted American History books

    I've got some space on my bookcase for some good American history books. Being a wee lad of 27 I have not had the privilege of enjoying non-slanted, non liberal biased American history books while in school. I've got about 14" of space to fill with "old school values" American history textbooky type books that I want my kids to read some day.

    Suggestions? Titles that I'd have a good chance of finding at a used bookstore would be cool. Thanks!
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    You could check Amazon for American History textbooks published before 1970.
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    I have "Robert E. Lee Man and Soldier" by Thomas Nelson Page. published in 1911. I think it is "slanted" depending on your location. lol

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    If you can find them, look for some primary sources in the period you are interested in. Some of the most interesting stuff comes out of reprints of original journals. A company called Heritage Books used to publish a lot of them.
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    You might consider The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo (review here) or the memoir written by Lincoln's law partner Charles L.C. Minor, published by Sprinkle Publications, P.O. Box 1094, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

    Also, you might poke around the used homeschool history book sites: their books aren't dumbed down and sanitized to California standards like public school textbooks are.

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    South Carolina by Walter Edgar is a great read. You can see the seeds of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War that began when the colony was first settled by the plantation farmers from Barbados.

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    A must read is McCullough's John Adams. Given that Adams left a huge amount of letters and documents, it is the best first person insight as to the founding of this country I have ever read. It will give you the best understanding of the early years of our country than any other book written to date. Then go get Team of Rivals.
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    IDK if this is considered a history book or a political science book, but it's the best one I've ever read about America.

    Wolin, Sheldon S, Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought, Expanded Ed. (1960; Princeton University Press, 2004). ISBN 978-0-691-12627-2

    Edit: Here's a link to the book.
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    I'm not sure "slanted" is a fair term in all cases. I distinctly remember being taught that lemmings commit mass suicide by running off the cliffs. I remember being taught that the Japanese fired the first shots at Pearl harbor when in fact we did by sinking one of their subs. But, yeah, sometimes historical events suddenly take on a whole new view. I think every American serviceman that survived WWII is/was glad we dropped the atomic bomb on Japan and wished we'd done it sooner. Now many American feel it made us war criminals. Go figure.
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    I recommend you get yourself to an old bookstore and go to the American history section and if there's a particular period of history you're looking for, like The Civil War, find a book that was written about it right after that period. You'll find all sorts of information that have been long forgotten or not important enough to write in new books. I've got some books from the 1800s to 1920s. Some of them can be politically incorrect, sexist, racist etc. by today's standards (my Cyclopedia form the late 1800s that covers important women's topics, for example) but are great representations of how people actually were back then. As an extra bonus, they have some really beautiful covers that are great for display.
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    The Federalist Papers
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    I'd rather be lucky than good any day

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    Although a newer read, I can suggest David Barton's "The Jefferson Lies". In it, he explains how modern historians have revised history and slanted actual events. He also suggests reading original publications and pre 1900 publishing dates.
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    You have to be very, very careful about what constitutes "non-slanted" history books. Remember that winners get to write the history. As an example, in school in the 60's I heard all about how the mean old British sailed into Washington, D.C. and torched the town, and that's when Dolly Madison saved all the paintings in the White House. Absolutely true. However, the same history books left out the little bit about the Americans having burned Toronto, the British capital of North America, the year before, and burning Washington was symbolic retribution.

    I think ultimately all history books will have the bias of the author, so you really need to approach a given topic from more than one viewpoint. Fore example, an excellent book about Teddy Roosevelt is "Theodore Rex" by Edmund Morris, but this view of TR is trashed by those who paint him with the broad brush of a "progressive."
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    Surely you are not talking about history books that we had in grammer and HS back in the 70's and 80's! They did not give an honest portraly of how we treated Native American Indians, gloss over the horros of slavery, never explain about the true reasons why we went into WW I and WW II.

    Basically the history books we got only showed America in a good light and hardly mentions anything that would make America look bad.
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