Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A History of the United States - Winner, Non-fiction, 1926

A History of the United States
By: Edward Channing
Macmillan, 1905 - v.1
Macmillan, 1908 - v.2
Macmillan, 1912 - v.3
Macmillan, 1917 - v.4
Macmillan, 1921 - v.5

As you can tell, I have taken a step back to an earlier work than the ones I have been reading recently. Edward Channing wrote the six volumes of A History of the United States between the years 1905 and 1925 (I have only listed volumes 1-5 because I am going to be honest - I only read volumes 1-5). Had Channing not been such an interesting and succinct writer, there is no way I would have made it through as many volumes as I did. As I began the first volume, though, I realized that this was going to be a great "summary" of American history that would help me to tie all of the pieces together. I love American history and was a history major in college, but I have never really experienced a good summary of the events in the United States from as far back as we have record up to the end of the Civil War.

This work is not easy reading in that it is a huge reading commitment, but I would say that it is written in an easily understood manner. This would be a good book for anyone who is REALLY interested in American history, but I think it would be even more appropriate for someone who did not grow up in the United States (but who does have a good understanding of the English language). It provides a truly useful overview for those who can persevere to the end.


Rebecca Reid said...

How many volumes are there? That seems like a whole lot!

AK said...

6 total - I just read 5 of them because I was reading them online and could find a full text version of volume 6 online. Each of the volumes was about 600 pages, so, yes, it was a LOT. But, Channing really did a great job of keeping me interested.

Rebecca Reid said...

Ah, that makes sense. Any work published before 1922 is in the public domain; the last one must have been published afterward.

AK said...

Of course! I didn't even think about that (and, sadly, I'm taking a class in information policy right now and there is lots of discussion about public domain!)