America in Quotations: A Kaleidoscopic View of American History

Front Cover
Howard Langer
Bloomsbury Academic, Feb 28, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 463 pages

This is history from the inside out. What did Americans say about the great events in their own lifetimes? This book is a grassroots look at the country, as real people tell the story of America in their own voices. Quotations from more than 350 individuals are taken from speeches, interviews, editorials, letters, jokes, songs, and eyewitness accounts represent American thought from the ground up. This compendium includes the words of everyone from politicians and generals, to Native Americans, ethnic minorities, women, labor representatives, and slaves. The book is divided into 18 traditional historical periods from the pre-Columbus explorers to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

We hear the voices of Jefferson, Lincoln, Teddy and FDR, but also of Joe McCarthy, Huey Long, and Susan B. Anthony. We hear American law in action through watersheds like Brown v. the Board of Education, the Scopes case, the prosecution of Sacco and Vanzetti, and the Salem witch trials. Then there are the grace notes, the forgotten but significant stories—a black woman beaten and humiliated for encouraging others to vote; the G.I. who overthrew a German bunker at Normandy; the last letter of a Union soldier soon to die in battle. Their words are woven into American history, remembered and illuminated in this kaleidoscopic collection.

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