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Taking a few swings at today's political correctness, Ambrose grapples with the country's historic sins of racism, its neglect and ill treatment of Native Americans, and its tragic errors. He reflects on some of the early founders - great men such as Washington and Jefferson - who, while progressive thinkers, lived a contradiction as slaveholders. He contemplates the genius of Andrew Jackson's defeat of a vastly superior British force with a ragtag army in the War of 1812. He describes the grueling journey that Lewis and Clark made to open up the country, and the building of the railroad that produced great riches for a few barons.
Ambrose explains the misunderstood presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, records the country's assumption of world power under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, and extols the heroic victory of World War II. He explores women's rights and civil rights, immigration, and museum and nation-building.
Most importantly, Ambrose tells us about writing history, and about what an historian's job is all about. As he says, "The last five letters of the word 'history' tell us that it is an account of the past that is about people and what they did, which is what makes it the most fascinating of subjects." As he reflects upon American history, Ambrose shares his own personal history. To America is an instant classic for those interested in history, patriotism, and the love of writing.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Eden on 12-06-16
A book for opened eyes.
As I am a young adult in a collage class this book has opened my eyes greatly. As a part of the new generation coming forth this book has set my views wild. There has been nothing in this book I didn't find enjoyable. This book is about facts and the antidotes of a great historian not afraid of opening his eyes to new concepts. I recommend this to any young adult reader. A wonderful book to read.
By Jonathan Greenspon on 02-10-16
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ambrose's personal reflections. It is great to learn history from such a passionate author. I recommend this to all who wish to gain additional historical insight, while learning a little bit about the author as well.
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By Lord Peridot on 07-15-16
Engaging & interesting
Ambrose's reputation as a patriotic American historian is well established. In this book he explains largely through reminiscences his philosophy and personal view of history especially that of US 20th century military engagements and the men who fought in them. He is a great story teller for sure. And his warm and wise personality shines through his writing. Its strange though that he makes no allusion to the corruption of America's democratic process nor to what people refer to as the US warfare state. And this book was written only a few years ago.