Here, in a single volume, are the documents, speeches, and letters that have forged American history, now updated with new content such as Trump's inaugural address.
Accompanied by interpretations of their significance by noted historian Richard D. Heffner and journalist Alexander Heffner, this book includes important documents such as:
• The complete text of the Declaration of Independence • The complete Constitution of the United States • The Monroe Doctrine • The Emancipation Proclamation • Woodrow Wilson's War Message to Congress • Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" Speech • John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address • Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech • Ronald Reagan's Inaugural Addresses • Documents relating to September 11, 2001 and the Iraq War
This edition has been expanded and updated to include a chapter on the Presidency of Donald Trump.
About the Author
Richard D. Heffner taught history and political science at the University of California, Sarah Lawrence College, the New School for Social Research, and NYU. University Professor of Communications and Public Policy at Rutgers, he also produced and moderated his prizewinning public television series, Richard Heffner's Open Mind, for fifty years. Alexander B. Heffner is a journalist whose writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal,The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, and Newsday among other leading publications. He has been interviewed about politics, education and stories in the news by PBS, C-SPAN, CNN and the BBC, among other national and local broadcast venues. He is the current host of Open Mind, the weekly PBS talk show.
PRAISE FOR A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
“Richard Heffner has assembled a portable canon of American documents that take us across the depth and breadth of our national experience. Here is fertile soil for exploring our past and imagining our future. Present crises notwithstanding, you cannot spend time within these pages and be skeptical of our capacity to overcome, survive, and thrive in the endless, vexing, and robust pursuit of a more perfect union.”—Bill Moyers
“For those who want the raw materials of American history, here is the invaluable source. An indispensable contribution to the understanding of our heritage.”—Robert A. Caro, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Power Broker and the #1 New York Times bestseller Master of the Senate
“Whether you are a student of American history, a casual browser, or a speaker in need of a timely quote, you will benefit from having ready access to this excellent collection of important documents from Tom Paine’s Common Sense to Bill Clinton’s 1998 State of the Union Address.”—Derek Bok, Emeritus President and the 300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University
“Words make history, and Richard Heffner has assembled the most important words that have defined America’s journey from the Revolution to the present. Imaginatively selected and judiciously annotated, the documents in this collection capture the full range of the nation’s colorful, consequential, and often contentious history. Simply the best such anthology available.”—David M. Kennedy, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Freedom from Fear
“A superb collection of documents, skillfully edited, with an edifying introduction to each chapter. An indispensable reference work for history buffs.”—Kenneth M. Stampp, author of The Causes of the Civil War
“A Documentary History of the United States presents the vital documents of American history with incisive and informed commentary—an invaluable resource for the student, the teacher, and the history buff.”—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author of A Thousand Days and A Life in the 20th Century