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1. A People's History of the United
2. A Renegade History of the United
3. State-by-state Guide (United States
4. Declaration Of Independence, Constitution
5. United States History: Preparing
6. United States Catholic Catechism
7. A Young People's History of the
8. Weeds of the Midwestern United
9. United States of Americana: Backyard
10. Cartoon History of the United
11. The United States of Arugula:
12. The Mental Floss History of the
13. A People's History of the United
14. SS UNITED STATES: Speed Queen
15. A Short History of the United
16. Voices of a People's History of
17. National Geographic United States
18. The United States of Arugula:
19. The United States of Europe: The
20. These United States

1. A People's History of the United States (P.S.)
by Howard Zinn
Paperback: 768 Pages (2010-11-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061965588
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A classic since its original landmark publication in 1980, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is the first scholarly work to tell America’s story from the bottom up—from the point of view of, and in the words of, America’s women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. From Columbus to the Revolution to slavery and the Civil War—from World War II to the election of George W. Bush and the “War on Terror”—A People’s History of the United States is an important and necessary contribution to a complete and balanced understanding of American history.

Amazon.com Review
Consistently lauded for its lively, readable prose, this revised and updated edition of A People's History of the United States turns traditional textbook history on its head. Howard Zinn infuses the often-submerged voices of blacks, women, American Indians, war resisters, and poor laborers of all nationalities into this thorough narrative that spans American history from Christopher Columbus's arrival to an afterword on the Clinton presidency.

Addressing his trademark reversals of perspective, Zinn--a teacher, historian, and social activist for more than 20 years--explains, "My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)--that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth."

If your last experience of American history was brought to you by junior high school textbooks--or even if you're a specialist--get ready for the other side of stories you may not even have heard. With its vivid descriptions of rarely noted events, A People's History of the United States is required reading for anyone who wants to take a fresh look at the rich, rocky history of America. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (793)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Perspective
Mr. Zinn presents a perspective that is not often taught in Amrica's schools at any level.Well worth the time for any student of history, even the minor ones like myself.I enjoyed every minute and have purchased additional copies for members of my family.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Important
I found some parts of the book to be somewhat boring, but I think that's mostly because I personally don't always find history to be fascinating (the older it gets, the more boring for me). But, this is an excellently researched book and I think an important read for any American (and an interesting read for anyone of any nationality). The chapter on Vietnam was the most eye-opening for me. Makes me feel inspired to get involved in politics and grassroots movements, since Zinn shows that this involvement really can and does make a difference, despite the fact that most history books prefer to concentrate on the acts of individuals.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Untold American History
This book does an awesome job chronicling the American history you were never taught in high school.Zinn paints a extremely negative view of America.The reason he does this is so that we as citizens can learn from the terrible mistakes in our great nation's history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Matt Damon is a wiseman
I was led to this book by Matt Damon's reference to it in the movie "Good Will Hunting". His character said it would blow your fing mind. He was right it is an amazing eyeopener for the truth of mans in humanity to man. From Columbus to Bush it reveals the truth of our nature as money grubbing slave drivers that I wish we were just beginning to be released from the chains of in the age of Obama. Alas we are still reminded by the progress in Congress with the partisan bickering and the lack of real productivity they exhibit on a regular basis. Take a look at this book and see just how slowly we have gone in so long a time. Will mankind ever get their heads out of their asses?

1-0 out of 5 stars Buy a copy of your high school text book.
Thought it was going to be a history book. Ended up with a long winded apology for the American spirit. You'd be better off buying a copy of your high school textbook.

The author whines about how we, as Americans, owe the world an apology for having built a strong nation. He glosses over (ignores) our triumphs, and places the blame for all international problems squarely at the doorstep of the American public.

If you do decide to buy this book, purchase a copy of "A Patriot's History of the United States" along with it, so that you may get a balanced outlook between the two books. Better yet, skip this and go strait to A Patriots History.

I also recommend "The American Pageant" ... Read more

2. A Renegade History of the United States
by Thaddeus Russell
Hardcover: 400 Pages (2010-09-28)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$14.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 141657106X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this groundbreaking book, noted historian Thaddeus Russell tells a new and surprising story about the origins of American freedom. Rather than crediting the standard textbook icons, Russell demonstrates that it was those on the fringes of society whose subversive lifestyles helped legitimize the taboo and made America the land of the free.

In vivid portraits of renegades and their “respectable” adversaries, Russell shows that the nation’s history has been driven by clashes between those interested in preserving social order and those more interested in pursuing their own desires—insiders versus outsiders, good citizens versus bad. The more these accidental revolutionaries existed, resisted, and persevered, the more receptive society became to change.

Russell brilliantly and vibrantly argues that it was history’s iconoclasts who established many of our most cherished liberties. Russell finds these pioneers of personal freedom in the places that usually go unexamined—saloons and speakeasies, brothels and gambling halls, and even behind the Iron Curtain. He introduces a fascinating array of antiheroes: drunken workers who created the weekend; prostitutes who set the precedent for women’s liberation, including “Diamond Jessie” Hayman, a madam who owned her own land, used her own guns, provided her employees with clothes on the cutting-edge of fashion, and gave food and shelter to the thousands left homeless by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake; there are also the criminals who pioneered racial integration, unassimilated immigrants who gave us birth control, and brazen homosexuals who broke open America’s sexual culture.

Among Russell’s most controversial points is his argument that the enemies of the renegade freedoms we now hold dear are the very heroes of our history books— he not only takes on traditional idols like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, but he also shows that some of the most famous and revered abolitionists, progressive activists, and leaders of the feminist, civil rights, and gay rights movements worked to suppress the vibrant energies of working-class women, immigrants, African Americans, and the drag queens who founded Gay Liberation.

This is not history that can be found in textbooks— it is a highly original and provocative portrayal of the American past as it has never been written before. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars The founders of our actual freedom
Since I was small, I've always regarded hippies, along with civil rights and anti-war protesters, as the real founders of freedom in the United States.Most of the good things in our culture, from rock and R&B music to sexual freedom to marijuana, seemed to come from folks such as these, rather than from the peruqued heads of the Revolutionary War.This book points out that this view of things has deeper roots than the 1960s.

That said, many passages are likely to make you uncomfortable.Not with the tales of factory workers pushing back against industrial discipline, of whores and gay pirates: they're still safe to cheer for.

But the book's treatment of issues involving African-Americans and slavery may well cause some discomfort.For I'm still enough of a product of a Puritan culture that frequent examination of conscience is an indelible part of my background; and what is white guilt but the fruit of examination of conscience brought to racial issues?

Now, the tale the book tells is convincing, and likely true.The author tells us that many former slaves found that the movement from being valuable livestock to hired hands was no improvement.As livestock, they knew they would be fed and taken care of.Giving this up for the "liberty" of being able to switch employers and move on was a bargain many would not have chosen. As slaves, being property, their sexual relationships were unregistered, and could be changed as was convenient.Nobody expected different."Liberty" brought with it the tyranny of nineteenth century marriage law.

The author argues that blackface minstrelsy, which we assume was pure stereotype, in fact was popular because it portrayed a people relatively free from work ethic, sexual repression, and able to engage in public merriment without fear of shame.Some White people in the nineteenth century liked it for some of the same reasons that some White people in the twenty-first century like gangsta rap.This rouses a perhaps unwholesome curiosity about what the performances were actually like.An entire genre of Americana has vanished leaving only the slightest traces; it made previous generations that uncomfortable.

The author, despite his disclaimer that the "renegades" are not really heroes, seems to take a pleasantly subversive delight in making these arguments.He likes to make his readers squirm a little.You might have preferred to have these themes broached first in a stuffily scholarly and less readable text than this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Thaddeus Russell explores US social history in an engaging and straightforward way.What we recognize today as American culture was shaped by disenfranchised groups such as African-Americans, Gays, Jews, Irish, and prostitutes.Although "respectable" people often looked down on the lower classes and the disenfranchised, these renegades gave us freedoms such as jazz, contraception, women baring their ankles, and interracial relationships.

2-0 out of 5 stars Seminally shocking but slightedly selective...
That this is the screed of a rebellious academic from Berkeley is sure to enlighten and amuse those of us free thinkers who refuse to accept historical truth written by corrupt elitists or establishment blue eyed devils. Nevertheless, while it reveals the untold impetus behind many progressive US events, it leaves out vital information and snubbed sources. For instance, in tracing cultural contributions of organized crime, from jazz to Hollywood to Broadway to gay rights, he uses the word mafia and yet gives more credit to PC non Italian gangsters than voweled surnames who suffer media stereotypes.

Also lost in translation are the paisans who were among the first jazz musicians and the impact of a certain New Jersey saloon singer who singlehandedly helped integrate Las Vegas if not America itself. This is a worthy real people history lesson, don't get me wrong. But it's still a major rewrite, footnote and index away from telling the whole complete story. As is, this reads like an abridged version of what might have been a more thorough inclusive effort. Like a good franchise movie serial, it begs for a sequel with a longer list of supporting cast stars curiously missing from the renegade debut.

5-0 out of 5 stars I like this style of history!
What if the author of this book came back some day to apply his analytic methods and writing style to the history of the last 20 years? It might read something like this ...

The internet, originally a project of the U.S. Defence Department, had by 1995 become the notorious home of hackers, flamers and trolls. Individualists and non-conformists ruled the day. In fact, the internet had become the last, best home of fun in a repressive American society. Because of its apparent cloak of anonymity, everyone could dare to be provocative, profane, and uninhibited on the internet. They could be drunk, or at least act drunk, even while at work. They could be a girl, or at least pretend to be a girl. On the internet, Americans could live out their fantasies in public from the privacy of their keyboards. In short, they could be "black" whenever and wherever they wished, without giving up their day job.

During these years, the leading names of the internet (at least the ones the history books record) were doing everything they could to dampen animal spirits and enforce sobriety. Flame wars were banned from many Usenet groups, and flamers and trolls were often banished. Even Al Gore declaimed in an obscure Senate speech "I did not invent the internets in order to promote the greater dissemination of pornography and mindless discourse. If there is not some self-imposed restraint, I may need to consider regulation."

As it turned out, neither restraint nor regulation were needed. The internet's renegade renaissance lasted only ten years before it was squashed by a complete corporate takeover between 1998 and 2001. After that, when the RIAA began tracking down Napster "pirates", and ISP's started naming names, addresses and phone numbers of their not-so-anonymous-any-more internet subscribers, the jig was up.

But before you settle back into the comfort of your safe, corporate-controlled internet with its ubiquitous spell checking and massive NSA supercomputers endlessly sifting every phrase you write (or perhaps auto-completing your phrases so it can analyze them before you've even finished writing or thinking them), spare a thought for the renegades, the pirates, and yes even the whores of the early internet. They're the ones who expanded our freedoms. Without their pluck, our goose would already be cooked.

1-0 out of 5 stars Some amazing historical theories
This is an astounding collection of historical facts, contradictory and with some pretty inflammatory quotes and statements. The author does not seem to have anything `good' to say about anyone, with the exception that the `bad' classes and their behavior gave Americans their freedom - pitted against the always repressive authoritarian classes. It is true as he claims, that ordinary people do not make the history books, and it is true that many of the customs and freedoms of those classes gradually move up the social strata. I can agree with that premise, but with that said as one reads further into this book there are continued statements that, for many can be viewed as extremely insulting: That slaves were happier and had more freedom as slaves,the first ladies have taken up the color red (a symbol of prostitutes)and made it respectable, "'good ` Americans have never been able to dance", "racial purity was a prominent theme in New Deal culture". Chapter titles give a hint of their content: "from white chimps to Yankee doodles: the Irish", "The Jew was a Negro", "Italian Americans: out of Africa.

Many of the statements and ideas are contradictory and there is often no depth in the historical facts given, for example the amount of alcohol consumed in revolutionary times - there was often no other safe drink and in a hotter climate than Europe, workers drank to assuage their thirst and their continued dehydration from drinking alcohol. Premarital pregnancies and behavior was really no different than in Europe, as were concerns about the lower classes' alcohol consumption.
There was a good theory to start this book, but the way it is proved leaves a questionable taste. ... Read more

3. State-by-state Guide (United States Of America)
by Millie Miller, Cyndi Nelson
Paperback: 64 Pages (2006-10-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439827655
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This book exhibits all of the diversity of the American states even as it ties the country into one awesome entity. The authors' inclusion of endangered species, biographical sketches on the famous Americans from each state, inventions, resources, records, and so much more make this a unique and multi-dimensional work. But it is the art and the treatment of the information that makes this book so special. With a light-handed, fresh approach, and tremendous respect for their subject, the author-artists succeed in painting a truly beautiful portrait of America. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Bek in Dallas
Bought for my 7 and 4 year old in hopes of teaching them about places we will be traveling. It is okay for my 7 year old but even with that might be slightly too complex. The pages are very busy. It is a good book with lots of details but the pages have more information than I anticipated so that it will be hard to have her focus on the simple details. Still a good educational book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great guide for 'new' American residents
Love this book. Great book for adults and children alike. This one is my second copy to give to my father who lives in Germany.He wanted it as an encyclopedia of the US.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Primary-level Resource
My wife is currently a third grade teacher and I used to be one. Recently, she was tasked with a new set of social studies learning targets that include "regions of the United States" (something more frequently taught to slightly older students). We were having difficulty finding age/ability-appropriate resources for her class until she came across a copy of Miller and Nelson's "State by State". She asked me what I thought of it and "paydirt" was the word that came to mind. So we ordered additional copies from Amazon and they fit the bill nicely.

Bottom line: for students in the late second to early fourth grades, "State by State" is an interesting, meaningful, and fun-to-use learning resource. It is also an amazingly good value, which helps when a teacher needs to purchase several copies on her/his own coin. Five stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
We bought this for our son, who is in 1st grade, when he had to report on a state for school.He loves the book and is enjoying reading all the facts about each state.The pictures keep him interested and the facts are both standard and eclectic so everyone in our family learned something new from this book.It is also simple enough for him to read on his own.I would highly recommend this book for any elementary school student wishing to learn more about the states.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for learning about the states of the U. S.
This is an excellent book for young children to learn about the states. A topographical map of each state is given along with diagrams and text explaining various facts about the state. Items like the state bird, state flower, state insect, state tree, endangered species in the state, primary crops, unusual natural features, famous people and other points of historical significance. I strongly recommend it for social studies classes or just for quizzes among family members. ... Read more

4. Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States Of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments
by Benjamin Franklin
Paperback: 94 Pages (2010-02-04)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1441408444
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A compilation of important American government documents including the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States of America, the Bill of Rights and all amendments to the United States Constitution. An excellent educational reference tool to have on hand. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good God - Independance ???
Page 53, in large, all caps, bold type, the title page for the "Declaration of Independence", SOHO Books demonstrated they cannot spell independence. An inexcusable error in this book. Of course it is five stars for content but the misspelling made it 4 stars for me - especially when it was spelled correctly numerous times throughout the book. This must have been done by a human, not a spellchecker, as there is no such word as "independance" the spelling used by SOHO Books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Next best book after the Bible.
We need to know the details of our Constitution and what made America great. Especially when our freedoms are in jeopardy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States of American, Bill of Rights and Constitutional Amendments
It's important to have verbatim evidence of our constitution and its amendments and the bill of rights, etc., because in today's political climate, we must know the limits of the bureaucracies to know whether or not boundaries are being overstepped (which I believe they are!).This puts all this vital information together in one place for easy reference.

4-0 out of 5 stars Founding documents of the United States of America
The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights is the law of the land that does not change. It is not a "living document as activist judges want to believe, it is the written unchanging law of our land that explains what America is all about. These documents are very important; you should read them, know them.

5-0 out of 5 stars a-must-have
A document every American should have and understand.Also, should be required reading in our school systems. ... Read more

5. United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination
by John J. Newman
Paperback: Pages (2003-01)
list price: US$28.92 -- used & new: US$25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1567656609
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!
OMG!!! I love this book. It is freaking better than the text book itself. I was able to read it and understand what I am reading. I just love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best study guide for US HISTORY.
This book not only helps with any US History you have but is also a great study tool for the AP exam in US History. Its easy and fast to read and understand the text in this book. They have it broken down into sections and divided by chapters so its simple to flip through and find what you may be looking for. I use it all the time in AP US History and almost the rest of the class has this book to help them also. Its actually such a great book, that my teacher is trying to replace this book with the current textbook we have now. :) Its also very interesting to read compared to most school text books that contain lots of information we dont need.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
The product was like it said in the description, and it got here right on time.I recommend other users who haven't used amazon, to buy products from here.

5-0 out of 5 stars great condition
when i received it, it was in great condition in the packaging, and it was exactly what i wanted.

1-0 out of 5 stars Newman book
the book said used, but it had no pictures of how badly it was used, so when i got it i just threw it away ... Read more

6. United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
by US Conference of Catholic Bishops
Paperback: 664 Pages (2006-07-31)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574554506
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The presence of the Catholic Church in the United States reaches back to the founding days of our country through the leadership of Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States. His story like the stories at the start of each chapter in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults give us a glimpse into the lives of Catholics who lived out their faith throughout our country's history. Each chapter in the Catechism for Adults includes stories, doctrine, reflection, quotations, discussion questions, and prayer to lead the reader to a deepening faith. The Catechism for Adults is an excellent resource for preparation of catechumens in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and for ongoing catechesis of adults. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (70)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but no sub for the real thing
A good summary of the full Catechism but a little cooked down in some places.Includes interesting stories of servants of God at the beginning of each chapter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Service
From placing order to delivery - just two days!Wonderful, timely service.Much appreciated.Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great tool for Adult Faith Formation
This is a fantastic re-presentation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.As the director of Adult Faith Formation at our parish we have chosen this book to be the foundation of our program.It is easy to read and study and you do not need a degree in theology to understand it.We are using it in small group studies and are delighted that it has a Study Guide (Study Guide for the U.S. Adult Catholic Catechism by Jem Sullivan; Ph.D.) to help the small group leaders.There is also a journal (Reader's Journal for the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults) to help individuals work through Catechism on their own. This is a great product for anyone who wants to renew their faith or needs to be able to answer those questions that their children bring home from church or religous education.

Note: If you are a catechist I would recommend that you also have access to the complete, offical Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Teaching Tool
This book, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, is an excellent teaching tool for all adult catechists.It is clear, easy to read, and easily understood.The participants in my parish Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program will attest to that.It also refers to the Catechism of the Catholic Church as its source as well as documents of Vatican II.This indicates that this has been thought out and not something just dreamed up the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).It makes the job of the catechist easier to prepare and more organized in presentation of the subject matter.Recommend for all who are involved in adult education and especially those who facilitate RCIA sessions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Teaching Tool
This is much easier to understand than the Catholic Catechism. It is well organized which makes it easy to find the answer to questions you may have. The church I work for is using it as the text for RCIA classes (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). ... Read more

7. A Young People's History of the United States (Enhanced Omnibus Edition)
by Howard Zinn
Paperback: 464 Pages (2009-06-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$9.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583228691
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Volumes One and Two of the bestselling series now in a single enhanced edition!

Now in paperback with illustrations, this is the new, revised, and updated single volume young adult edition of Howard Zinn’s classic telling of American history. A Young People’s History of the United States brings to US history the viewpoints of workers, slaves, immigrants, women, Native Americans, and others whose stories, and their impact, are rarely included in books for young people. A Young People’s History of the United States is also a companion volume to The People Speak, Zinn’s forthcoming televised series, adapted from A People’s History of the United States and Voices of a People’s History of the United States.

Beginning with a look at Christopher Columbus’ arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians; then leading the reader through the struggles for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism, Zinn presents a radical new way of understanding America’s history. In so doing, he reminds readers that America’s true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals.

Howard Zinn is the author of numerous books, including A People's History of the United States, as well as many recent books published by Seven Stories Press: Voices of a People’s History of the United States and Terrorism and War, both with Anthony Arnove; The Zinn Reader; and the Spanish-language edition of A People’s History of the United States, La otra historia. He is professor emeritus of political science at Boston University. Rebecca Stefoff is the author of many books for children and young adults, including a biography of the Shawnee chieftain Tecumseh and her adaptation of Ronald Takaki’s award-winning history of Asian Americans, Strangers from a Different Shore.

Young People's History of the US

... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars You gotta be kidding !
This is the lamest piece of leftist clap-trap I have written in a long time! I work in an elementary school at night as a maintaince man; andI was in a 4th grade classroom waiting for my next assignment when I saw this book on a desk and picked it up to read for a bit [ I like reading about history].Imagine my surprise as I read thru this book and discovered how America is the most vile country ( maybe Zinn thinks Nazi Germany is worse?) on the face of the planet.I'm not a love-it-or-leave-it beliver in this country; it has done a lot wrong in the past for a number of noble and ignoble reasons.But Zinn makes one-sided; simplistic observations about this nations past deeds that are part laughable and part leftist stupididy!George Bush 41 started Desert Storm to get re-elected?There is 1 paragragh on the 9/11 hijackers and 2 and a half pages about how we deserved to be attacked.The list goes on and on.the fact this was in an elemetary school I found disturbing.I could see a college student reading this for a different (yet slanted) version of US history to view it along side more contempory fair that is out there. hell I read the Communist Manifesto in college and had a prof that was an avowed communist!But I was old enough at that point to take it in and review the facts and myths. But young kids should just learn the facts without a left or right tilt to them.George Washington stayed in Valley Forge in the winter of 1777; not that Goerge Washington was a capitalist elitist who was fighting to keep the poor down thru the formation of a fax- republic government.Zinn really streaches the purpose of people's actions without having acess to their inner thoughts and ignoring the tide of history.So if you want to read something even my liberal Professors I had in college would dismiss as lame {they were liberals but they were fair and informed} then read this; maybe Zinn will write a book next on WWII how the USA stared that war too because we were mean to Hitler and the Japanese.Or maybe he'll write a book on prison reform in this country and how we should be nice to all the criminals and let them go from jail if they say they are sorry for what they have done and they have tears in their eyes when they say it.Zinn would know which ones really mean it or not.!

1-0 out of 5 stars Radicalism for the Young Reader
Why should our young people learn of the heroism and sacrifice of their ancestors and the founding fathers of the United States.Let's teach them to snarl at references to Washington and Lincoln.Let's teach them that the War in the Pacific (WWII) was really a racist war against asian peoples, ignoring our alliances with the Philippines and the Chinese.

Let's not forget that the cold war was not just a matter of communist and capitalist moral equivalence the way some soft liberals think.Oh no, the Marxist side is still the side of historical inevitability and resistance to it is evil!

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
History is often taught according to the view of the historian-writer-teacher.
This book clarifies with facts several myths in the history of the United States.
People need to know the real history even in the cases where abuses and antidemocratic
incidents ocurred in particular when the people were manipulated and or deceived to serve
the interest of a particular powerful group[Ex industrial-military complex].The author
gives plenty of good examples that go from creating an atmosphere in the public for
acceptance or continuation of war based on lies to justification for invading foreign
countries who never attacked the U.S.,or putting down governments who by protecting and
defending their national interests and resources were not making the american companies
too happy while replacing such governments with "puppet" presidents or dictators who were
inconditional to U.S. interests.Like the author points out being a "good" american is not
accepting the injustice that the government pursues.Furthermore it is the youth of this
country the people who are more vulnerable to such lies and manipulations.Democracy will
work as people educate in a system that teaches and invites sound critical evaluation of how
the country is run and which garanties the empowerment to change governments on that basis. To
make government accountable to the people who elects them.Unfortunately the author,Howard Zinn,
just passed away.Nevertheless he left several books for us to read which will continue to be
pertinent and relevant for years to come.His writting is easy to read and his books are hard
to drop until you finish.DrJJM

3-0 out of 5 stars Teachers planning on using this in class
Just in case anyone wants to use this in a social studies class, it's really probably the most appropriate for grades 6-8 or 9.It's too basic for my 11th grade US History class, although I did use it for some short information over the Great Depression.If you used it in conjunction with the primary sources from "Voices" it might work for older grades.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
All children should have to read this book, as it looks at history from another perspective that is NOT taught in the textbooks. It is a very enlightening book that teaches students to look at history with a more critical eye. It forces students (and adults) to re-think what they've learned and question what is true and what's not. It's great for a compare and contrast lesson and it works great when teaching the 5 C's of History (Context, Causality, Complexity, Contingency, and Change Over Time). ... Read more

8. Weeds of the Midwestern United States and Central Canada
Paperback: 440 Pages (2010-07-01)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$28.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0820335061
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Weeds threaten the safe, efficient, and sustainable production of food, feed, fiber, and biofuel throughout the world. Featuring more than fourteen hundred full-color photographs, this handy guide provides essential information on more than 350 of the most troublesome weedy and invasive plants found in the midwestern United States and central Canada.

Drawing on the expertise of more than forty weed scientists and botanists, the guide identifies each plant at various stages of its life and offers useful details about its origin, habitat, morphology, biology, distribution, and toxic properties. The book also includes illustrations of the most common characteristics of plants and terms used to describe them, a key to plant families included in the book, a glossary of frequently used terms, a bibliography, and indexes of scientific and common plant names.

This is an essential guide for agronomists, crop and soil scientists, horticulturists, botanists, Cooperative Extension Service agents, farmers, gardeners, students in agriculture and biology, lawn care professionals, green industry professionals, nursery owners, government quarantine workers, and land preservationists.

Each species account includes:
  • Up to four full-color photographs showing seed, seedling, plant, flower, and other unique plant features
  • Distribution map
  • For grasses, a line drawing of the collar, where the leaf joins the stem, an important identifying characteristic
  • Scientific names, common names, and local synonyms of common names
  • Vegetative characteristics for seedlings and leaves
  • Special identifying characteristics
  • Reproductive characteristics
  • Toxic properties

States and provinces covered:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas (northeastern)
  • Kentucky (northern)
  • Manitoba (southern half)
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri (upper half)
  • Nebraska (eastern)
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Ontario (southern half)
  • Quebec (southwestern corner)
  • Saskatchewan (southeastern)
  • South Dakota (eastern half)
  • Wisconsin
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!
Two thirds of the content of this book is recycled from the error ridden Weeds of the South by the same authors.The numerous mis-identifications and many instances of mis-information are compounded by the fact that the authors chose to use a very technical style in their descriptions, thus requiring a glossary of over 400 technical terms, of which the authors demonstrate a repeated lack of understanding. The only valid purpose of this and the previous Weeds of the South publication, is as a tool to extract funds from the many chemical companies that funded the publications.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book and Delivery Service
Ordered Free Shipping and the Book arrived the very next day! BRAND NEW AND NO PROBLEMS AT ALL! The four stars is given based upon the content and organization of the book. 'Weeds of the Northeast' is a much better in the field ID Guide. This book is better as a text. The help with ID'ing weeds is severely lacking.

5-0 out of 5 stars How many times I've wished for a book like this
I agree everything said above plus it show pictures of the whole plant, close of leaves, flowers, seeds & sprouts. It shows in drawings the different structures & explains terms. If you have any interest in the plants of the area, either to ID as wildflowers, garden weeds or any other reason, then this book is a must have. ... Read more

9. United States of Americana: Backyard Chickens, Burlesque Beauties, and Handmade Bitters: A Field Guide to the New American Roots Movement
by Kurt B. Reighley
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-09-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$7.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061946494
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Young Americans are returning to the roots of a simpler culture

Americana. It's more than mere nostalgia; it's a conscious celebration of community and sustainability. It's a movement born in response to the ever-accelerating pace of modern life and Internet technology overload. All over the country, people are returning to an appreciation for the simpler things in life, which are brilliantly surveyed in United States of Americana—the first comprehensive handbook to all things Americana.

Music: Renewed interest in the legends of country, blues, gospel, and folk (Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams, and Leadbelly); the rise and evolution of alt-country music and the Americana genre (Fleet Foxes, Wilco, the Decemberists, and T Bone Burnett)

Fashion: Wearing American heritage clothing and footwear (Red Wing boots, Filson jackets, Carhartt overalls, and Pendleton wool shirts)

Grooming: Returning to straight-razor shaving and old-fashioned barber shops

D.I.Y.: Taking up handmade crafts (knitting, needlepoint, and soap making), as well as home canning (pickling and preserving)

The speakeasy renaissance: Drinking Prohibition- and pre-Prohibition-era cocktails (old-fashioned, gin fizz, and sidecar)

Entertainment: Seeking out burlesque, circuses, and the vinyl LP

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars I'm just not cool enough
Instead of reading as a "Guide," The United States of Americana reads more like a Who's Who reference list of where you should be shopping and what music to listen to if you want to jump on the new American roots movement bandwagon.Many chapters (most notably the clothes, leather working, and part of the food, and music sections) is a list of "cool" young hipsters "doing their thing".Reading it, I feel less guided and more pushed (with their blogs and websites listed so you can go check them out).

Lack of Gender

While I thoroughly enjoyed reading about men's facial hair, the different types of mustaches (really!), the origins of each liquor, and almost every sidebar, I was disappointed to see there was little, if no, female influence on any of these topics.Sure, knitting and crafts scream "the woman's job," but regarding clothes, grooming, leather work, and even music, historical influences and subsequent revelations were male-oriented.Where are the women's trends?Hats, fascinators and headpieces are all making enormous resurgences in women's fashion; it would have fit nicely between straight razors and bowler hats.It would have been nice to read how today's movement is affecting the "other" gender, since I consider myself a woman participating in this new American roots movement.Gender's not even mentioned facetiously until the crafts chapter.Mentioning Martha Stewart doesn't count, and boiling women down to crafts and burlesque is predictable.


It is clear that Reighley is a music lover.The passion (albeit, a bit of snootiness) that shines through in his chapter "Songs of Pioneers" is obvious.But it leaks a little into other chapters, such as "Design and Décor."Why bring up Jon Langford (a whole section on him) and the American music community AGAIN, in the Design and Décor chapter?Completely off topic!Could have omitted those 2 pages entirely - or plopped them in the music chapter.


In addition to the catchy style of writing, I like being able to put names like Velocipede and Dirigible with their odd object counterparts.Some parts of the book were incredibly informative and fun to read: topics such as mustache variations, as mentioned before, types of liquors, early American musicians, and types of fibrous crafts.Honestly, the epilogue was one of the best parts of the book - I just wish Reighley had imparted more of that sincerity and personal touch to the rest of the book.

Bottom Line: I'm Just Not Cool Enough

The overall tone of the book, while well written, witty and fun to read, is a bit snobbish.I feel like I'm just not cool enough to read this book or take part in this movement - even though I'm 26, lived in Brooklyn for 8 years, and am a dirt-broke, starving artist.Furthermore, I keep chickens, have a garden, can and preserve food... and yet I felt these topics were lacking when it came to the "United States of Americana."Where is the part about keeping a garden in the "Food" chapter?And how are we not talking about being green, conserving resources, leaning more towards self-sufficiency and sustainability as a motivator in this new roots movement?I'd hedge my bets that the state of the economy is what is inadvertently encouraging a lot of young folks (my generation specifically) to this sort of lifestyle, in conjunction with a desire to tread lighter on the planet.So why do I feel like this movement is only for the hip and the wealthy?

Overall, a nice, easy read, but I feel like it lacked in the true heart and soul of the movement...every day, normal people trying to live simpler lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Authentic book about authentic living
The United States of Americana covers everything from canning your own food, to honoring tried and true garment manufacturers, to retro careers like urban farming or burlesque dancer. The common thread is people reaching back to the past, grabbing hold of the things that last(ed), and making them new again.

Sure, that banjo band you like might sound like something your hillbilly relatives used to listen to, but unlike those guys, the new ones have a website and a Kickstart page to help fund their new CD. Ditto the new breed of butcher. Unlike the slaughterhouses of today, the slow foods movement honors the animals and plants that we eat by raising them in comfort and slaughtering them humanely.

Reighley is an amazing writer who usually specializes in music writing. Here he expands his repertoire by leaps and bounds and does so with the same well-researched care and finely honed sense of humor. I've already bought a copy of this book for the marketing company I work for--maybe that's a cynical use for Reighley's work, but marketers would do well to listen. Because fast-food, disposable culture just isn't cutting it anymore.

5-0 out of 5 stars The right writer for a broad but fascinating topic
In a lesser journalist's hands, this book could've easily gotten lost - after all, what do chickens, boots and burlesque all have in common? Luckily Reighley isn't just a veteran music journalist, he's both a skilled interviewer and a seasoned critic of popular culture in general, able to show you what unifying strands connect the current popularity of knitting to both punk rock's DIY culture and the current state of feminism.As an interviewer Reighley finds the choicest insights from a wide range of truly fascinating characters, but it's his ability to weave these ingredients together into one grand narrative that makes this book really rock.

There's a paradox in all this: what's the big Story in a bunch of people doing old stuff? As the answers unfold, it becomes clear that all of these quirky old-fashioned hobbies (some of which have turned into lucrative professions) are a vivid (and mostly authentic) search of meaning, intimacy and a sense of realness against the backdrop of Facebook America (where your friends literally are electric).Even as Walmart and other huge corporations own more and more of our commerce, our government, our time and our culture, the underground of DIY artisans is burgeoning too, from your local farmer's market to Etsy.com, and even as YouTube and Pandora transform what it means to consume music, odds are there are more and more artists in your community finding greater satisfaction busking blues, bluegrass or old-time music, or trading in their turntables for belly dance and burlesque costumes.

In short, this is an ambitious but unforgettably effective book about who we are in 2010 as we as a nation mine our traditions for anything we can reuse or recycle that will make our lives feel realer than our Friends Lists and Status Updates and credit ratings and poll numbers.And, best of all, Reighley accompanies all his thought-provoking research and cultural critic work with practical DIY tips, in case all this reading about backyard chickens got you hankering for a coop of your own.In the end, this book may not change your life, but it might well inspire you to LIVE MORE, and tell you exactly how to get started.

3-0 out of 5 stars Memories that make you smile
I looked at the title, and tried to figure out just what was going to be the content? Then when I began to read,I was delighted. It took me back to a simpler time.Didn't identify with the music part, but that's due to my age.Neat Book... Good fun read. ... Read more

10. Cartoon History of the United States
by Larry Gonick
Paperback: 400 Pages (1991-08-14)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$11.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0062730983
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

What? You don't know what a Burgess is? -- You can't outline the Monroe Doctrine? -- Recall the 14th Amendment? -- Explain the difference between a sputnik and a beatnik?

Then you need The Cartoon History of the United Statesto fill those gaps. From the first English colonies to the Gulf War and the S&L debacle, Larry Gonick spells it all out from his unique cartoon perspective.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but Horribly Flawed
In a comic book format, Larry Gonick tries to cover all of American history, from the discovery of the New World by Europeans until the 1991 Gulf War. The book had a lot of potential, but for me, it really fell flat.

Despite the flaws, the book does pretty much cover everything in American history, albeit not a lot of detail.

There are numerous problems with the book. The first is the bias. I hate to sound like some raging conservative, but this book had a very liberal bias. He always seems to give credence to a liberal view of historical events rather than a more objective view. For example, Franklin Roosevelt is shown as a saint whose New Deal policies got America out of the Great Depression while Reagan, and his policies, is shown as a complete buffoon. I am not saying whether or not I agree with this type of view, but the point is the bias is there. Another example regards Lyndon Johnson (Democrat) and Richard Nixon (Republican). Although Johnson is derided mainly for his policies in Vietnam, at least his admirable accomplishments are mentioned (namely his Great Society programs). The only things he says about Nixon's presidency are bomb Vietnam and Watergate. None of his more admirable aspects are even mentioned in passing.

Another is the omissions. He spends a page explaining colonialism before spending not even a whole page about the Spanish-American War. There is no mention of the explosion of the USS Maine, yellow journalism, or the situation in Cuba. The reader is led to believe the war was nothing more than an imperialistic venture (I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Spanish-American War, but still). The section on World War II is woefully lacking and really contains almost no information on the war itself.

The book is at times repetitive. Any American who knows anything about American history knows about the unfortunate history of slavery in the United States. So why must Gonick remind the reader again and again in the book up until the Civil War? It wastes space that could have been used for detailing on other subjects. I know that this being a comic book means there is some limits in space, but this is ridiculous.

There are also cases of factual errors. For example, he mentions explicitly twice that the Mexican-American War was an undeclared war when in actuality Congress formally declared war on May 13, 1846. He says President Bush (Senior) started the War on Drugs when Nixon was the one that started it.

The last several pages (from the 60s on) are almost unreadable because it sounds less like history and more like the author's complaints about the times he was around for. Like this gem:

"And who could blame him [George Bush]? Drugs were a real problem! And so were falling real wages, the loss of decent jobs, skyrocketing housing costs, increasing poverty, decaying public schools, an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, homelessness, hopelessness, and a near collapse of society within the burgeoning black underclass..."

The entire book seems to try to paint the most politically incorrect view of history beyond the point of annoyance. His sense of humor did not always work. Sometimes it was good and others not so much.

I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy certain aspects of the book though. I did find the caricatures of many people fun to look at and his style can be fun at times. Although the quality of the cartoons throughout the book vary greatly from extremely poor to way better than anything I could draw.

I find it rather difficult to recommend this book. If you know little about American history or are trying to teach someone, especially children, than pass this up. It is far too skewed to be useful in that regard. If you already know American history pretty well and are willing to look pass the liberal bias, than you might find some enjoyment out of it.

Update (October 22, 2010): Since writing this review, I have only read one other Gonick work, specifically "The Cartoon History of the Universe I," which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is now clear to me that The Cartoon History of the United States is definitely not up to par, both in content and quality.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lacks enough details
I picked this up to see how I could use it with my students. It was disappointing, though there are some good moments. Mostly, the bias of it leads me to regard it as not completely accurate (i.e. the only mention of Mormons is in reference to the Mountain Meadows Massacre which paints them all to be murderers). Not a definitive text, but a curious read.

4-0 out of 5 stars U.S. History made simple
Larry Gonick did it again.He wrote a book that is informative, fun to read, and provides a few laughs.From the science-based books I have where he is a coauthor, I thought he was only a cartoonist/illustrator.But this brief history book certainly shows that he is multi-talented.I was amazed by how much information he packed in this small volume; and it is quite accurate.It takes great talent to do this.Good political cartoonists do this.Occam's razor is at work here!I plan to read some of the other non-science books that he personally authored.

5-0 out of 5 stars A History Book the Whole Family Loves
Larry Gonick's cartoon history books are wonderfully informative, incredibly interesting and terrifically funny. My twelve year old son hordes them all in his room to read & re-read. But we all love them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy review
This book is fantastic. You can read through it in a day or two to refresh your memory of the key events in American history. ... Read more

11. The United States of Arugula: The Sun Dried, Cold Pressed, Dark Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution
by David Kamp
Paperback: 416 Pages (2007-07-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767915801
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The wickedly entertaining, hunger-inducing, behind-the-scenes story of the revolution in American food that has made exotic ingredients, celebrity chefs, rarefied cooking tools, and destination restaurants familiar aspects of our everyday lives.

Amazingly enough, just twenty years ago eating sushi was a daring novelty and many Americans had never even heard of salsa. Today, we don't bat an eye at a construction worker dipping a croissant into robust specialty coffee, city dwellers buying just-picked farmstand produce, or suburbanites stocking up on artisanal cheeses and extra virgin oils at supermarkets. The United States of Arugula is a rollicking, revealing stew of culinary innovation, food politics, and kitchen confidences chronicling how gourmet eating in America went from obscure to pervasive—and became the cultural success story of our era.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Never Arrived, but Credit Issued Quickly
I ordered this book used, it was supposed to arrive during a specified time period.It didn't.I got in touch with the seller, they had me check at the local post office to see if it was waiting there, it wasn't, and that afternoon they processed the return.
I'd have preferred to get the book, but not being charged for what I didn't get is a decent alternative.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Inevitable Taint of Success
Extremely well written, but ultimately depressing.......

My wife & I have been involved as inquiring, eager, cooks throughout our 40 yr marriage. During that period food has come of age in America."The United States of Arugula" chronicles this history rather well...a bit of gossip, some snarkiness, and a pretty good account of how the various food movements moved to the forefront and either endured or burned out. Mr Kamp remains true to his objectivity, taking a no holds barred approach to discussing the pantheon of food personalities. The narrative moves quickly and entertains..... up to the point where we encounter the Food Network.........the culinary equivalent of bluesman Robert Johnson's famous encounter one midnight at that rural Mississippi Delta crossroads.The Food movement's bargain was the dollar's triumph over substance....All of my so-called epicurean heroes take their turns rationalizing the spectacle that is Food TV. Too bad....Mario et al...at the end of the day there isn't much food left in the food movement...unless a steady diet of ego, crass commercialism, and vacuum-sealed righteous ideology can sustain devotees and viewers. However, for all the clownish antics on Food TV....Bravo has stepped forward and REALLY turned the food movement firmly in the direction of trash with Top Chef.....a caloric clone of the various Housewives" franchises. Shame on you. Dull knives prevail.

1-0 out of 5 stars A complete waste of time, money, and paper
The author has not (yet?) met a female chef he could like. ...And all male chefs are queer. Aside from that, he got his facts straight. He started writing a year after Julia Child died and perhaps should have started sooner. Or not at all. Or found a different subject to insult.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dishing It Up

The United States of Arugula is ostensibly about how America changed from a burgers and fries, Swanson TV dinner, baloney sandwich and Fritos kind of country to a sushi and edamame, Whole Foods, imported bottled water nation. What it really is though, is a collection of some of the best gossip I've read in a long time. This is quality stuff.

The stars of the story are food pioneers Craig Claiborne, James Beard, and Julia Child. Along with accounts of their careers, we learn of their various trysts and relationships. Even Julia Child, of whom there are no revelations of extra marital affairs here, comes across as rather bawdier than we are used to seeing her. Alice Waters gets the full treatment as well. What a busy bee she's been - that kitchen at Chez Panisse sure gets hot.

Author David Kamp has really done his homework. We learn how Whole Foods, Zabar's, Dean & DeLuca, and Williams Sonoma got started. We get the lowdown on how the French cooking craze that Julia Child started morphed into Nouvelle Cuisine in New York and into California Cuisine in Berkeley. Chefs Jeremiah Tower, Thomas Keller, and Wolfgang Puck make cameo appearances. Find out how Peet's Coffee in the Bay Area begat Starbuck's.

I can't think of anyone Kamp has left out of his book. Even Jane and Michael Stern, who specialize in finding the "best" greasy spoons, and The Frugal Gourmet (remember him?) are mentioned, if only in chatty and rather informative footnotes. But back to the gossip. Here you'll find out what food critic made Emeril Lagasse cry, what Alice Waters said to Rick Bayless when he appeared in Burger King commercials, and about the feud between Mexican food experts Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless.

Of course, if you'd rather take the high road, you can join in on the debate over whether America is better off, food-wise now than we were forty years ago. Were things more natural and healthier before high fructose corn syrup and DDT and Fast Food Nation? Or are they actually better now with organic choices and farmers' markets and the Food Channel? Argue amongst yourselves. I'm going to scour the footnotes for more gossipy morsels.

4-0 out of 5 stars is it time to eat yet?
Not only do I suddenly feel way more clued in when dining with my foodie friends, but I have a whole new appreciation for how and why I can suddenly buy good food in this country nearly everywhere.More importantly, however, is the imperative to eat now, and eat well that this book instills in me every time I read more than a few pages.I don't think I've ever eaten as many great meals as I have while reading this book. ... Read more

12. The Mental Floss History of the United States: The (Almost) Complete and (Entirely) Entertaining Story of America
by Erik Sass, Will Pearson, Mangesh Hattikudur
Hardcover: 432 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$13.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061928224
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Smarter than a history teacher, funnier than the Founding Fathers, and more American than Alaska, an almost (but not entirely) comprehensive primer on American history (or at least, the good stuff)

In trademark smart aleck style, this is history according to mental_floss, an insightfully accurate and incisively humorous exploration of little-known truths and widely believed falsehoods, which simultaneously exposes some of America's oddest moments, strangest citizens, most egregious frauds, and much, much more.

Ten meaty chapters, peppered with fun trivia, entertainingly cover the essential timeline of the social, political, and cultural happenings of American history and mythbust all the lies teachers told us along the way. Was Abraham Lincoln really a heroic defender of liberty and freedom? Were the Sixties actually a groovy time of peace and love? Has the U.S. always been dependent on foreign oil? mental_floss sets the record straight and shares the fascinating stories behind politics, literature, fashion, televangelism, serial killers, genetic engineering, Yuppies, SPAM, the original Swine Flu, potato chips, rollerskating, mobsters, rum, communists, beaver wars, the rise and fall of irony, and everything else made in the U.S.A.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive
I was expecting about 100 pages of stuff I already knew, but the Mental Floss guys are smart folks so i gave it a try. There seems to be a book worth of data in every chapter, the majority of it I had never heard. Very detailed and well researched.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good history refresher
There are plenty of statistics out there that demonstrate just how little most Americans know about their history. This is doubtless a bad thing, and not just for frustrated history teachers: knowing more about the nation's history should make citizens better judges of its current social, political, and economic state. The folks at magazine/website mental_floss have done their bit for the national discourse by producing a quick single-volume history of the United States.

One of the sections of the mental_floss website offers "cocktail party cheat sheets" and this history is very much in that vein: entertaining, with all of the pertinent information provided in bite-sized pieces. Written in an off-beat style, it's definitely not boring. Obviously, this isn't a comprehensive treatment of American history, but it's a good introduction, or reminder of what you've probably forgotten since school.

That said, it's a pretty fun romp through American history. Maybe at time a bit too fun-the constant snarkiness can get a bit grating, particularly when dealing with complex and tragic events in American life.

The tendency for over-glibness aside, this is a pretty good single-volume history of the United States. It will definitely help you brush up on the major trends, or talk your way through a cocktail party. But if it sparks any curiosity in you about the events it describes, you're going to need to follow up with something more substantial. If you don't have a US history text on your shelf, you could do a lot worse than this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Should be called a bathroom reader
You won't have your life changed by this book, but it will give you tons of fun stories to tell at parties.I found it to be a perfect bathroom book, with each section short enough to read in just a couple minutes.I've learned lots of fun trivia, but only someone with a pollyanna view of American history will be shocked by the revelations.Lies my teacher told me, maybe, but just look around; are we really all that perfect now?Why should we have been perfect then?

3-0 out of 5 stars An easy-to-read and mostly entertaining overview of American history
The Mental Floss guide to American history hits the highlights and the lowlifes, giving a broad overview of some of the most important developments, and also clearing up some of the more influential rumors.

They cover politics, culture, economics, and fashion.It's cleverly written, but stays mostly serious.It's never simply silly.I was happy about that, since I wasn't really interested in reading a comic "take" on American history, but rather wanted an actual overview of the history that happened to be fun to read.That's what this is for the most part.You really could learn quite a bit about American history from reading this book, but you might also enjoy it.Much of it was familiar to me from things I've read or studied in high school and college or gleaned from other sources, but I learned several new things.

The "Lies My Teacher Told Me" sections spread throughout the book are quite helpful - focused on popular myths like the idea that Columbus knew what he'd found when he got there (or that he was an admirable guy and a great leader who befriended the natives), or the lie that Al Gore claimed to have singlehandedly invented the internet (he never said that, but only that he'd played an important role in helping to expand the internet beyond the military, which, it turns out, is true).

One nice feature is that it doesn't try to tie everything into one grand narrative.Rather, it covers events and developments and major figures almost like news articles - short and direct accounts that have the benefit of hindsight to get at the essentials.That means the book is easy to pick up and set down for a few minutes at a time - which would make it an excellent coffee table or bedside or bathroom book.There are short articles, little factoids, and mini timelines that help to put events into perspective.

They try to be balanced - which means that they're not giving either a "heroic view" of America, or a "view from below" or a liberal or conservative account, but maybe a little bit of all of these things.There is, of course, a tendency to emphasize the salacious and salty side of history - stories about the importance of rum in the colonies, for example - and that's in keeping with the aim to be entertaining, but it's never crass and usually there's a broader point - like the fact that rum is made from molasses and the tax on molasses imposed by the British was an important grievance among the colonies.Some of it's trivia, but rarely simply tabloid-style fodder.

History buffs can't expect to learn much that's new here, but might want to give it as a gift to loved ones who lack the history bug, because it might just get them intrigued.

5-0 out of 5 stars History Made Fun!
Some teachers believe that if you teach history through storytelling then a person will both remember and enjoy the subject."History of the United States" takes history telling to another level through its irreverent tone, its easy-to-read style, and its playful, fun approach.And, it really works!

The author's goal is to combine commonly taught (or not) historical events with lessor known, but interesting facts and trivia, in order to make the book appeal to those who hated history class, those who loved history class, those who love trivia, and those who simply love a good read.

The book is divided into 10 chapters with each chapter representing a specified time period (coverage is from 23,000 BCE to 2010). Each chapter starts with an overview entitled "The State of the Union".From there, the author breaks down "events" into attention-holding descriptive paragraphs, charts, maps and sections entitled "Lies Your Teacher Told You" and other little side bars that give "fun facts".

"History of the United States" is simply a fun book to read.There is no dry. I guarantee that you will laugh out loud on many occasions, and that you will actually remember your history after reading the book.I enjoyed this book so much that I ordered The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization's Best Bits.

Keep 'em coming, Mental Floss!

(the Table of Contents section shows that the book will have an index in its final version). ... Read more

13. A People's History of the United States, Abridged Teaching Edition, Updated Edition
by Howard Zinn
Paperback: 640 Pages (2003-08)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565848268
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The New Press's Abridged Teaching Edition of A People's History of the United States has made Howard Zinn's original text available specifically for classroom use. With exercises and teaching materials to accompany each chapter, this edition spans American Beginnings, Reconstruction, the Civil War and through to the present, with new chapters on the Clinton Presidency, the 2000 elections, and the "war on terrorism." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
This is the fifth copy that I have bought to share with family! Learn about U. S. History from the peoples viewpoint. Not the rich and powerful/ corporate viewpoint which has been what we have been told all along.

4-0 out of 5 stars Should Replace Textbooks
The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn is a version of history highly devoted to the disenfranchised of America. The people represented in this book are the exploited, the poor, the immigrant, and the minority. These are the masses, it can be argued, that need to be kept content, otherwise rebellion may form.

The emphasis of the book is on "the people." Zinn concludes that no matter what party controls the executive branch or Congress, the intent of these men and women is static. Nothing ever seems to change. The capitalists, the industrialists, the producers of America will be protected by both legislature and the actions of the government. Zinn repeatedly is critical of capitalism and explains, sometimes quite convincingly, that capitalism is exploitative and that greed and U.S. interest drives American military intervention abroad.

The reader will also learn of broad topics in American history--the colonial period, the Spanish-American war, the Populist Movement, WWI, the Roaring Twenties, Watergate, etc. all the way to the 21st century's "War on Terrorism." Zinn describes these topics from the perspective of "the people" and in a way not usually fashioned. For instance, Zinn writes that the before the Mexican-American war began, Mexico was actually provoked by Polk who sent troops to, not the agreed upon border between Texas and Mexico, the Nueces River, but to the Rio Grande River, 150 miles South of the Nueces River and 150 miles into Mexican territory. The reason? Polk needed Mexico to strike first, in order for him to acquire the South West.

The reader should not deduce Zinn as an unpatriotic, communist, distorter of history. Zinn astutely and credibly provides a unique perspective of history Americans are unaccustomed to reading. Do not hesitate to buy this book!

(This abridged teaching addition has wonderful questions and activities at the end of chapter that needs to be implemented in the high school classroom. Zinn makes history come alive, something textbooks do not do.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for Understading History, as it was not as the winner's wrote it
This is hard to read for those who deny reality.It is hard to read for those who chronically accepted what they learned in school as the ultimate truth.It is even hard sometimes for people who want to learn about diversity and multiple perspectives.But, it is great for students to learn about social justice and to learn critical thinking skills.This book is great.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good
This book is a pretty typical history book. Its pretty easy to read and kinda goes into things that other books would leave out. I bought it for a class and havent read that much but it seems to be better than the other book we have to read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Teachers Beware!
If you are an instructor and intend to use the teaching edition as an aid, be prepared to do lots of legwork yourself.At the end of each chapter there are exercises in the form of questions, concrete to abstract, that you can use.However, no suggested answers are provided. In my mind, when I purchase a teaching addition, there is an implication that the heavy lifting will be done by the authors.That's what they get paid for.The teaching edition is a disappointment and a ripoff considering the fact that I had already purchased an edition of the Zinn book. ... Read more

14. SS UNITED STATES: Speed Queen of the Seas
by William H Miller
Paperback: 96 Pages (2009-10)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$21.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1848683650
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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SS United States is the story in words and pictures of this record breaking ocean liner. Built in 1952 for the United States Lines, the SS United States was the largest ocean liner to be built entirely in America.

The entry of the SS United States marked the first time a US flagged ship held the Blue Riband, as this amazing ocean linersurpassed European speed records which had stood for decades.

The SS United has recently been sold to the Hong Kong based Star Cruises. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Save Our Ship!
This is one of the nicest books on SS United States in print.Many of the photos are from the author's private collection, and lend a unique perspective to her history.One colour bleed photo has to be seen, and alone is worth the price, along with a few celebrity shots I had not seen.The brilliant cover illustrations speak for themselves!The sad photos at the end show her current, and hopefully soon to be refurbished, condition.The text is informative and accurate as always with a William H. Miller book.Printed in England, it is well designed on nicely weighted stock, and will make a nice addition to any ship enthusiast's library.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Big U, A Big Wonder
This is a fantastic book, written in the usual highly entertaining style of Bill Miller. I would highly recomend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in the United States. A ton of photos! My only complaint (and its a common one to ocean liner books) is that there are few colour pictures of the interiors during her time at sea. Mostly in black and white. I would without hesitation make this purchase again. You will enjoy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book.
I bought several books of the SS United States.
But this one is the best: It tells, with nice rare colored and black and white pictures, the story of the "Big U". It's like you are in the live of the autor. I can only recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Photographic Record!
There are several excellent books on the SS United States, but this one stands apart due to its wealth of color photographs. If you have any interest in the world's fastest liner, this book is for you. ... Read more

15. A Short History of the United States
by Edward Channing
Paperback: 274 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003VPX3J6
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Product Description
A Short History of the United States is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Edward Channing is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Edward Channing then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

16. Voices of a People's History of the United States: Second Edition
Paperback: 704 Pages (2009-11-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$11.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1583229167
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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“Voices should be on every bookshelf. [It presents] the rich tradition of struggle in the United States, from the resistance to the conquest of the Americas in the era of Columbus through the protests today of soldiers and their families against the brutal invasion and occupation of Iraq.”—Arundhati Roy

“In Voices, Howard Zinn has given us our true story, the ongoing, not-so-secret narrative of race and class in America.”—Russell Banks

“Gut-wrenching.”—Jon Stewart

“To omit or to minimize these voices of resistance is to create the idea that power only rests with  those who have the guns, who possess the wealth, who own the newspapers and the television stations. I want to point out that people who seem to have no power, whether working people, people of color, or women—once they organize and protest and create movements—have a voice no government can suppress.”—Howard Zinn, from the Introduction

Voices of a People’s History of the United States is the companion volume to historian Howard Zinn’s legendary best-selling book A People’s History of the United States. This second edition introduces four new voices: Camílo Mejia, the first U.S. soldier serving in Iraq to go public with his refusal to continue fighting Bush’s war; Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in action in Iraq, and whose speeches galvanized sentiment against the occupation of Iraq; Kevin Tillman, whose brother Pat, a former NFL player, was killed in Afghanistan in a case of “friendly fire”; and twelve-year-old Evann Orleck-Jetter, who testified before a 2009 public hearing of the Joint Senate and House Judiciary Committee in Vermont in support of equal rights for gay and lesbian families.

Historian and activist Howard Zinn's visionary telling of our history is widely considered one of the most important and influential of our era.

Amazon.com Review
Howard Zinn is famous primarily for A People's History of the United States, the book in which he presented alternative versions of American milestones, including Columbus's "discovery" of the New World. Voices of a People's History of the United States is the follow-up to that original landmark work, but where People's History contained Zinn's interpretations of events, Voices turns the platform over to others, in a collection of first-hand accounts, journal entries, speeches, personal letters, and published opinion pieces from the nation's history.

The purpose of Zinn's work, Voices included, is to engage in an act of political dissidence and activism. "What is common to all of these voices," Zinn and co-editor Anthony Arnove write in the book's introduction, "is that they have mostly been shut out of the orthodox histories, the major media, the standard textbooks, the controlled culture ... to create a passive citizenry." With Voices, Zinn and Arnove seek to address that malaise, showing that the impossible--slaves rising up against their slave masters, for example--is not only possible, but has occurred repeatedly throughout the country's history. "Whenever injustices have been remedied, wars halted, women and blacks and Native Americans given their due," they write, "it has been because 'unimportant' people spoke up, organized, protested, and brought democracy alive." The common thread throughout Voices is this mandate, and each selection is preceded by a brief introduction by the authors, written from a far-left perspective. (As an example, one section is titled "The Carter-Reagan-Bush Consensus.")

Voices often works better as a reference book than a sit-down-to-read title. Its early chapters--on Columbus, slavery, the War of Independence, and the early women's movement--tend to be more engaging than later excerpts, largely because a contrary point of view to mainstream mythology has been so rarely heard. The modern sections have a haphazard, "greatest hits of the left" feeling, as the book jumps from an Abbie Hoffman speech to the lyrics of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power." The problem may be inherent in the format of the book. Everything is treated equally, and a speech by Danny Glover is given as much weight as an excerpt from W.E.B. DuBois's The Souls of Black Folk. For context and background, it's best to stick with the original People's History, but to hear the words right from the speakers' mouths, there's no better resource than Voices. --Jennifer Buckendorff ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Zinn is always a winner
I have included all of Howard Zinn's work in my library, and I am proud to add this one tohis impressive body of work. For history teachers who want to include first-hand expressions of what life has been like for the working American in the 20th century, this is a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific
My copy of this product was in excellent condition and was shipped in a timely manner.

5-0 out of 5 stars review of a performance in baltimore

Because this was originally posted on Poetry in Baltimore's web site, I began w:
not a reading of poetry but! VERY POETIC
« on: Today at 04:14:37 AM » Quote Modify Remove

on 11/21 aT THE cREATIVE aLLIANCE- yes I did hit caps lock- (the old Pattterson theatre- Dino- you went there)

a wonderful ensemble of readings- not, strictly poetry but let me give you the list and you'll get the idea: (a packed house- w many activists and arteests)

sad you missed:

Howard Zinn's and Anthony Arnove's "Voices of a People's History"the book is from Seven Stories Press

the readers were Baltimorean activists:

in order of appearance: Narrator- Joyce Scott
Batolome de las Casas (1542) read by Rafael Alvarez
Tecumseh- read (and a lot of these were performances- not just readings)-Joseph Stands w Many
Joseph Martin- Ryan Harvey
Maria Stewart- Rosalind Cauthen
Harriet Robinson- Liz Lerman
Frederick Douglas- David Mitchell
'Sojourner Truth-Sheila Gaskins
Susan B Anthony- Vivienne Shub (in her 90's)
Eugene Debs- Marc Steiner
Sylvia Woods- Olu Butterfly
Stella Nowicki- Sine Jensen
Yuri Kochiyama- Naoko Maeshiba
Malcolm X- Bashi Rose
Howard Zinn- Brendan Walsh
Camilo Meija- Fernando Romero
Cindy Sheehan- Mama Kay Lawal-Muhammed

There were 2 shows....so many high points- Mama Kay as Cyndi Sheehan- made me realise a lot of this stuff you (I) have not heard- because the mainstream media and government does NOT WANY YOU TO- which made the whole evening all the more important and revelatory....

I would say it was political poetry of a high order- but- you could also say these were more political speeches. Just that the oratory is magnificent, and it brought many applause interruptions.

Much credit to organisers- Megan (you say Mee gan and I say May gan) Hamilton and Adrianna Amari.

There is also a movie that covers the memorials and gravesites of American resisters- like John Brown's in upstate N Y- I wish I could remember the title-i'll reference it on my website- david eberhardt. webs

4-0 out of 5 stars Voice of A People's History of the United States
It's a good book, with a lot of collections of articles from history. But it'll be nicer if it has more of the author's own opinion

4-0 out of 5 stars Howard Zinn's quest
Anyone interested in history, academically or otherwise, should read Zinn's work since history is written by the winners, the best fighters, the most arrogant, sonmetimes, the most patient.It would be wise
for history teachers to present "the other side".I highly recommend his work. ... Read more

17. National Geographic United States Atlas for Young Explorers, Third Edition
by National Geographic
Hardcover: 176 Pages (2008-06-10)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$7.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 142630255X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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It’s the U.S. atlas every young explorer needs.And now, the Third Edition of the award-winning National Geographic United States Atlas for Young Explorers allows kids to explore both on its beautiful pages and interactively through our specially designed Web site.Readers can link directly to National Geographic's rich archive of multi-media resources—videos, photographs, maps, articles, sounds, games, and more-that will expand their knowledge and perspective about the country as well as its states and regions. All maps are custom-designed for intermediate-grade students by the Society’s world-famous cartographers. Locator maps and color-coding throughout make it easy for kids to keep track of where they are and to quickly navigate from region to region and from state to state.

The combination of large, detailed, yet easy-to-read maps, stunning, full-color photo essays, information-packed thematic spreads, and Web site links sets this atlas apart from every other U.S. atlas currently available for the 8–12 age group. The Third Edition of the National Geographic United States Atlas for Young Explorers is an invaluable resource and an essential reference for kids from coast to coast. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful
This was a gift for a child.She also received the world atlas for young explorers and the almanac.Can't go wrong with National Geographic. ... Read more

18. The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation
by David Kamp
Hardcover: 416 Pages (2006-09-12)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$6.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767915798
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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One day we woke up and realized that our “macaroni” had become “pasta,” that our Wonder Bread had been replaced by organic whole wheat, that sushi was fast food, and that our tomatoes were heirlooms. How did all this happen, and who made it happen? The United States of Arugula is the rollicking, revealing chronicle of how gourmet eating in America went from obscure to pervasive, thanks to the contributions of some outsized, opinionated iconoclasts who couldn’t abide the status quo.

Vanity Fair writer David Kamp chronicles this amazing transformation, from the overcooked vegetables and scary gelatin salads of yore to our current heyday of free-range chickens, extra-virgin olive oil, Iron Chef, Whole Foods, Starbucks, and that breed of human known as the “foodie.” In deft fashion, Kamp conjures up vivid images of the “Big Three,” the lodestars who led us out of this culinary wilderness: James Beard, the hulking, bald, flamboyant Oregonian who made the case for American cookery; Julia Child, the towering, warbling giantess who demystified French cuisine for Americans; and Craig Claiborne, the melancholy, sexually confused Mississippian who all but invented food journalism at the New York Times. The story continues onward with candid, provocative commentary from the food figures who prospered in the Big Three’s wake: Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, Wolfgang Puck and his L.A. acolytes, the visionary chefs we know by one name (Emeril, Daniel, Mario, Jean-Georges), the “Williams” in Williams-Sonoma, the “Niman” in Niman Ranch, both Dean and DeLuca, and many others.

A rich, frequently uproarious stew of culinary innovation, flavor revelations, balsamic pretensions, taste-making luminaries, food politics, and kitchen confidences, The United States of Arugula is the remarkable history of the cultural success story of our era. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars Historical Look at the Culinary Industry
Never before has a civilization had so much access to so great a variety of foodstuffs. David Kamp knows how we came to be here. In The United States of Arugula: How We Became A Gourmet Nation, Kamp examines how we went from a nation of Jell-O salads and Shake N'Bake to the gourmet-loving country we are today.

The United States of Arugula chronicles America's biggest and most influential culinary personalities and describes the dramatically changes to the landscape of American food. The stars of the story are food pioneers Craig Claiborne, James Beard, and Julia Child, or as he refers to them, "the Big Three". Kamp supplies an engaging account of their careers and explains how they shaped much of what we know of cooking today. Each paved the way for those who followed - Child as the early TV pioneer who made French-style cooking accessible to housewives across the country; Beard as the author of several best-selling cookbooks, some still considered definitive; and Claiborne as the first food critic for the New York Times and also a cookbook author - all redefining our views of gastronomy over the years.

Kamp continues the attention on the personalities that dominate the culinary world with several pages on Alice Waters and her focus on fresh and seasonal cuisine that created a shift from technique to ingredients. The revolution she started with her menus at the legendary Chez Panisse restaurant also induced a perceptual geographic shift from the East to the West Coast, and contributed to organic produce and free-range chickens entering our collective conversations. We also learn how Whole Foods, Zabar's, Dean & DeLuca, and Williams Sonoma got started and find out that Peet's Coffee in the Bay Area led to Starbucks across the country. Chefs Jeremiah Tower, Thomas Keller, and Wolfgang Puck make cameo appearances.

I most enjoyed the book when Kamp makes parallels between culinary trends and the consumerism that has evolved since World War II. He shows how the prevailing French influence was not accidental, as it came about with the influx of kitchen workers from France after the war and continues today to what kitchenware we purchase. Leveraging the writings of others who recognized aspects of the same phenomenon, the author accurately shows how food has become a status symbol on our culture for the good life to which we aspire.

In the book's final section, the advent of the Food Network is seen as a touchstone for this pervasive thinking, as a new set of celebrity chefs - Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, and Rachael Ray among them - instruct us on what we should be doing to maximize our enjoyment of cooking in the kitchen.

This is certainly a fun read for any foodie, and author David Kamp, a writer who contributes to Vanity Fair and GQ, does an entertaining job of providing both a historical perspective and a current look at the culinary industry.

4-0 out of 5 stars history of gourmet food
I enjoyed reading about how we got to this wonderful state of great choices in this nation. (Plus a little gossip) thrown in)

5-0 out of 5 stars History at the Dining Room Table
"United States of Arugula" is a delicious history of how gourmet food became the province of the everyday American. This book explains the success of Julia Child, the rise of James Beard, and the juggernaut that is Food Network. Want to know how Dean&Deluca,as well as Whole Foods,got their start? This is the place to look!

"United States of Arugula" is at once gossipy and informative (the author worked for Vanity Fair) Alice Waters,the pioneer of the Slow Foods movement, is a free love revolutionary, who goes from juggling numerous lovers to proclaiming the goodness of organic food. James Beard, who projected all-American manliness on TV screens, was flamboyant and out of the closet with his friends. There is the tragic saga of Craig Claiborne, who suffered abuse at his father's hands, served in the Navy and (unlike Beard) constantly fled his overbearing mother. The founders of Ben&Jerry's are described as "fur-faced Vermont Deadheads",while Celestial Seasonings,with its psychedelic packaging,does have psychedelic roots. Chicago's Rick Bayless and Santa Fe's Mark Miller (Coyote Cafe) go from studying anthropology to purveying Southwestern/Mexican cooking. Other interesting characters,like the kitsch-loving Jane and Michael Stern,as well as the infamous Frugal Gourmet,are sadly consigned to footnotes.

"United States of Arugula" describes how food has shaped culture--and vice versa. The rainbow movements of New Age, gay rights, the sexual revolution,and feminism make their way into the kitchen as well. "United States of Arugula" is a delicious history. Bon appetit!

4-0 out of 5 stars Well-written account of American "foodie" history
Very well-written and entertaining, this book offers a concise history of how we became "foodies".

2-0 out of 5 stars Gossipy stories
I was disappointed in this book.I was expecting more sociology and culture, but it is basically gossip about the personal lives of various chefs, critics, and food personalities.I was also disappointed that the book largely ignores most of the US, the part that isn't in California and New York.If you like celebrity gossip, you might enjoy this book, but for serious discussion of America's culinary development, look elsewhere. ... Read more

19. The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy
by T.R. Reid
Paperback: 320 Pages (2005-11-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143036084
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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To Americans accustomed to unilateralism abroad and social belt-tightening at home, few books could be more revelatory—or controversial—than this timely, lucid, and informative portrait of the new European Union.

Now comprising 25 nations and 450 million citizens, the EU has more people, more wealth, and more votes on every international body than the United States. It eschews military force but offers guaranteed health care and free university educations. And the new "United States of Europe" is determined to be a superpower. Tracing the EU’s emergence from the ruins of World War II and its influence everywhere from international courts to supermarket shelves, T. R. Reid explores the challenge it poses to American political and economic supremacy. The United States of Europe is essential reading.Amazon.com Review
While the United States flexes its economic and military muscles around the world as the dominant global player, it may soon have company. According to the Washington Post's T.R. Reid, the nations of Europe are setting aside differences to form an entity that's gaining strength, all seemingly unbeknownst to the U.S. and its citizens. The new Europe, Reid says, "has more people, more wealth, and more trade than the United States of America," plus more leverage gained through membership in international organizations and generous foreign aid policies that reap political clout. Reid tells how European countries were willing to discontinue their individual centuries-old currencies and adopt the Euro, the monetary unit that is now a dominant force in world markets. This is noteworthy not just for exploring the considerable economic impact of the Euro, but also for what that spirit of cooperation means for every facet of Europe in the 21st century, where governments and citizens alike believe that the rewards of banding together are worth a loss in sovereignty. Reid's most compelling portrait of this trend is in the young Europeans known as "Generation E" who see themselves not as Spaniards or Czechs but simply as Europeans. To illustrate America's obliviousness to this trend, Reid tells of former GE CEO Jack Welch, who never bothered to factor European objections into a proposed multi-billion dollar merger with Honeywell, leading to the deal being torpedoed and Welch disgraced. But what is most striking in The United States of Europe is the contrast between the new Europe and the United States. The Europeans cannot match the raw military size of the U.S., but by mixing wealth with diplomacy and continental unity (helped along by antipathy toward George W. Bush's brand of Americanism), they are forming an innovative and powerful superpower. --John Moe ... Read more

Customer Reviews (81)

1-0 out of 5 stars I Jumped Ship
"TUSE" = The United States of Europe, T.R. Reid; Penguin Press (2004)

I bought TUSE after catching Reid's excellent speaking engagement in a Denver bookstore (shown on tape on C-Span, which reminds me: People are lined up around the planet with their checkbooks out, willing to spend $40,000/365 on an Ivy League education.Time Warner - now, in 2010, run by none other than a Brown graduate - is profoundly unimpressed.CS3 where I live is good & buried on Channel 130).

Rarely have I so enthusiastically opened a book - & a week later, exasperated, jumped ship.

TUSE is a mob scene in print - redundancies & "bomfogs*."I suspect that each chapter was in itself at one time a speech.It would be necessary for each of Reid's audio polemics to contain that same standard parade of facts & phrases.But if they are stringed together as consecutive chapters in a book...forget it.

Saving Grace: The excellent chapter on Jack Welch (GE CEO) & his richly deserved career-ending disaster - the still-born GE-Honeywell merger (sunk by the European Union's antitrust division).

Next Step: (The Usual): Slice the Welch chapter out.Xerox & insert into a research binder.Electronically cremate the rest.

*This acronym was invented by a reporter stuck covering Gov. Nelson Rockefeller's 1960s boring campaign appearances.Rocky's identical stump speeches started with a mushy & inoffensive "The Brotherhood of Man" theme.The jaded reporter would always make note of all of it with just one word: "BOMFOG."

Fortunately, NR would made later amends with his spontaneous & spectacular exit from this world - the circumstances of which fascinated hundreds of reporters (none of whom could keep a straight face for longer than five minutes), for weeks and months to come, afterwards.

4-0 out of 5 stars Informative and entertaining
The topic is fascinating, the presentation is vivid and entertaining.Having first-hand experience, my main comment is that there are some inaccuracies; the power of the "European government" and the pro-European feelings of the EU citizens are exaggerated.May 9, what is that?Who celebrates it?And yes the anti-trust division may be strong with a precise mandate; the euro-parliament, on the other hand, is not considered even remotely as powerful as the individual country governments (in my opinion at least).Perhaps the author's experiences and research results are from a limited number of EU countries where the above sentiments and beliefs hold? And perhaps weighs and measures are carefully regulated with penalties imposed, but still there is a lot of dispersion in practices and policies in the different EU countries; look at the highly diverse educational systems of the country members.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revealing of Dangerous Developments U.S. Media Ignore
This book is a surprising, revealing overview of the Frankenstein monster that a United Europe is becoming. The author covers a wide range of material in detail from research he has done in Europe and from living there.
The media in the U.S. focus on the Obsession of the Week while the culture and politics of Europe develop and become more powerful and independent of North America.The relationship between the two is becoming less benign as the months pass.
The captains and CEOs of casino capitalism in the North America, mostly the U.S. along with Great Britain across the sea, are making big mistakes in strategy and tactics, compromising so businesses can take part in the market of Europe which is now the biggest in the world.
Read this book to get an overview and lots of details about how the European Union is developing into the next Superpower, the U.S. and Britain are overconfident and already losing in legal battles and trade conflict with this growing overseas power, and become aware and alert while the U.S. media misses a part of the big picture (by their choice; they do not care).
This is not a novel or fiction; read this book and you will not be shocked when the European Union is less benign in the future to the U.S. and Britain and has the power to defy North America.You will have seen the cumulative mistakes being made by Washington and Downing Street as laid out in this book and know that an unpleasant relationship and world scene did not happen overnight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Europe means excellent
I read this excellent book, here in Brazil.Reading this book, I remembered a brazilian joke, told by grand-mother, Maria Leite Rocha (1911-2001), many years ago; when I was a child.Translating to the English, the joke is something like this:

A man was a creator of Thoroughbreds.When a colt was born, the man decided to give its name: "Bad news".
Someone made a question to the Thoroughbred's creator:
_Why to put "Bad News" as a name for a Thoroughbred?
_Well, because nothing runs, more fast than "Bad News"!

Remembering this joke, I must tell you this book has thousands of good news about Europe.Some examples:
1-Taxes are terrible in Europe?Yes, but europeans got good and free health, from these taxes.See pages 5 and 159.
2-There's no death penalty in Europe?Yes, but Europe has less level of criminality, than USA.See pages 15 and 168.
3-European military power is weaker than American?Yes, but europeans are building infra-structure and unity with their money.See pages 180 and 181.
4-Christianity hasn't almost no place in Europe today;protestant historical churches are empty?Yes, but secularism isn'tproblem, but a solution in Europe.See pages 215,216 and 217.
5-There's many anti-americanists in Europe?Yes, but european anti-americanism is far weaker than anti-americanism in Latin America ,Asia or Islamic World.See pages 24 and 169.

Well, I read the hard cover ediction of this excellent book.
The main lesson of this book is:Europe means excellent.

4-0 out of 5 stars Convincing yes, but is it realistic?
The United States of Europe is well written and concise.The history of European politics, in regards to European unity is extremely well done.The implications for the common currency is that the whole continent will reduce transaction costs, and in theory invest that money back into Europe's economy.The same applies to the elimination of tariffs as goods and services cross borders.By uniting Europe becomes the largest economy in the world, and the largest market.Weaker currencies exchange their currency for a stronger more desirable currency, the Euro.After putting these puzzle pieces together Europe seems more Superpower like, with a voice certainly equal to the U.S. The author's argument is powerful. The author does not mention how immigration will affect Europe, or make projection/commentary about Social Democratic governments. The "Last Days of Europe" offers commentary on both immigration and Social Democracy.

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20. These United States
Hardcover: 248 Pages (2008-10-21)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$19.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0847831485
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Hailed by Entertainment Weekly as "the next best thing to a road trip," These United States is a celebration of the magnificence of the United States of America and a tribute to all that makes it great. Inspired by the deluxe limited edition, Rizzoli is proud to present These United States in a slightly smaller format. It showcases breathtaking panoramic photos from the East to the West Coasts; from the wilderness of the frontier to the cities; and from the earliest American historical landmarks to images of America post-9/11. These United States grandly exhibits the diverse elements comprising the heart and soul of America. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL BOOK
This is one beautiful book that I would recommend to anyone who is proud of our country and enjoys visiting in any or all of our 50 states.

5-0 out of 5 stars Take a moment to reflect...
...on the extraordinary beauty of this nation of ours.I have seen many a pictorial essay on the varied landscapes and cityscapes that make up the United States, but have never seen one that is so flawlessly beautiful.Each of these photographs manages to perfectly capture the many varied moods and seasons of this vast nation and they are all breathtaking.Whether it's a picturesque colonial street in Nantucket or the awe-inspiring majesty of the Grand Tetons, each subject is given equal attention; the composition of the pictures never want for anything.Sit back, relax and take it all in.There is a greatly deal here to both enjoy and inspire.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just when we desparately need this book
THESE UNITED STATES,with a brief and tender and appropriate two page forward by Walter Cronkite, is a breathtakingly beautiful panorama of everything that is beautiful about America.Beleaguered though this country may be in the eyes of its citizens and the eyes of the world beyond our shores, take respite and restoration in the large color photographs of the magnificent landscapes from Atlantic through the Midwest to the Pacific, from every season in our woods and forests, the snow-capped towers, the buildings and monuments, and the little town celebrations and very personal gifts that remind us of how magical is America the Beautiful.Photographer Jakes Rajs is highly regarded for his photography from all the major magazines in the country and it seems he has culled the finest examples of his vision for this moving, tender, majestic portrait of The United Stetes.Given its Limited Edition status I would urge all gift givers of art books to consider this very special volume both for your own home and for those you love. ... Read more

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