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Booknotes: Stories from American History [Paperback]

By Brian Lamb (Author)
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Item description for Booknotes: Stories from American History by Brian Lamb...

Contemporary writers and historians examine specific events that have shaped American history, from the Boston Tea Party to the final days of the first Bush administration, with contributions from Tom Brokaw, Peter Collier, Pauline Maier, Stephen B. Oates, James Bradley, Chris Matthews, Nicholas Lemann, Witold Rybczynski, and others. Reprint.

Publishers Description
American history is shaped by great and small events, and in recent years a generation of writers has brought these events to life. They have shared these stories with the viewers of the long-running C-SPAN author-interview program "Booknotes," and here some of the best have been collected for readers to savor. In this volume, more than eighty contemporary writers and historians examine seminal moments from American history, celebrated and uncelebrated alike.
Booknotes offers readers conversational essays edited from the interview show, providing an enticing selection of author-subject pairings. For anyone interested in America's rich history-and especially the devoted fans of C-SPAN's "Booknotes"-this is an engaging compendium of information, opinions, and new perspectives.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Pages   576
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.16" Width: 5.88" Height: 1.25"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2002
Publisher   Penguin (Non-Classics)
Age  18
ISBN  0142002496  
ISBN13  9780142002490  

Availability  0 units.

More About Brian Lamb

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Brian Lamb is C-SPAN's founding CEO and chairman and longtime on-camera interviewer. Lamb lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Brian Lamb currently resides in Arlington, in the state of Virginia. Brian Lamb was born in 1941.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Books & Reading > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Books & Reading > History of Books
5Books > Subjects > Reference > Publishing & Books > Authorship

Reviews - What do customers think about Booknotes: Stories from American History?

Excellent  Jan 3, 2007
Lamb is just great at this kind of compilation. A great take-along or for kids who show an interest in American history.
Essential Essays on American History  Mar 12, 2006
If you've ever read any of the BOOKNOTES series by C-SPAN host, Brain Lamb, you already know their value. I personally find this volume, STORIES FROM AMERICAN HISTORY, to be the best of them all. As with all of Lamb's books, the list of contributing writers reads like a Hall of Fame roster.

This volume is divided into nine different time periods. Each one covers not just historic and political events, but also offers pieces on social events, biographic profiles and more. For example, in the chapter on the Gilded Age, you will find an essay on the building of Central Park, the first Transcontinental Railroad, the political career of Grover Cleveland, historian H. W. Brands on the events of the 1890's, a look at William Randolph Hearst and the rise of "yellow journalism" (so named for Hearst's introduction of one of the first colorized print cartoons, "The Yellow Kid"), and concludes with an essay on J.P. Morgan and the banking industry.

This is a wonderful addition to your library and critical for home-schoolers. The writing is superb and unbiased, allowing the reader to form their own conclusions to events of American History. This volume concludes with 23 pages of a complete list of C-SPAN Booknotes, where you are sure to find more to add to your reading list.

Monty Rainey
Great Book, Only One Criticism  Feb 23, 2003
Overall this is a great book -- engaging, insightful. The chapters are brief, easy to read, and the reader gets a wide range of viewpoints from the various authors feautred. The only criticism I have is that the last section, The Culture Wars, is deficient. It covers well the conservative end of things with chapters on neo-conservatives, Reagan & Bush. However, the book ignores Carter & Clinton. And except for race, the book ignores civil rights issues that have been so divisive in the "culture wars," such as feminism and gay rights.
A Matrix of Perspectives on American History  Jul 11, 2002
What we have here are 79 condensations of one-hour interviews of eminent historians previously conducted by Lamb, founding CEO and host of the the C-SPAN "Booknotes" television series. ("My interview questions are omitted so that readers can focus on the author's words.") It is important to keep in mind that these are, literally, "stories from American history" rather than traditional academic briefs. That is to say, they are not dull and dry. On the contrary, their format, tone, and style are casual but at no time careless. Credit Lamb and his associates for a first-rate job of editing the material. Those interviewed are erudite raconteurs. Lamb organizes the essays within nine parts: Revolution and Founding (1776-1815), The Young Nation (1815-1850), Slavery and the Civil War (1850-1865), Rebuilding America and the Guided Age ((1865-1901), Progressive Era and Reaction (1901-1929), Depression and War (1929-1945), Early Cold War (1945-1957), Social Transformation (1957-1975), and The Culture Wars (1975-2000). I am especially grateful to Lamb for his headnotes for each chapter. Here is how he introduces Joyce Appleby and her comments on "The First Generation of Americans":

"The census of 1800 reported 1.1 million people living in the United States -- more than twice the number in the colonies at the beginning of the American Revolution. There were four cities with a population greater than 10,000 -- Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Half of the population was under sixteen years of age. On June 18, 2000, Joyce Appleby, a U.C.L.A. professor and author of Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans, published in 2000 by Belnap Press, appeared on Booknotes to tell us about this era and how this `first generation' helped shape the young nation."

Headnotes such as these serve as appropriate introductions, of course, but also suggest additional sources which readers may wish to explore. It is also helpful to have the "Complete List of C-SPAN Booknotes (1989-2001)," then totaling 619. This is one of three books published thus far, based on 79 of those interviews. The other two, also edited by Lamb, are Booknotes: Life Stories, Notable Biographers on the People Who Shaped America and Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas. If you have an especially strong appetite for American history, Lamb and his associates offer a "feast."

Bon Appetit!

An outstanding overview of American History  Dec 31, 2001
I was watching the Don Imus Radio Program "Imus In the Morning" when he recommended to his listeners this book edited by Brian Lamb, the founder and current executive of C-SPAN. After hearing numerous recommendations from other viewers and notables on the Imus program, I decided to purchase the book myself and see if it was as good as others said it was. I was not disappointed in the least.

The book is in overview exerpts of interviews of notable historians and other personalities who have written a book about a historical figure or event and was on the C-SPAN show "Booknotes" to talk about the book they have written. Such authors as James McPherson, the excellent Civil War Historian to NBC News Anchorman Tom Brokaw who talked about the World War II generation. The book starts with the American Revolution and ends with the year 2000. Each chapter is a brief overview of what the historians/authors on C-SPAN said during the show that they appeared and it is interesting and to the point.

The chapters are short 5 to 8 pages at the most, but they keep the reader's interest throughout. There is an introduction at the beginning of each chapter that tells the date that the historian/author appeared on Booknotes and what the name of the book was that they have written.

Each chapter is interesting and dare I say "fun" to read. From the founding of America, to the Civil War, to current day is fascinating reading. Such notable figures as U.S. Grant, J.P. Morgan, John F. Kennedy and so many others are discussed as well. From historical acts to controversy, this book has them all. It provides a "taste" of the individual book that is presented by the authors and also some tell the motivation to why they wanted to write about an event or historical figure.

This is easy to read and does not get bogged down in detail. If you want detail, then buy the actual book that the various authors have written about.

This is the kind of book that would be excellent for a upper level high school U.S. History Class or for College U.S. History Classes as well to use as a companion to the required textbooks assigned for the classes. This is also the perfect book for the "armchair" historian who enjoys a good read about interesting people and events, but dosent want to know the minute details involved in a huge biography or book on a historical event.

Highly Recommended!


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