U.S. History Textbook Project
A good survey of commonly used textbooks is available here.
Or do students learn better without a textbook?
Analysis of Available Textbooks
- America: Pathways to the Present (2000). 1,194 pages. The ISBN of the student's edition is 0-13-435100-2.
- This text is considered better than most, but still "Essentially a Propaganda Tract" according to Dr. John Fonte of the Hudson Institute. He cites numerous instances of false propaganda pushed by this text.
- Paul Johnson, A History of the American People. (Harper Perennial, 1999). Oriented more toward social history more than the "great man" approach, this 1100-page text tells the story of the United States as much from the viewpoints of the everyday men and women who built the country as it does from the perspectives of generals and politicians. While the author's love of his subject—and country—is evident, this does not keep him from honestly and critically dealing with those moments in American history when the country's actions and policies did not match up with its visions of liberty and equality; moreover, he shows how the American people have typically worked to ensure that those visions ultimately triumph. (unsigned)
- Paul Johnson is British and his history texts tend to be gossipy and a bit out of step with American ways. For example, in 1100 pages about American culture he failed to mention the national pastime of baseball once. His book spends less than a page discussing the Mormon Church in a cartoonish manner.--Aschlafly 15:21, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
- George Tindall and David Shi, America: A Narrative HistorySeventh ed. New York: Norton, 2006, is one of the best college-level text.
- I second the suggestion of Tindall and Shi. It is perhaps one of the most through and intelligently written US history texts.
- I would advise you to actually pick up a copy of Tindall & Shi and read it. It devotes an entire chapter (twenty plus pages) to the Reagan years, which is far beyond comprable texts.
- American Pageant - One of the most popular AP US History textbooks. Unfortunately, liberal bias is evident in key events.
- Kaplan AP Study Guide (2008) - Only about one page devoted to Ronald Reagan, who deserves 5-10 pages in any unbiased treatment of American history. Also, this lacks an index (but does contain a glossary).--Aschlafly 15:01, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
- It's aiming to prepare for the AP test that doesn't have any essay questions about time periods after Watergate. I took the test last year and I remember only one multiple choice question about Reagan and I think maybe one about Clinton's impeachment. It just doesn't concentrate on much after Nixon's presidency. FernoKlumpLook at this petition! 17:00, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
- How about Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States? It is easily one of the best and most readable US history texts--Mantle 19:05, 3 August 2008 (EDT)
- While I would recommend reading some of it as an example of extreme left-wing populist propaganda, I don't think it would prepare a student for the tests in question. Human 19:15, 16 August 2008 (EDT)
- United States History, Heritage of Freedom (2005), from A Beka Book, written from a Christian perspective and hopefully would not contain the false information or and bias in liberal texts. The recommendation is that is well-organized and easy to read. It is listed at the 11th grade level, and is reasonably priced at $24. I have not examined it. Does anyone else know? It has no reviews on amazon.com and its availability is poor there.--Aschlafly 18:42, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
- The Princeton Review - "Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam." This was praised by one homeschooler who took this exam, and the text does have an index and a useful listing of key events and terms. But liberal bias permits this book. It smears Ronald Reagan's supply-side economics, repeating epithets that it was "voodoo economics" and "trick down" economics. The book claims that "[a]t first" it had "little effect" and later "results were mixed." It never tells the student how tremendously successful "Reaganomics" was. Other signs of bias: capitulation to the gender police by replacing "strawman" with "straw dog," and unjustified claims of people migrating to America 20,000 to 40,000 years ago (p. 63). The book incorrectly explains the motivation for the Salem Witch Trials. The book has inappropriate, liberal-type editorializing comments inserted by the authors, such as "(How the monarchy came to sell the rights to land that it clearly did not own is just the kind of interesting question that this review will not be covering. Sorry, but it is not on the AP!)" (p. 64).--Aschlafly 10:19, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
- AP United States History (REA) - The Best Test Prep for the AP Exam: 7th Edition - Excellent reviews on amazon.com. REA books tend to be less biased than the other prep books. Also consider REA's different books prepping for the SAT II and CLEP.--Aschlafly 11:04, 10 August 2008 (EDT)
- Prentice Hall, 1 Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458.