10 for the Fourth


A day late, as usual.  For the 4th of July,  I wanted to post ten books I’ve read that have expanded my understanding of America.  Learning about our country didn’t stop in eighth grade for me, and I think we would do well as a nation to better understand our history and culture.  But history need not be boring, and none of these books are.  In every case, the authors are frank and opinionated, but any author claiming 100% objectivity is lying.   So, without further ado, 10 for the Fourth.

  1. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose.
  2. American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857 by Sally Denton
  3. The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
  4. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Lowen
  5. Made in America by Bill Bryson
  6. I’m A Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away by Bill Bryson
  7. Where Men Win Glory:  The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer
  8. The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America by Russell Shorto
  9. A Home on the Field: How One Championship Soccer Team Inspires Hope for the Revival of Small Town America by Paul Cuadros
  10. American Beach: A Saga of Race, Wealth, and Memory by Russ Rymer

These books can’t possibly tell you everything about America, but they will each in their own way show you a new perspective on our history and culture.

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About Chris van Hasselt

I eat, sleep, play guitar...but wait, there's more!
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