The following books are pre-approved for the book review essay assignment. They are listed in approximate chronological sequence according to subject matter. Students wishing to review a book not on this list should first obtain permission from the instructor.

After selecting a book, consult Finding Book Reviews for advice on completing the next step in your assignment.

  • Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft (1974)
  • John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America (1995)
  • James A. Morone, Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History (2003) [575 pages, but HI 207 students may focus on the first half, dealing with the time period covered in this course]
  • Donald R. Wright, African Americans in the Colonial Era: From African Origins through the American Revolution (2d ed., 2000)
  • Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution (1961)
  • Bernard Bailyn, Faces of Revolution: Personalities and Themes in the Struggle for American Independence (1990)
  • David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere’s Ride (1994)
  • Edmund S. Morgan, The Birth of the Republic, 1763–1789 (3d ed., 1992)
  • Neil Longley York, Turning the World Upside Down: The War of American Independence and the Problem of Empire (2003)
  • Allen Jayne, Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence: Origins, Philosophy, and Theology (1998)
  • Garry Wills, Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1978)
  • Wayne Boodle, The Valley Forge Winter: Civilians and Soldiers in War (2002)
  • James Kirby Martin, Benedict Arnold Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered (1997)
  • David McCullough, John Adams (2001) [a 650-page book, suitable only for those who feel up to the task]
  • Edwin S. Gaustad, Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson (1996)
  • Stephen Howard Browne, Jefferson’s Call for Nationhood: The First Inaugural Address (2003)
  • Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1980)
  • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785–1812 (1990)
  • Gary B. Nash, Forging Freedom: The Formation of Philadelphia’s Black Community, 1720–1840 (1988)
  • Gregory Evans Dowd, A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745–1815 (1992)
  • David Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776–1820 (1997)
  • Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers: A Revolutionary Generation (2000)
  • Peter J. Kastor, Nation’s Crucible: The Louisiana Purchase and the Creation of America (2004)
  • Joyce Appleby, Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans (2000)
  • John M. Farragher, Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer (1992)
  • Stephen Aron, How the West Was Lost: The Transformation of Kentucky from Daniel Boone to Henry Clay (1996)
  • Nathan O. Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity (1989)
  • Christine Leigh Heyrman, Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (1997)
  • J. S. Holliday, The World Rushed In: The California Gold Rush Experience (1981)
  • Malcolm J. Rohrbough, The California Gold Rush and the American Nation (1997)
  • Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History of America’s Most Cherished Holiday (1996)
  • Penne L. Restad, Christmas in America: A History (1995)
  • James Oakes, Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South (1990)
  • David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (rev. ed., 1999)
  • Jay P. Dolan, The Immigrant Church: New York’s Irish and German Catholics, 1815–1865 (1975)
  • Marcus Rediker, The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom (2012)
  • David Herbert Donald, “We Are Lincoln Men”: Abraham Lincoln and His Friends (2003)
  • William C. Harris, Lincoln’s Rise to the Presidency (2007)
  • Allen C. Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (1999)
  • Garry Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America (1992)
  • Archer Jones, Civil War Command and Strategy (1992)
  • George P. Fletcher, Our Secret Constitution: How Lincoln Redefined American Democracy (2001)
  • Charles Royster, The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans (1991)
  • Duncan Andrew Campbell, English Public Opinion and the American Civil War (2003)
  • Robert Marshall Utley, The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull (1994)
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