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The American Pageant: A History of the Republic

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  472 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Supported by colorful anecdotes, first-person quotations, and its trademark wit, The American Pageant is one of the most readable, popular, and effective American history textbooks available. The text's original author, Thomas Bailey, first created the text's distinctive character, which has been preserved by current co-authors David Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen.

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Hardcover, 1034 pages
Published July 16th 2001 by Cengage Learning (first published January 1st 1961)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Shilpa
Aug 12, 2013 Shilpa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone ever
Shelves: school
The best & sassiest textbook I've ever had the good fortune to be assigned.
Sarah
Dec 20, 2009 Sarah rated it did not like it
Thoughts of this book arouse many memories in me: History Jeopardy, DBQ's, much sarcasm, a ton of multiple choice questions, invasions "failing because they did not succeed," totally B.S.'d fill-in-the-blank answers written by the Sweetest classmate we've ever had, switching seats and impersonating each other, and hundreds of other memories and inside jokes that I did not write into this paragraph.

Although I have many fond memories from AP American History, I do not, repeat, do NOT like this boo
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Tim Blumberg
This book is super biased. It leaves unexplainable gaps in crucial events in American History.

This book also leans quite obviously left...which is an annoying way to recieve your history.

But the authors' overactive imagination is often laughable with their ridiculous metaphors.
John
Dec 31, 2008 John rated it really liked it
Come on. Who didn't want to start rereading this book when they got to the end? And who would have predicted the ending?
Hamidur
Feb 08, 2014 Hamidur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A textbook that is filled with occasional puns, sarcasm, and memorable quotes, never fail to deliver. The authors' method of trying to make everything seem connected and part of a story made it even more interesting.

I always found something interesting in each "part" of history. I was afraid that when Jefferson and Hamilton's battle would end, there would be no more memorable "characters" to keep the "story" interesting. But then came Henry Clay with his expertise of making compromises,the earl
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Darshak Vekaria
Aug 23, 2012 Darshak Vekaria rated it it was amazing
As a high school student and an avid history fanatic, I can honestly promulgate that this is one of the best textbooks ever written on American history. Looking back, the book covered mostly every single significant topic in history and even analyzed the lesser events. Kennedy and Bailey do a great job with this textbook and hopefully I have a chance to meet both of these stellar individuals. Moving along, the book could get tedious at times, but that was probably because of my assignments. It p ...more
Kate
Jun 26, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
To be honest, I have no real love for American History. I generally find it dry and possessing far too much propaganda.

However, if you have to read an American history book, read this one. The authors do their best to make everyone completely accessible. They also endeavor to make the book as interesting to read as possible, and unlike many historians, employ the use of humor to tell the story.
Erik Graff
Apr 15, 2008 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans
Recommended to Erik by: David Ellenberger
Shelves: history
This was the American history textbook employed by Mr. Ellenberger at Maine Township High School South in Park Ridge, Illinois for its junior year A.P. course on the subject. A good choice, a remarkable choice given the reactionary character of the department head, The American Pageant was readable, entertaining and educational.

Interestingly, many of my younger friends, persons in their twenties and thirties, also used editions of this book.
Amy Marie
Oct 02, 2007 Amy Marie rated it it was ok
Well this is a typical, conservative, history book meant to shield college and high school students from true American history.
Instead, read A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. You will find it significantly more impacting, and more historically accurate.
Kristine Chambers
Ummm... I don't know what to say. Definitely a unique book. Yes, that's the appropriate word, I think. ;)
Bryan
Jun 15, 2007 Bryan rated it did not like it
Is it really one-star bad? No, probably not. But this was the textbook in Mr. Silvey's AP American history class, so I reserve a special hatred for it.
Caroline Wang
Jan 11, 2014 Caroline Wang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never thought I could love a textbook so much. It's informative, humorous, and detectably liberal. Basically the perfect boyfriend in book form.
Nicole
I seriously lost count on how many times I fell asleep with my head on the book. Thank god two years are over and I can finally put this book away..
Kenzie
Mar 02, 2010 Kenzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading this textbook for school. I didn't realize my textbooks were on this site. LOL
Rebecca
May 12, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: My APUSH teacher
Shelves: apush
The ridiculous humor made up for some of the boring parts. My class enjoyed making fun of some of the descriptions in class.
Any description of Wilson, but especially--"A moving orator, Wilson could rise on the wings of spiritual power to soaring eloquence." (731)
"Coxey himself rode in a carriage with his wife and infant son, appropriately named Legal Tender..." (658)
"'Johnny Morgan's nasal organ has a purple hue.'" (577)
"To one Congressman who quoted Henry Clay that he would 'rather be right tha
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Jacob
Apr 25, 2014 Jacob rated it it was ok
Let me set the record straight. I like history. I don't like the way this book teaches history.

Will it prep you for the AP test? Sure, but it promotes learning facts and devalues thinking.

I have three main problems with the book

1. No primary sources for the student to examine.

I mean this in the sense that they simply tell us about the events. Wouldn't it be cool if we read parts of the primary documents they were using, and then there were discussion questions about them? The book does not show
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Zane
Apr 15, 2010 Zane rated it really liked it
As far as textbooks go, this is one of the best. Seldom have I ever questioned the author's sources when he details the course of events of United States history in this text.
Bailey does a phenomenal job of explaining the details of U.S. History - often too phenomenal. Throughout the chapters are snippets where the reader must "examine the evidence," or analyze a document/artwork from the time period being discussed. Yet in many cases, the artifact in question is completely unrelated to the topi
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Hannah
Feb 07, 2013 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
As far as history books go, this one was superb. For a history book, it deserves 5 stars because I would have failed my APUSH class if I never read it, but I dreaded reading it every night. I liked how it had that descriptive, fanciful element to make it seem as if it was just one huge story, but those nights when I didn't want to even look at it, I just wanted straight to the point facts, which it lacked that directness. But for a history textbook, it was great
P.S.
To all APUSH students, upcomi
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Christy
Jan 08, 2014 Christy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-for-school
If I was rating this book as a general reading book instead of a textbook, I'd give it 3 stars, but for a textbook, I'd say it's 5 stars. (So I did the decent thing and averaged it.)

It is the only textbook that I have actually somewhat enjoyed reading and read ahead in solely because I could. In comparison to other textbooks, this is the best I've ever read. AP U.S. History was a kind of neutrally good and bad class for me, but I look back on The American Pagent and its frequently melodramatic a
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Braeden Weyhrich
I tolerated reading this textbook more than other textbooks I had to read this year. I got annoyed at how often the author described something as "epochal" or "The Magna Carta of xxx". I understand the events/legislations were important, but if 10 different things are "epochal", the word starts to lose effect. Also, I don't care for a complete physical description of each president. The color of their hair and their height are not (usually) important factors in their effectiveness as president. ...more
Joey Mullins
Sep 05, 2011 Joey Mullins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i have to read this textbook for my us history 2 class that covers reconstruction to modern day. i am in the second week of the class and i have started to realize how much this book sucks!!!!!!!! my teacher calls it the greatest textbook in the country. well greatest texbook in the country my ass:P!!! another waste of the taxpayers dollar when it comes to buying a book for students if yyou ask me
Robin Anne
Mar 06, 2011 Robin Anne rated it really liked it
This is the required text book for my AP U.S. History class, and I really enjoy it. The material is great for a fowlow up with class discussion. Though, I did have to get use to the crossing of time periods, such as diffrent chapters for what is happing in politics, oversees and American citizens of each time peroid. Overall, this have been my best friend for my class and an easy read for a text book.
Miranda
Sep 11, 2009 Miranda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A very fine textbook, and I would know, as I read it from cover to cover, including the insets and the captions to the pictures, and even the names of the authors, etc., and refered to the index many a time.
AP American History was great. :D
This textbook is written with dry humour and various literary techniques so that it's not just boring old stories about people and dates and events you'll never remember. An EXCELLENT history textbook. I was sad to return it to my school's textbook room.
Dad
Mar 26, 2011 Dad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent history text for studying U.S. history. This was my text in 12th grade when I studied under Mack Taft at Roy High. I have about half of it highlighted in red to the Civil War for the important points. I was able to pass my advanced placement US History test while studying this, which gave me 12 college credits.
I still use it as a reference when I come upon things in my life and for my family.
Geetha
Apr 23, 2012 Geetha rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
Before I took AP US, one of my friends warned me that the material in this book was dry. I didn't believe him one bit. But it so happens that the material truly was dry.
As the year went on, I struggled to stay awake while reading this book. The authors should of presented the information in another way. Maybe pictures or blurbs would help. In the end, I think I only read half of this book. Read Amsco (which is presented much better) and you will get everything you need to know.
Kai Yost
Aug 07, 2014 Kai Yost rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really informative with a sense of humor that keeps the text entertaining. Also prepared me very well for my AP exam.

...What else do you add to the review of a textbook?

We had a quote wall in our classroom with some memorable quotes. "The people may have been fertile, but the land was not." was just the first one. Also, that board currently is now covered with portraits of our history teacher in various situations. Pretty great. True story.
Allie
Jun 21, 2013 Allie rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-school
I read it cover to cover... and I actually enjoyed it! I never thought I'd say that about a textbook.
The book was biased at times, but I'm not going to complain too much because overall, for a textbook, it was good. I believe it is a good overview of U.S history, although I am no history expert, just a high school student.
Taylor
Jul 04, 2015 Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was my best friend. I loved it so freaking much and just wanted to continue reading forever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

I'm kidding. This was a terrible textbook. Ew. Never again.
Kate
May 21, 2009 Kate rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this book, learned so much. I particularly enjoyed the sometimes colorful descriptions of important figures, as well as the height and weight of said persons. Great book, very thorough. It is the reason that I have read 12 other books this year.
Afifa Laraib
Dec 01, 2016 Afifa Laraib rated it liked it
A very enjoyable read. Well written, informative & sassy.
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