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A Short History of the United States
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A Short History of the United States

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Offering an abbreviated, accessible, and lively narrative history of the United States, this erudite volume contains the essential facts about the discovery, settlement, growth, and development of the American nation and its institutions. Robert V. Remini explores the arrival and migration of Native Americans throughout the Western Hemisphere and their achievements; the di ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Harper (first published September 24th 2008)
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In reading this book, I was looking for a decent survey that I could recommend to those interested. I have mixed thoughts. Obviously, as an avid reader of American History, anything promoted as "short" will ultimately be unsatisfying. But that is not a fair judgment; short is simply this books point. It starts off very choppy and does not really hit its stride until the Jacksonian Era - of which Mr. Remini is a renowned scholar. From there, things pick up. The book ends, unfortunately, on a real ...more
I am very much not a 'Murican. I've seen 'Murica on the news, and even visited there several times, but never really felt that I understood the country. In many ways, I've felt more at home in other European countries, despite the different languages. This book provided some really useful insights as to why America is the way it is today.

Remini's prose works hard to convey a lot of information. It frequently comes across as almost scientific, but is occasionally punctuated by sudden bursts of en
Billie Pritchett
Robert Remini's Short History of the United States is a great story, retelling American history largely through the machinations of the executive and legislative branches (as they develop). Remini's history is quite opinionated, and it will not be difficult for the reader to discern some of his political allegiances. Nevertheless, this book is indispensable for the purpose of learning American history, and a great reference book.

Should the reader think that this book focuses too much on the exec
Gearing up for my naturalization next year -- even though I've known US history for a while now. This book is a nice helping in a short time, plus with insights about our present situation -- for example, on just how bad the Dubya administration was when you look at it in the context of previous administrations and previous wars we had fought. This book should be required reading for those idiots on "Jaywalking".
Jay Crawford
I loved this book!! Very interesting! It does not bore you with needless statistics. It gives a great overview of the history of the US and in pretty much chronological order that really made it easy to follow!!
Helen Damnation
A good starting place for those who don't know much about US history beyond the obvious.
A fantastic 350 pg history of our great country. Truly an amazing story.
Remini is a well known historian of Andrew Jackson and he does have a higher opinion of our seventh president than I do. Still I was excited to read his one volume history of the United States. The excitement did not last long because this is a very badly written book. At times it feels like choppy lecture notes (that have not been updated in the last thirty years), while at other times the writing feels like lists with entire paragraphs tacked on for details, but without style or analysis.

A VERY short one-volume survey of US history from the colonial period to 2008 or so. It works for what it is - a basic introduction to a standard narrative of US history. If you are a history buff, a specialist, or looking for a great story, look elsewhere. If you need a quick refresher, are looking for a short text appropriate for undergrads, need some lecture material, or slept through high school, this will probably suit your needs. It's heavy, as one might suspect, on the political history o ...more
I listened to the Audio CDs as I drove to the East Coast. Not a bad way to refresh ones history of the United States in 10 hours. Of course, ten hours is not enough to cover all the events that have made us the nation that we are and it was interesting to note which topics Mr. Remini commented on and which ones were omitted. It did not flow smoothly the first few hours and the last few hours were a little weak, but the middle half of the audio book was pretty good. If you only have 10 hours in w ...more
This book is interesting and definitely taught me things I didn't know however it is so heavy on numbers that it got a little tedious to read. In specific it pretty much broke down US history according to presidential elections then the author proceeded to tell you the exact number of votes each candidate received and why that was significant...blah, blah, blah. As a poli-sci major I could still appreciate this info. however based on the title of the book it was certainly not what I was expectin ...more
Mary Wurtz
i just can't believe i finished it
The author whom I have read previously is a good history writer. There is nothing really new in this book, but he presents a balanced work on the history of the United States begining with colonial times through the present. It is especially well done when he steps outside the main events of the time, and writes about the popular culture of the time, and their influence on the events. I expecially found the insights surrounding the Great Awakening, the period of religous fervor to be insightful.
I was hoping that this book could capture the spirit and characters of US history using memorable and interesting stories. Unfortunately instead it read a lot like a history textbook from high school. It is well researched and laid out but it is pretty dry. I got the most value out of reading about the 70s, 80s, and 90s since I didn't study those much in school and wasn't old enough while living through them to be aware of what was going on.
This book is written by the official congressional historian, but it reads as if it's a 7th grade text book. I've read a few books by Remini before, and they were both well researched and well written. I get the sense he sat down and wrote this book from memory. So a pretty good read for someone with anything less than a rudimentary knowledge of American history, but somewhat disappointing for anyone who really nerds out on the topic.
This was exactly the book I had been looking for. IT was just brief run though of the US history from the time of its discovery and founding through Clinton and the 2000 election. Its less than 300 pages so you can imagine it doesn’t spend a lot of time on any one subject and a few Presidents were covered with no more than a single line if at all. But it gave a great overview and put a number of things in perspective.
Colin Bruce Anthes
Remini manages to turn a very difficult write into a fairly easy read. The history is extraordinarily compact as the title would suggest, but is packaged into tidy paragraphs that allow for a surprisingly clear account. It can be a bit of a slow read, as one starts attaching everything already known to Remini's summary, but that's just the nature of the beast, and no knock on the writing itself. A job well done.
How much can you squeeze US History into a one volume book? A whole lot more than I expected. There are of course parts missing. The times when the author touches social history, there was no reason why those times where chosen.
At times the author seems to lean left, and sometimes right. So, its about as balanced of a US History as I think one might find currently.
This is a basic history of the United States. It was solidly written, but not very interesting. It covered the basics but not much more. I didn't expect too much from this, but given the quality of some of Remini's other work, this was a little disappointing. Completely fails to capture any of history's drama.
Nick Gotch
Listened to the abridged audio book version. It covers a lot in a very short edition so obviously not the most detailed, yet, surprisingly thorough nonetheless. Want to freshen up on your American history (at least, the classic textbook history) then this is a good read (or listen.)
Brady Postma
Feb 17, 2013 Brady Postma rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: US History 101 students
Shelves: us-history
A good overview and narrative history of the United States, but (as is probably inevitable to it's nature) it left me wanting on almost every topic. Perhaps an interesting place to start studying US history, but not likely to fulfill the desire to comprehend the narrative of America.
I picked this up to read over the summer before I taught AP U.S. History again the fall. This book is too heavy on political history and too light on social history. However, this would be a good title for someone who can't point out the United States on a map.
Miles Phillips
Very interest. It helped put into perspective the various history books that I have read recently. I thought that Mr. Remini perspective had a liberal bent on recent presidents but overall was a very educational book and a pleasure to read.
Nov 24, 2008 Dru marked it as first-20-pages
I'm surprised there aren't any reviews of this book. I've only read the first twenty pages and I plan to read the whole thing now. It's a fun, readable crash course touching on every major event in U.S. History.
Rajesh Kurup
Lives up to the title. A good, concise review of US history. For the most part, tells it like it is without a lot of revisionist history thrown in. Makes for a pretty good reference book
تاريخ مختصر وجيد للولايات المتحدة يعيبه التركيز على أخبار الانتخابات الرئاسية وهناك انحياز لم ألاحظه إلا لما وصل إلى الرؤساء المتأخرين الذين عاصرناهم حيث انتهى إلى عام 2008
May 17, 2011 Jonathan marked it as to-read
Got it out of the library on a West-Wing-fuelled rush. Dipped in for some interesting tidbits, but then we moved house and I brought it back to the library. Very readable.
Easy to read narrative that covers all the high points (and low points) in US History. Time flies while reading this...literally and figuratively.
Acceptable at providing an overview of events - which was it's goal. It will leave you wanting for more if you hoped for anything in-depth.
Joel Bohórquez
I enjoyed it. It didn't bore me at any point, and as a latinamerican it gave a new perspective about gringos but also about us (latinos).
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