These Truths: A History of the United States
New York Times Bestseller
In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history.
Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places trut...more
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These Truths: A History of the United States, by the Harvard historian and New Yorker contributor Jill Lepore, is not a deep or comprehensive account of individual events or people. The book covers centuries of history in its 800 pages, so Lepore can offer only quick glim ...more
The depth of Lepore's research is ...more
Some examples: the revolutionaries and loyalists fought vigorously over the issue of independence during the Revolutionary War; the Federalists and Anti-Federalists fought over federal versus state rights; the Mexican-American War was vigorously defended and oppos ...more
With this history I have told a story... (c)
🐬Just my unpopular opinion.
What's most interesting is that there isn't all that much history to speak about.
In all due seriousness, it has been what? 2 centuries? 3? Not quite.
Before doing the 'sweeping volumes of history', a country should live those volumes first.
The only good thing coming from this lack of historical tradition is that it should be very short and up to the point. It's easier to establish facts when the timetrack isn't too oversi ...more
To write something down is to create a fossil of a mind
The ideal book to read after the 2020 elections and make sense of the current predicament the US political system finds itself in.
Jill Lepore packed this brick of a book with fascinating insights in history and parallels with our current times.
It's not that often that I pick up 800+ pages of non-fiction, but ofte ...more
That makes it all the more disconcerting to see an error as early as page 8 and a whopper to boot.
Indeed, beyond that as representative of numerous errors of fact, there’s numerous arguable errors of interpretation, and dubious decisions what to contain and what to omit.
Behind THAT, as Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, as far as I can tell, there’s no “there” there.
With that, let’s dig in.
Page 8: No, pre-Columbian American Indians did NOT herd pigs because there ...more
What Lepore does here is in some ways quite simple, but still astounding. She gives us a political history of the United States, much like the one you've learned already but different in a few key respects. Lepore is, above all, concerned with how our nation ...more
"The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden."
"To write something down is to make a fossil record of a mind." -Jill Lepore
History lovers will delight in this one volume political history of the United States. I enjoyed learning about facts, stories, and characters I was unaware of before. That famous quote that history doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes, is so true. I saw so many echoes of the past in our present day as I read this ...more
Book One "The Idea" 1492 - 1799
(read from 12/4/18-12/16/18) - finished!
This is very interesting, and readable, with fascinating details (the first British colonists turned to cannibalism!), but maybe Lepore has attempted too much. Of course in a brief his ...more
At almost 800 pages of text, Jill Lepore's book "These Truths: A History of the United States" (2018) is both forbiddingly long and yet also short for its ambitious scope. Lepore covers the United States's long past beginning with Christopher Columbus in 1492 and concluding with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016. It is a great deal to cover, and Lepore, a Professor of American History at Harvard and a staff writer for the New Yorker, ...more
So why my rating?
1. The official summary of the book declares the book to be "the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades." While this may be true, the book is not really a ...more
"Columbus widened the world, Gutenberg made it spin faster." (p. 13)
"Dewey ... proved about as good a ca ...more
I started this book months ago, and the motivation for what truly made me pick it up and read it front to back has escaped me at this point.
I guess I thought that reading this BRICK would offer me a way to put the pieces together, to understand how we got here: Trump in the White House, minds spiraling, tensions flaring, society splitting into an ever-widening crack.
What THESE TRUTHS showed me was that, yes, America is broken. But it has always been bro ...more
Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best non-fiction book on race, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; The Name of War (Knopf, 1998), winner of the Bancroft Prize, the Ralph Waldo Emerson P ...more