Words that Make America Great

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Jerome Agel, Milton Cantor
Random House, 1997 - Reference - 587 pages
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This collection of key documents illuminates American national identity and national policy since Columbus, bringing into sharp focus what it means to be an American. The nearly 200 excerpts range from Martin Luther King's legendary "I Have a Dream" speech to spoken and written words with worldwide impact, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority Act and the establishment of the Work Projects Administration (W.P.A.). Divided into fifteen sections - for example, foreign affairs, presidential authority, civil rights, and more - the American drama unfolds chronologically in each section, a unique departure from the typical timeline presentation. The document introductions framing the historical contexts and their influence over time are by Jerome Agel. The section introductions, by historian Milton Cantor, provide a lucid summary of four centuries of American history. Publisher's Note: We expect readers to differ in their views of the greatness of many of the historic documents in this interpretive documentary history. Some readers may take issue, for example, with the inclusion of the "Contract with America" or the Roe v. Wade decision. Divergent opinions, like this collection itself, reflect the on-going democratic dialogue among Americans - a dialogue that creates national greatness in the larger sense of encompassing the differences among citizens and ultimately incorporating them within a discernible collective purpose. In this way, we believe, all these documents have made America great.

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Words that make America great

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These two books attempt to characterize Americans in slightly different ways. In the Book of American Values and Virtues, freelance editors Bruun and Getzen take a traditional, patriotic approach ... Read full review


Acknowledges free sovereign and independent States The Paris Peace Treaty 1783
An ample journal must afford much intelligence Lewis Clark 1806

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About the author (1997)

Jerome B. Agel has written and/or produced more than fifty books, including collaborations with Carl Sagan, Marshall McLuhan, Buckminster Fuller, Stanley Kubrick, and Isaac Asimov.

Milton J. Cantor, Ph.D. is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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