Eyewitness to America: 500 Years of America in the Words of Those who Saw it Happen

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David Colbert
Pantheon Books, 1997 - History - 599 pages
3 Reviews
Thomas Jefferson complains about haggling over the Declaration of Independence ... Jack London guides us through the rubble of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake ... Langston Hughes visits the Scottsboro Boys on death row ... Andy Warhol paints the scene at Studio 54 ... John Seabrook receives e-mail from Bill Gates. Three hundred eyewitnesses -- some famous, some anonymous -- give their personal accounts of the great moments that make up our past, from Columbus to cyberspace, and infuse them with a freshness and urgency no historian can duplicate.
David Colbert has brought together a multitude of voices to create a singularly rich American narrative. Here are the vivid impressions of men and women who were witnesses to and participants in these and other dramatic moments: the first colony in Virginia, the Salem witch trials, the Boston Tea Party, the Oklahoma land rush, the Scopes Trial, the bombing of Nagasaki, the lunch-counter sit-ins at the outset of the civil rights movement, New York City's Stonewall Riot, the fall of Saigon, and the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
With unparalleled and thrilling immediacy, these excerpts from diaries, private letters, memoirs, and newspapers paint a fascinating picture of the evolving drama of American life.

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User Review  - stretch - LibraryThing

David Colbert had a disarmingly simple idea: take all the major events of American history, find someone who was there for each one, and publish their descriptions. Taking passages from diaries ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pre20cenbooks - LibraryThing

I have read various accounts that I was interested in and truly this events became more vivid. Recommend as a reference for families with school age children. You may have not been there back in the ... Read full review


The Founding of St Augustine August 25September 8 1565
Pocahontas Saves John Smith January 1608
Jolliet and Marquette Travel the Mississippi June 1017 1673

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About the author (1997)

David Colbert is a writer and former Editor at HarperCollins. He lives in San Francisco and New York.

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