I always enjoy seeing what other professors are doing in their American history classrooms. Over at Historical Conversations, Jonathan Den Hartog discusses what his students are reading in his United States survey course. Here is a taste:
Let me start with my U.S. History Survey class. I’m supposed to take the class from First Contact to 1877. So, we’ve already talked about the condition of the Indians of the Americas in 1491, and in the last class we finally introduced the Europeans who will be settling in the New World.
I have a range of books for this class, and if I had more time I’d love to add a few more. This is a good start, though.
I start with a good narrative textbook. In as many cases as possible, I try to avoid this, but for this class it’s worthwhile. I have been most pleased with Eerdman’s text Unto a Good Land, which is distinctive as a survey text for the amount of attention it gives to religious experience in American history.
What are you reading in your U.S. survey course this semester?
Greg Jones says
I'm teaching the 20th century survey at Geneva College. We're reading Lears' *Rebirth of a Nation*, Hankins *Jesus and Gin*, Kerouac *On the Road*, and Dudziak *Cold War Civil Rights*. The contrasting positions of Lears and Hankins have us off to a spirited start.
I'm planning the US Colonial survey for the spring, so I welcome suggestions there. I hear there's a decent book on America's founding as “Christian nation” or not. We'll see if it squeaks into the syllabus.
I'll second your use of Hankins's book. I've found students really connect with its vivid portrayals of the personalities and issues of the Jazz Age.