Fourteen of our nation's stories are collected in this book. Each story is drawn from a different period in American history, from the time Indians first appeared on the continent to the twenty-first century War on Terror, and each resonates with significance for the nation today. The arguments in this book have provoked passionate debate between observers at the time and among generations of historians who followed. In every case, there are at least two sides to the story and multiple possible meanings. Each chapter focuses on one of these debates. After a brief introduction to the period and the issue at hand, two dueling interpretations of the topic present different ways of understanding it. Finally, some questions are outlined to help center attention on essential points and spark discussion.
Jason Hanson is at the University of Colorado.