Like its popular predecessor, the second edition of The United States: A Brief History is a basic, readable, and affordable core text for the introductory survey of United States history. The book is not intended as the only resource for students in such courses: its length, approach, and price encourage the use of supplementary books, research projects, and primary documents (many of which are now available on the Internet). Nevertheless, this innovative survey will come as a welcome relief to the average student, who may be intimidated, overwhelmed, and overextended financially by the massive texts that dominate the genre. Even many so-called brief editions can weigh in a nearly a thousand pages, leaving many student readers lost in a maze of confusing, daunting, and expensive information. The new edition boasts an introduction by Philip Weeks on the pre-Columbian American Indian nations who inhabited what became the continental United States -- an important chapter in the history of the nation. Furthermore, the text has been refined or altered in places -- both to accommodate new information and in response to the feedback of both students and instructors.
In taking a cultural literacy approach to decide what to include in the text, Hullar and Nelson highlight names, terms, and concepts common to an educated person's understanding of American history. Big ideas, major themes, important events, and basic facts unfold in a chronological narrative that tells a lively story in user-friendly fashion. Each chapter concludes with a list of important terms for study and short-essay questions. The appendices include for handy reference an annotated text of The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and a list of the Presidents of the United States.