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Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Discussion: Let Freedom Read

This week marks the 236th birthday of our independent nation, so today, let's talk about books that make you think about America.

I was an American Studies major so I have a lot of opinions on this topic, but for today, I am going to leave you with a few of my favorite books that scream "America" to me.

First of all, no one has captured the American experience with all of its contradictions, successes and failures like Ken Burns.  Use this link to see all of his books, and this one to see his movies.

Yesterday, I loaned my sister-in-law my copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (a personal, all-time favorite), which got me thinking of my Great American Novels With a Twist list, which I compiled a few years ago.  As I said in that post:
The following 10 novels tackle large issues of recent American history as their stories unfold.  What makes these books different is the twist, or hook, which the author uses to provide a unique glimpse at the American Experience.  These books offer a little something for everyone and all are critically acclaimed.
 Click here for the full list.

In terms of more nonfiction, my absolute favorite writer of narrative nonfiction that focuses on American History is David McCullough (who also appears in a few Burns movies).  There are many others, but he is my undisputed #1.

And finally, for some history, a chuckle, and supernatural action, you could always read this.

Now what about you?  In honor of Independence Day, let me know the books or authors that make you think of America (for better or worse).

For past Monday Discussions, click here.


Donna said...

Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. The story of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Mike said...


David McCullough and David
Halberstam are my two favorite
writers on American History. In
book after book they expertly
and interestingly tell America's
story. Also, Ron Chernow's
"Washington: A Life" is an ex-
cellent book on the man who was
the cornerstone of the freedoms
we now enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Interesting choices. I've been reading books that take place in the Appalachian mountain areas, an area I know little about. "This land is your land..."