U.S. History Reading List

Top 10 U.S. History Reading List : Battle Cry of Freedom, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, A People's History of the United States, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, Washington: A Life, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt

Battle Cry of Freedom
AuthorJames M. McPherson
Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War.

James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and...
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
AuthorDoris Kearns Goodwin
Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

John Adams
AuthorDavid McCullough
The enthralling, often surprising story of John Adams, one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always...
A People's History of the United States
AuthorHoward Zinn
Library Journal calls Howard Zinn’s iconic A People's History of the United States “a brilliant and moving history of the American people from the point of view of those…whose plight has been largely omitted from most histories.” Packed with vivid details and telling quotations, Zinn’s...
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
AuthorNathaniel Philbrick

This simple question launches acclaimed author Nathaniel Philbrick on an extraordinary journey to understand the truth behind our most sacred national myth: the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. As Philbrick reveals in this electrifying...
Washington: A Life
AuthorRon Chernow
The celebrated Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of America. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life, he carries the reader through Washington's troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian Wars, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic...
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
AuthorMalcolm X
Alternate cover for ISBN 9780345350688

Through a life of passion and struggle, Malcolm X became one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century. In this riveting account, he tells of his journey from a prison cell to Mecca, describing his transition from hoodlum to Muslim minister....
The Strange Career of Jim Crow
AuthorC. Vann Woodward
C. Vann Woodward, who died in 1999 at the age of 91, was America's most eminent Southern historian, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Mary Chestnut's Civil War and a Bancroft Prize for The Origins of the New South. Now, to honor his long and truly distinguished career, Oxford is pleased to publish this...
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
AuthorIsabel Wilkerson
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. 

Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt
AuthorDavid McCullough
Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as a masterpiece by Newsday, it also won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography. Now with...
AuthorDavid Hackett Fischer
This book is the first volume in a cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural...
American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
AuthorJoseph J. Ellis
It started when I was reading Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage, this niggling feeling of discomfort I get when reading a book when the author seems to be taking opportunities to lionize his/her subjects – or at the very least, portraying them in a simplistic, single facet. I’ve had this issue with...
Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide
AuthorAndrea Lee Smith
A recognized Native American scholar and co-founder of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, the largest grassroots, multiracial feminist organization in the country, Andrea Smith (Cherokee) is an emerging leader in progressive political circles. In Conquest, Smith places Native American...
A. Lincoln
AuthorRonald C. White Jr.

The Washington Post • The Philadelphia Inquirer • The Christian Science Monitor • St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


Everyone wants to define the man who...
AuthorBernard DeVoto
Year of Decision 1846 tells many fascinating stories of the U.S. explorers who began the western march from the Mississippi to the Pacific, from Canada to the annexation of Texas, California, and the southwest lands from Mexico. It is the penultimate book of a trilogy which includes Across the Wide...
AuthorTed Morgan
This is the biggest, grandest, most sprawling epic ever told, filled with battles and hardship, courage, determination, daring voyages into the unknown, and eye-opening discoveries... From the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of FDR, Winston Churchill, and Somerset Maugham, Wilderness At...
River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom
AuthorWalter Johnson
When Jefferson acquired the Louisiana Territory, he envisioned an empire for liberty populated by self-sufficient white farmers. Cleared of Native Americans and the remnants of European empires by Andrew Jackson, the Mississippi Valley was transformed instead into a booming capitalist economy...
War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
AuthorSmedley D. Butler
Major General Smedley D. Butler was a military hero of the first rank, the winner of two Medals of Honour, a true 'fighting marine' whose courage and patriotism could not be doubted. Yet he came to believe that the wars in which he and his men had fought and bled and died were all pre-planned conflicts, designed...
From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776
AuthorGeorge C. Herring
The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation in print. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize-winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of prestigious Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. From Colony to Superpower is the only thematic volume...
Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880
AuthorW.E.B. Du Bois
A truly extraordinary work. Beautifully written, cogently and convincingly argued. Passionate and powerful and vital. Read it.

"Some Americans think and say that the nation freed the black slave and gave him a vote and that, unable to use it intelligently, he lost it. That is not so. To win...
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
AuthorIbram X. Kendi
Americans like to insist that they are living in a post-racial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, racist ideas in America have...
Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence
AuthorJoseph J. Ellis
A distinctive portrait of the crescendo moment in American history from the Pulitzer-winning American historian, Joseph Ellis.

The summer months of 1776 witnessed the most consequential events in the story of our country’s founding. While the thirteen colonies came together and agreed...
Leadership: In Turbulent Times
AuthorDoris Kearns Goodwin
Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader?

In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt,...
Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States
AuthorFelipe Fernández-Armesto
The United States is still typically conceived of as an offshoot of England, with our history unfolding east to west beginning with the first English settlers in Jamestown. This view overlooks the significance of America’s Hispanic past. With the profile of the United States increasingly Hispanic,...
John Adams: A Life
AuthorJohn Ferling
John Ferling's masterful John Adams: A Life is the most comprehensive single-volume biography of the man who succeeded George Washington in the presidency and shepherded the fragile new nation through the most dangerous of times. Drawing on extensive research, Ferling depicts a reluctant revolutionary,...
1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African American History
AuthorJeffrey C. Stewart
Where can one go to get a comprehensive and entertaining account of the most significant events, individuals and social processes of African-American history? Fear not, because 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African-American History is history at your fingertips-in a concise, accessible,...
Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63
AuthorTaylor Branch
First of a 3-volume social history, Parting the Waters is more than a biography of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the decade preceding his emergence as a national figure. This 1000-page effort, which won the Pulitzer Prize as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction,...
The Chinese in America: A Narrative History
AuthorIris Chang
In an epic story that spans 150 years and continues to the present day, Iris Chang tells of a people’s search for a better life—the determination of the Chinese to forge an identity and a destiny in a strange land and, often against great obstacles, to find success. She chronicles the many accomplishments...
© BooksList.Best 2022