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The Shaping of America: A People's History…
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The Shaping of America: A People's History of the Young Republic

by Page Smith

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2584 The Shaping of America: Volume Three, by Page Smith (read 24 Feb 1994) This is really an awesome work, and I found it most rewarding reading. This volume covers 1793 to 1826. The coverage of the Lewis and Clark expedition and of Lafayette's visit and of the War of 1812 I found quite perfect. And there is a lot of social history, so in that sense it is more modern than the kind of history I like. But I admit the social history is very interesting too. It is a massive volume, but I can only account my reading of it eminently worthwhile. This is a very fine work, and I think Smith's viewpoint a good one. ( )
  Schmerguls | Apr 12, 2008 |
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In The Shaping of America, Page Smith presents an in-depth portrait of America's formative years, the turbulent first half-century of its independence, and of the development of the American character. Standard histories tend to depict this era as a glorious period of progress and expansion. It was also, however, a time of turmoil and disorder, of violent rhetoric, and of class, regional, and philosophical conflicts that threatened to destroy the young government.

Dr. Smith provides superbly revealing chapters on the Indians, on religion and education, on science and the arts, on business, on life in the cities and life on the farms - all enriched by firsthand accounts that bring the nation and its people vibrantly to life.

The book closes with the deaths on the same day - July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence - of two great patriots, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, leaders of the two opposing philosophies that shaped the nation.
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