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The Nation Comes of Age: A People's History…
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The Nation Comes of Age: A People's History of the Ante-Bellum Years

by Page Smith

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2596 The Nation Comes of Age: Volume Four, by Page Smith (read 17 Apr 1994) This covers the years from 1826 to 1861. It is an awesome work, even though there are no footnotes and no bibliography. The first 200 pages are straight good history, from 1828 through the Mexican War. Then he spends a lot of chapters on events in the frontier West, and many chapters on things like "Religion," "Utopian Communities," "Reform," "Urban Life," etc, some of which I thought overly generalizing and not conscious enough of the great diversity existing. His chapter on American painting I found fresh and interesting, since Thomas Cole, William Sidney Mount, and others were unknown to me. His stuff on Emerson was heavy going but in general all was well-done. Then in a grand final 150 pages he takes up the fascinating time from 1848 to 1861, saying many things extremely well. One is continually amazed that Lincoln was such a smart and great man. ( )
  Schmerguls | Apr 9, 2008 |
As a "people's historian", Page Smith relies upon contemporary personal narratives to show what it was like to be a slave in the South, a freeman in the North; a trapper in the Rockies and a starving immigrant in New York; a missionary in Oregon and a settler on the Western frontier.

Written by a professional historian for the general reader. ( )
  keylawk | Oct 9, 2007 |
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