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The Americans: The Colonial Experience (1958)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394705130, Paperback)The first book in a trilogy--and in many respects the best of the bunch--The Colonial Experience is an essential interpretation of how the habits of people who lived more than two centuries ago shaped the lives of modern Americans. Boorstin shows how an undiscovered continent shattered long-standing traditions and utopian fantasies with the hard demands of everyday life far from the sophisticated centers of European civilization: "Old categories were shaken up, and new situations revealed unsuspected uses for old knowledge," writes Boorstin. He starts with a series of penetrating essays on the Puritans of Massachusetts, the Quakers of Pennsylvania, the philanthropists of Georgia, and the planters of Virginia, then tackles a set of diffuse topics that range from astronomy to language to medicine in fascinating vignettes.
The Colonial Experience is must reading for anybody interested in the development of the American character. --John J. Miller
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:12 -0400)
Governor William Bradford, an eyewitness, reported the landing of the Mayflower passengers on the American shore in mid-November 1620. Never had a Promised Land looked more unpromising. But within a century and a half -- even before the American Revolution -- this forbidding scene had become one of the more "civill" parts of the world. The large outlines of a new civilization had been drawn. How did it happen?
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