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Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People, Volume 1: To 1877 6th Edition

John M. Murrin, Paul E. Johnson, James M. McPherson, Alice Fahs, Gary Gerstle, Emily S. Rosenberg, Norman L. Rosenberg

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2008, 2005, 2005
  • 608 Pages


A highly respected, balanced, and thoroughly modern approach to US History, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER, uses these three themes to show how the United States was transformed from hunter-gatherer and agricultural Native American societies into the most powerful industrial nation on earth. This approach helps students understand the impact of the notions of liberty and equality, which are often associated with the American story, and also how dominant and subordinate groups have affected and been affected by the ever-shifting balance of power. The text integrates the best of recent social and cultural scholarship—including fun material on music and movies—into a political story, offering students the most comprehensive and complete understanding of American history available. Available in the following split options: LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER, Sixth Edition (Chapters 1-32), ISBN: 978-0-495-90499-1; Volume 1: To 1877 (Chapters 1-17), ISBN: 978-0-495-91587-4; Volume 2: Since 1863 (Chapters 17-32), ISBN: 978-0-495-91588-1.

John M. Murrin, Princeton University

John M. Murrin studies American colonial and revolutionary history and the early republic. He has edited one multivolume series and five books, including two essay collections−COLONIAL AMERICA: ESSAYS IN POLITICS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, Sixth Edition (2010), and SAINTS AND REVOLUTIONARIES: ESSAYS IN EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY (1984). His own essays cover topics ranging from ethnic tensions, the early history of trial by jury, the emergence of the legal profession, the Salem witch trials, and the political culture of the colonies and the new nation to the rise of professional baseball and college football in the nineteenth century. He served as president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic in 1998−1999.

Paul E. Johnson, University of South Carolina, Distinguished Professor Emeritus

A specialist in early national social history, Paul E. Johnson is the author of THE EARLY AMERICAN REPUBLIC, 1789–1829 (2006); SAM PATCH, THE FAMOUS JUMPER (2003); and A SHOPKEEPER'S MILLENNIUM: SOCIETY AND REVIVALS IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, 1815–1837, 25th Anniversary Edition (2004). In addition, he is coauthor (with Sean Wilentz) of THE KINGDOM OF MATTHIAS: SEX AND SALVATION IN 19TH-CENTURY AMERICA (1994) and is editor of AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY: ESSAYS IN HISTORY (1994). He was awarded the Merle Curti Prize of the Organization of American Historians (1980), the Richard P. McCormack Prize of the New Jersey Historical Association (1989), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1985–1986), the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1995), the Gilder Lehrman Institute (2001), and the National Endowment for the Humanities We the People Fellowship (2006-2007).

James M. McPherson, Princeton University, Emeritus

James M. McPherson is a distinguished Civil War historian. He won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for his book BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM: THE CIVIL WAR ERA. His other publications include MARCHING TOWARD FREEDOM: BLACKS IN THE CIVIL WAR, Second Edition (1991); ORDEAL BY FIRE: THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, Third Edition (2001); ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION (1991); FOR CAUSE AND COMRADES: WHY MEN FOUGHT IN THE CIVIL WAR (1997), which won the Lincoln Prize in 1998; CROSSROADS OF FREEDOM: ANTIETAM (2002); HALLOWED GROUND: A WALK AT GETTYSBURG (2003); and TRIED BY WAR: ABRAHAM LINCOLN AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF (2008), which won the Lincoln Prize for 2009. Professor McPherson served as president of the American Historical Association (2003-2004).

Alice Fahs, University of California, Irvine

Alice Fahs is a specialist in American cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her book THE IMAGINED CIVIL WAR: POPULAR LITERATURE OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH, 1861–1865 (2001) was a finalist in 2002 for the Lincoln Prize. Together with Joan Waugh, she published the edited collection THE MEMORY OF THE CIVIL WAR IN AMERICAN CULTURE (2004). She also edited Louisa May Alcott's HOSPITAL SKETCHES (2004), an account of Alcott's nursing experiences during the Civil War first published in 1863. Fahs's most recent book is OUT ON ASSIGNMENT: NEWSPAPER WOMEN AND THE MAKING OF MODERN PUBLIC SPACE (2011). Her honors include an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship and a Gilder Lehrman Fellowship, as well as fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Newberry Library, and the Huntington Library.

Gary Gerstle, Vanderbilt University

Gary Gerstle is the Paul Mellon Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge. He previously taught at Princeton University, the Catholic University of America, the University of Maryland, and Vanderbilt University. A historian of the twentieth-century United States, he is the author, coauthor, and coeditor of six books and the author of nearly 35 articles. His books include WORKING-CLASS AMERICANISM: THE POLITICS OF LABOR IN A TEXTILE CITY, 1914–1960 (1989); AMERICAN CRUCIBLE: RACE AND NATION IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (2001), winner of the Saloutos Prize for the best work in immigration and ethnic history; THE RISE AND FALL OF THE NEW DEAL ORDER, 1930–1980 (1989); and RULING AMERICA: WEALTH AND POWER IN A DEMOCRACY (2005). A new book on the principles underlying the use of public power in America from the Revolution to the present will soon be published by Princeton University Press. He has served on the board of editors of the Journal of American History and the American Historical Review. His honors include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the Harmsworth Visiting Professorship of American History at the University of Oxford, and membership in the Society of American Historians.

Emily S. Rosenberg, University of California, Irvine

Emily Rosenberg specializes in U.S. foreign relations in the twentieth century and is the author of SPREADING THE AMERICAN DREAM: AMERICAN ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL EXPANSION, 1890–1945 (1982); FINANCIAL MISSIONARIES TO THE WORLD: THE POLITICS AND CULTURE OF DOLLAR DIPLOMACY (1999), which won the Ferrell Book Award; A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE: PEARL HARBOR IN AMERICAN MEMORY (2004); and TRANSNATIONAL CURRENTS IN A SHRINKING WORLD, 1870–1945 (2014). Her other publications include (with Norman L. Rosenberg) IN OUR TIMES: AMERICA SINCE 1945, Seventh Edition (2003), and numerous articles dealing with foreign relations in the context of international finance, American culture, and gender ideology. She has served on the board of the Organization of American Historians, on the board of editors of the American Historical Review, and as president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Norman L. Rosenberg, Macalester College

Norman L. Rosenberg specializes in legal history with a particular interest in legal culture and First Amendment issues. His books include PROTECTING THE 'BEST MEN': AN INTERPRETIVE HISTORY OF THE LAW OF LIBEL (1990) and (with Emily S. Rosenberg) IN OUR TIMES: AMERICA SINCE 1945, Seventh Edition (2003). He has published articles in Rutgers Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Law and History Review, and many other journals and law-related anthologies.
  • New Visual Link features focus on a single piece of art, material culture, or photography that reveals something important about the historical era in which it was produced. In an extended caption the authors explore the historical significance of the object, then pose a question for students to answer. The objects range from a statue of George III erected in 1766 (Chapter 5) to an abolitionist woodcut protesting the lynching of slaves (Chapter 12).
  • New Primary Source Icons appear in the margins of each chapter indicating related documents which are available on the CourseMate website.
  • New "Musical Link to the Past" essay on Stephen Foster's "Oh Susanna" (Chapter 10) has been added.
  • LIBERTY, EQUALITY, POWER's thematic approach shows how the pursuit of liberty and equality has shaped the nation, and how power has been used and abused in every aspect of American life—between men and women, whites and blacks, rich and poor, etc.
  • The strength of the book's author team accounts for its high-quality narrative and analysis. Among the members of this distinguished team are James McPherson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and John Murrin, one of the pre-eminent colonial historians today.
  • A student section in the beginning of the book on "'Reading' and Studying Photographs, Artwork, and Maps" helps the student understand what history is and the best way to study it.
  • The very popular "History Through Film" features (one per chapter) encourage students to think critically about what they see on screen and get them thinking about historical questions through a medium with which they are already familiar and comfortable. The features offer summaries of the films, note the interesting historical questions that they intentionally or unintentionally raise (and that students can fruitfully discuss), and offer a commentary on the accuracy or inaccuracy of historical figures and events as seen through the lens of the camera and the vision of the director.
  • "Musical Link to the Past" essays cover a great range of songs and artists. Recordings of many of the musical selections discussed are available on the Musical Links to the Past CD (available free with adoption).
  • Pedagogical features include Identifications (key terms with a glossary), "Questions for Review and Critical Thinking" that cover broad themes from the chapter, updated Suggested Readings, and a glossary as part of the appendix. "Focus Questions" appear with corresponding sections of the text to help guide the student through the material. These questions are then repeated in list format at the end of the chapter for use in review.
To The Student: Why Study History?
Analyzing Historical Sources.
1. When Old Worlds Collide: Contact, Conquest, Catastrophe.
2. The Challenge to Spain and the Settlement of North America.
3. England Discovers Its Colonies: Empire, Liberty, and Expansion.
4. Provincial America and the Struggle for a Continent.
5. Reform, Resistance, Revolution.
6. The Revolutionary Republic.
7. Completing the Revolution, 1789–1815.
8. Northern Transformations, 1790–1850.
9. The Old South, 1790–1850.
10. Toward an American Culture.
11. Whigs and Democrats.
12. Antebellum Reform.
13. Manifest Destiny: An Empire for Liberty—or Slavery?
14. The Gathering Tempest, 1853–1860.
15. Secession and Civil War, 1860–1862.
16. A New Birth of Freedom, 1862–1865.
17. Reconstruction, 1863–1877.

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • ISBN-10: 1133339727
  • ISBN-13: 9781133339724
  • STARTING AT $15.49

  • STARTING AT $18.99

  • ISBN-10: 0495915874
  • ISBN-13: 9780495915874
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $90.00
  • RETAIL $119.95

"This is a high quality textbook that takes students seriously as learners. It challenges without being too daunting, it includes a wealth of material not present in other textbooks, and provides what I think is the richest treatment of U.S. history to 1877 than any other text I've used."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Instructor's Website

ISBN: 9781305496965
Accessible through with your faculty account, this website for instructors features all of the assets available to students at no charge in addition to an Instructor's Resource Manual (instructional objectives, chapter outlines, discussion questions, suggested lecture topics, suggested paper topics, and related Internet resources) and PowerPoint® presentations. The following test bank format types are available for download from the Instructor Companion Website: Blackboard, Angel, Moodle, Canvas, Desire2Learn, and PDF.

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305271135
Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible online system that allows you to author, edit, and manage test bank content from multiple Cengage Learning solutions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your learning management system, your classroom, or wherever you want. The following format types are available for download from the Instructor Companion Website: Blackboard, Angel, Moodle, Canvas, Desire2Learn, and PDF. You can import these files directly into your LMS to edit, manage questions, and create tests.

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305628816

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305628847