Speaking of America: Readings in U.S. History, Vol. II: Since 1865, 2nd Edition

  • Laura A. Belmonte Oklahoma State University
  • ISBN-10: 0495050180  |  ISBN-13: 9780495050186
  • 512 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2004
  • © 2007 | Published
  • List Price = $ 116.95
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Explore a wide array of primary documents, poems, short stories, song lyrics, article excerpts, and news accounts encompassing multicultural and regional perspectives in SPEAKING OF AMERICA: READINGS IN U.S. HISTORY, VOLUME II: SINCE 1865, an interdisciplinary source reader. The selected readings address important episodes in politics, economics, and foreign policy as well as social and cultural changes. Both famous and ordinary Americans are featured.

Features and Benefits

  • The unique range of content in SPEAKING OF AMERICA includes such interdisciplinary source materials as newspaper accounts, speeches, short stories, poems, song lyrics, photographs, maps, and paintings. No other major reader for the U.S. history course uses this American Studies style approach or incorporates as much art history and literature.
  • The book balances political, economic, and diplomatic history with social and cultural history. To illustrate, consider Chapter Nineteen, "The Great Depression, The New Deal." This chapter begins by tracing the economic and political progression from Herbert Hoover's presidency to Franklin Roosevelt's second New Deal. It then segues into a photographic examination of several New Deal arts programs. The lyrics of four popular union songs illustrate the militancy of labor activists. Grant Wood's "American Gothic" exemplifies regionalist artistic styles. The Hays Motion Code reflects the clash between popular culture and traditional morality. Finally, an excerpt from John Steinbeck's THE GRAPES OF WRATH gives a powerful example of Depression-era literature. In the chapter's extended article, Alan Brinkley addresses the components and implications of "The New Deal Experiments."
  • Introductory paragraphs that guide students into the source material precede each primary source document.
  • Each source is accompanied by assignable questions that ask students to evaluate the source.
  • Each chapter includes between eight and fifteen short primary documents.
  • Race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, and class are among the multicultural perspectives represented in the readings.

Table of Contents

Elizabeth Hyde Botume, A Northern Teacher''s View of the Freedmen (1863-1865). The Louisiana Black Code (1865). African Americans Seek Protection (1865). Thaddeus Stevens Attacks Presidential Reconstruction (1865). President Johnson Opposes Black Suffrage (1867). A White Planter Responds to Emancipation (1866). Howell Cobb, A White Southern Perspective on Reconstruction. Equal Rights Association Proceedings (1869). Susan B. Anthony on Women''s Rights (1873). Ku Klux Klan During Reconstruction (1872).
Selling to the Masses (1870-1900). Frederick Law Olmsted on Urban Life (1870). "Bowery, Saturday Night" (1871). Dr. John B.Whitaker on Factory Worker Health (1871). John D. Rockefeller on the Success of Standard Oil (1899). Henry W. Grady, "The New South" (1886). Jacob Riis Describes Life in the Tenements (1890). John Gast, American Progress (1872). HARPER''S WEEKLY on the Custer Massacre (1876). Chief Joseph''s Lament (1879). Rules for Indian Boarding Schools (1890).
On the "Evils" of Chinese Immigration (1878). Yan Phou Lee, "The Chinese Must Stay" (1889). Grant Hamilton, "Where is the Blame?" (1891). Francis A.Walker Calls for Restriction of Immigration (1896). Sadie Frowne, A Polish Sweatshop Girl (1906). Florida Jim Crow Laws (1895-1913). Booker T. Washington, The Atlanta Exposition Address (1895). W.E.B. DuBois, THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK (1903).
Anthony Comstock, "The Suppression of Vice" (1882). Images of Working Class Leisure. Theodore Dreiser, SISTER CARRIE (1900). Terence Powderly on the Knights of Labor (1878, 1889). The CHICAGO TRIBUNE on the Haymarket Affair (1886). The Omaha Platform of the Populist Party (1892). Albert J. Beveridge Calls for an American Empire (1900). Mark Twain, "To the Person Sitting in Darkness" (1901).
Charles Monroe Sheldon Asks "What Would Jesus Do?" (1897). Lincoln Steffens on Urban Political Corruption (1904). Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906). Gifford Pinchot, The Fight For Conservation (1910). Jane Addams on the Fight Against Poverty (1910). The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911). Margaret Sanger, "Morality and Birth Control" (1918)
Woodrow Wilson, Declaration of War Message (1917). Senator George Norris Opposes U.S. Entry into World War I (1917). On the Western Front (1918). Eugene V. Debs Defends Political Dissent (1918). Alice Paul Inspires Her Fellow Suffragists (1917-1918). The NAACP Calls for Action (1919). Woodrow Wilson, The Fourteen Points (1918). Henry Cabot Lodge Opposes the League of Nations (1919).
Marcus Garvey, "Africa for the Africans" (1922). Langston Hughes, "I, Too" (1925). Consumer Culture in the 1920s. The Scopes Trial (1925). College Students on "Petting" (1925). Hiram Evans, "The Klan''s Fight for Americanism" (1926). Fiorello La Guardia on Prohibition (1926). Herbert Hoover, "American Individualism" (1928).
The Depression Hits Philadelphia (1931). The Great Depression in Rural America (1931). Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (1933). Huey Long Explains the "Share Our Wealth" Plan (1934). Frances Perkins on Social Security (1935). The New Deal and the Arts (1935-1939). Songs of American Workers. Grant Wood, American Gothic (1930). John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939).
Franklin Roosevelt, "The Four Freedoms" (1941). Charles Lindbergh Opposes Intervention (1941). Propaganda on the Homefront (1942-1944). Sybil Lewis and Adele Erenberg on Defense Work (1942-1945). Charles Kikuchi on Life in a Japanese Internment Camp (1942). An African-American Soldier Attacks the Paradox of American Democracy (1944). Infantryman Bob Slaughter Remembers D-Day (1944). Harry S. Truman on Deciding to Use the Atomic Bomb (1955).
George F. Kennan, "The Long Telegram" (1946). Secretary of State George C. Marshall Offers Aid to Europe (1947). Walter Lippmann Questions Containment (1947). John Howard Lawson Testifies before HUAC (1947). Joseph McCarthy on Communists in the U.S. Government (1950). The Lavender Scare (1950). A Guide for Surviving Nuclear War (1950).
A Journalist Describes Levittown (1948). Malvina Reynolds, "Little Boxes" (1962). The U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down School Segregation (1954). The Southern Manifesto (1956). Anne Moody Recalls the Lynching of Emmett Till (1968). John Kenneth Galbraith, THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY (1958). Jackson Pollock, LAVENDER MIST: NUMBER 1, 1950 (1950). Allen Ginsberg, "Howl" (1956).
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address (1961). Young Americans for Freedom, The Sharon Statement (1960). Students for a Democratic Society, The Port Huron Statement (1962). Betty Friedan, THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE (1963). No More Miss America (1968). Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963). Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet" (1964). Lyndon B. Johnson Proposes "The Great Society" (1964). George Ball and Robert McNamara on U.S. Policy in Vietnam (1965). Paul Potter, "The Incredible War" (1965). Soldiers Write Home from Vietnam (1967-1970). Guy Strait, "What is a Hippie?". Richard Nixon Accepts the Republican Nomination for President (1968).
24. THE 1970s AND 1980s.
Mary Crow Dog Recalls the Siege of Wounded Knee (1973). ROE V.WADE (1973). Richard Nixon, Resignation Speech (1974). Phyllis Schlafly Attacks the Equal Rights Amendment (1977). Jerry Falwell on the Moral Majority (1979). Lois Gibbs Recalls Life in Love Canal (1978). Jimmy Carter on the Nation''s "Crisis of Confidence" (1979). Ronald Reagan, Inaugural Address (1981). Larry Kramer, "1,112 and Counting" (1983). Mario Cuomo, "A Tale of Two Cities" (1984). Ronald Reagan, The "Evil Empire" Speech (1983). The Iran-Contra Affair (1987). George H.W. Bush Calls for "A New World of Freedom" (1989).
Major Rhonda Cornum on the Persian Gulf War (1991). Asian Refugees Describe Life in America (1991). Bill Clinton Outlines His Agenda (1993). The Republican Contract with America (1994). The Starr Report (1998). The High-Tech Boom (1999). The Battle in Seattle (1999). George W. Bush Addresses the Nation (2001).

What's New

  • The new "Themes to Consider" feature, which appears in each chapter introduction, allows students to make connections between the readings, see how the documents are related, and think about what those documents reveal about the time period.
  • The assignable "Focus Questions" now emphasize the critical issues addressed by each document.
  • To make the reader more manageable as a supplemental text, Belmonte has streamlined the document selections.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

InfoTrac® 2- Semester, Wadsworth American History Resource Center Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0495316415 | ISBN-13: 9780495316411)

Save time, save money—and eliminate the trek to the library and long waits for reserved readings with InfoTrac® College Edition, an online university library of more than 5,000 academic and popular magazines, newspapers, and journals.

List Price = $35.00  | CengageBrain Price = $35.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $35.00

Student Supplements

InfoTrac® 2- Semester, Wadsworth American History Resource Center Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 0495316415 | ISBN-13: 9780495316411)

Save time, save money—and eliminate the trek to the library and long waits for reserved readings with InfoTrac® College Edition, an online university library of more than 5,000 academic and popular magazines, newspapers, and journals.

List Price = $35.00  | CengageBrain Price = $35.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $35.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Laura A. Belmonte

Laura A. Belmonte is Department Head and Professor of History at Oklahoma State University. A specialist in the history of U.S. foreign relations, she is author of SELLING THE AMERICAN WAY: U.S. PROPAGANDA AND THE COLD WAR (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008) and numerous articles on cultural diplomacy. She is editor of SPEAKING OF AMERICA: READINGS IN U.S. HISTORY (Cengage, 2nd Edition, 2006). She is working on two additional major projects. The first examines U.S. global policy on HIV/AIDS. The second synthesizes the history of the international LGBT rights movement (Continuum, 2017). She is a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Historical Advisory Committee on Diplomatic Documentation. After participating in the 2005 National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar “Rethinking America in Global Perspective,” she began teaching undergraduate and graduate courses with a transnational focus including “America in International Perspective” and “HIV/AIDS in Transnational Perspective.”