Higher Education

The American Past: A Survey of American History, 10th Edition

  • Joseph R. Conlin Formerly at California State University, Chico
  • ISBN-10: 1133946534  |  ISBN-13: 9781133946533
  • 960 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2010, 2007, 2004
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $128.00
  *Why an online review copy?
  • It's the greener, leaner way to review! An online copy cuts down on paper and on time. Reduce the wait (and the weight) of printed texts. Your online copy arrives instantly, and you can review it anytime from your computer or favorite mobile device.

If you prefer a print copy to review, please contact your representative.



Author Joseph R. Conlin's award-winning teaching and writing styles are reflected in this colorful and engaging look at the individuals, events, and ideas that have shaped our nation's past. Organized into short chapters and updated with new insights into recently published research, this text sets the story in a political context, weaving in social, cultural, economic, intellectual, constitutional, diplomatic, and military events along the way. Conlin's popular sidebars and "How They Lived" vignettes bring historical stories to life and emphasize the human and social dimensions of history. With its literary prose style and its unifying voice, THE AMERICAN PAST, Tenth Edition, will capture and hold your students' interest as it guides them on a fascinating, eye-opening walk through the years gone by. Available in the following split options: THE AMERICAN PAST: A SURVEY OF AMERICAN HISTORY, Complete; Volume 1: To 1877; and Volume 2: Since 1865.

Additional Product Information

Features and Benefits

  • Conlin's strong, accessible writing style and single narrative voice make the material easier for students to comprehend.
  • The text's organization based on more but shorter chapters helps to break the material into smaller, more manageable units.
  • Conlin's trademark boxed features (sidebars and "How They Lived" vignettes) bring colorful, lively "stories" to life while providing a social perspective, thus emphasizing the human dimension of history.
  • Graphic chapter timelines help students see relationships among various events, and place historical figures and movements into larger context of the era.
  • Detailed captions help students identify historical significance and noteworthy details.

Table of Contents

1. Discoveries: Indians, Europeans, and the Americas About 15,000 B.C. to A.D. 1550.
2. England at Home, England Overseas: The Roanoke and Jamestown Colonies 1530-1607.
3. Thirteen Colonies: England's North American Empire 1608-1732.
4. Old World Intentions, New World Facts of Life: Colonial Society in the 1600s.
5. Outsiders: Colonial Indians and Africans.
6. Contest for a Continent: French America and British America 1608-1763.
7. Family Quarrels: Dissension in the Colonies 1763-1770.
8. From Riot to Rebellion: The Road to Independence 1770-1776.
9. The War for Independence: The Rebels Defeated, The Rebels Victorious 1776-1781.
10. Inventing a Country: American Constitutions 1781-1789.
11. We the People: Putting the Constitution to Work 1789-1800.
12. The Age of Thomas Jefferson: Expanding the Nation 1800-1815.
13. Nationalist Stirrings: Culture, Politics, Diplomacy 1815-1824.
14. Machines, Cotton, Land: The American Economy and Society 1790-1824.
15. The People's Hero: Andrew Jackson and a New Era 1824-1830.
16. In the Shadow of Old Hickory: Personalities and Politics 1830-1842.
17. Religion and Reform: Evangelicals and Enthusiasts 1800-1850.
18. The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the South.
19. From Sea to Shining Sea: Expansion 1820-1848.
20. Apples of Discord: Lands, Slaves, Immigrants 1844-1856.
21. The Collapse of the Union: From Debate to Violence 1854-1861.
22. Tidy Plans, Ugly Realities: The Civil War through 1862.
23. Driving Dixie Down: General Grant's War of Attrition 1863-1865.
24. Aftermath: The Era of Reconstruction 1863-1877.
25. Patronage and Pork: National Politics 1876-1892.
26. Technology, Industry, and Business: Economic Change in the Late Nineteenth Century.
27. Living with Leviathan: Coping with Big Business and Great Wealth.
28. We Who Built America: Working People 1860-1900.
29. Big Cities: Urban America 1865-1917.
30. The Last Frontier: Winning and Losing the West 1865-1900.
31. The Nation's Bone and Sinew: Agriculture and Agrarians 1865-1896.
32. A Pivotal Decade: McKinley, Segregation, and Empire 1890-1901.
33. Teddy Roosevelt's Americans: The Middle Class Comes of Age 1890-1917.
34. A Wave of Reform: The Progressives 1890-1916.
35. Imperialism and Domestic Politics: A Progressive Democratic President 1901-1916.
36. Over There: The United States and World War I 1914-1918.
37. Over Here: The Home Front 1917-1920.
38. A Troubled Nation: Postwar America 1919-1923.
39. The New Era: When Business Ran the Country 1923-1929.
40. Hard Times: The Great Depression 1930-1933.
41. Rearranging America: FDR and the New Deal 1933-1938.
42. Going to War Again: America and the World 1933-1942.
43. Finest Hours: The U.S. in the Second World War 1942-1945.
44. "The Bomb" and the Cold War: The Truman Presidency, 1945-1953.
45. "Happy Days": The Popular Culture of the Fifties 1947-1963.
46. Political Strategies: The Eisenhower and Kennedy Presidencies 1953-1963.
47. Race and Rights: The African American Struggle for Civil Equality 1953-1968.
48. Lyndon Johnson's Great Society: A War Destroys a Reformer 1961-1968.
49. Presidents on the Griddle: Nixon, Ford, and Carter 1968-1980.
50. Morning in America: The Age of Ronald Reagan 1980-1992.
51. Millennium Years: Emigrants, Immigrants, Religion, Cults, Politics 1960-2012.
52. Only Yesterday: Politics and the Economy 1993-2012.

What's New

  • The tenth edition features updates and new information based on recently published research, including current interpretations worth noting as well as fresh illustrations (statistical, anecdotal, documentary) of the author's points.
  • Chapters 51 and 52 have been completely revised and updated to include coverage of recent events.
  • Throughout the text, readers will find new and revised "How They Lived" features. Examples include "The Republic of Porkdom" (Chapter 14); "Total War in Georgia" (Chapter 23); and "Memorial Day: Birth, Life, and Decay of a National Holiday" (Chapter 25).
  • New and revised sidebars appear throughout the text.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I give the Conlin text an A+ on readability."

— Richard A. Dobbs, Gadsden State Community College

"In my view [Conlin] has two related strengths: clear, compelling writing and pithy profiles of individual human beings who populate the text. This is a story with colorfully drawn characters. It works very well as a relatively traditional but very smart political history."

— Mark R. Wilson, University of North Carolina, Charlotte


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

CourseMate with InfoTrac® 2-Semester Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285058852 | ISBN-13: 9781285058856)

Cengage Learning's History CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study tools, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Use Engagement Tracker to monitor student engagement in the course and watch student comprehension soar as your class works with the printed textbook and the textbook-specific website. An interactive eBook allows students to take notes, highlight, search, and interact with embedded media (such as quizzes, flashcards, primary sources, and videos). Learn more at www.cengage.com/coursemate.

List Price = $135.00  | CengageBrain Price = $135.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $135.00

CourseReader 0-30: U.S. History Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1111475520 | ISBN-13: 9781111475529)

COURSEREADER: U.S. HISTORY is Cengage Learning’s easy, affordable way to build your own online customizable reader. Through a partnership with Gale, COURSEREADER: U.S. HISTORY searches thousands of primary and secondary sources, readings, and audio and video clips from multiple disciplines. Select exactly and only the material you want your students to work with. Each selection can be listened to (using the “Listen” button), to accommodate varied learning styles. Additionally, an instructor can choose to add her own notes to readings, to direct students’ attention or ask them questions about a particular passage. Each primary source is accompanied by an introduction, and questions to help students understand the reading. COURSEREADER: U.S. HISTORY is the perfect complement to any class.

List Price = $67.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $67.00

Rand McNally Atlas of American History  (ISBN-10: 0618842012 | ISBN-13: 9780618842018)

Featuring more than eighty maps, this comprehensive atlas also covers global perspectives.

List Price = $64.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $48.75

Student Supplements

LMS Integrated for CourseMate™, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285765761 | ISBN-13: 9781285765761)

List Price = $135.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $135.00

CourseMate with InfoTrac® 2-Semester Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1285058852 | ISBN-13: 9781285058856)

The more you study, the better the results. Make the most of your study time by accessing everything you need to succeed in one place. Read your textbook, take notes, review flashcards, watch videos, read primary sources, and take practice quizzes--online with CourseMate.

List Price = $135.00  | CengageBrain Price = $135.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $135.00

CourseReader 0-30: U.S. History Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1111475520 | ISBN-13: 9781111475529)

Easy-to-use and affordable access to readings, audio, and video selections for your courses with this customized online reader. COURSEREADER: U.S. HISTORY helps you to stay organized and facilitates convenient access to course material, no matter where you are.

List Price = $67.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $67.00

Rand McNally Atlas of American History  (ISBN-10: 0618842012 | ISBN-13: 9780618842018)

This comprehensive atlas features more than 80 maps, with new content covering global perspectives, including events in the Middle East from 1945 to 2005, as well as population trends in the U.S. and around the World. Additional maps document voyages of discovery; the settling of the colonies; major U.S. military engagements, including the American Revolution and World Wars I and II; and sources of immigration, ethnic populations, and patterns of economic change.

List Price = $64.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $48.75

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Joseph R. Conlin

Joseph Conlin was born in Philadelphia and educated at Villanova University (A.B.) and the University of Wisconsin (M.A., Ph.D.). He taught American history at half a dozen colleges and universities, spending most of his career at California State University, Chico. He was a Fulbright Professor in Rome and Salzburg and was twice Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Social History Centre at Warwick University, England. For 30 years (60 semesters), with a few subtracted for sabbaticals, he taught between one and four sections of the United States history survey course each term, a total of about 200 times. He won four awards for excellence in teaching. Conlin has written a dozen books, about 70 articles in scholarly journals and magazines of popular history, some 100 book reviews in a variety of journals, and more newspaper journalism than he can or cares to remember. Several of his published essays and one book were awarded "best of the year" prizes.