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A People and a Nation: A History of the United States, Brief Edition 10th Edition

Mary Beth Norton, Jane Kamensky, Carol Sheriff, David W. Blight, Howard P. Chudacoff, Fredrik Logevall, Beth Bailey, Debra Michals

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2012, 2010, 2007
  • 960 Pages
Starting At 80.00 See pricing and ISBN options


The Brief Edition of A PEOPLE AND A NATION offers a succinct and spirited narrative that tells the stories of all people in the United States. The authors' attention to race and racial identity, and their inclusion of everyday people and popular culture brings history to life, engaging readers and encouraging them to imagine what life was really like in the past. In the tenth edition, the number of chapters has been reduced from 33 to 29, making the text easier to assign in a typical semester. Available in the following split options: A PEOPLE AND A NATION, Brief Tenth Edition (Chapters 1–29), ISBN: 9781285430843; Volume I: TO 1877 (Chapters 1–14), ISBN: 9781285430850; Volume II: SINCE 1865 (Chapters 14-29), ISBN: 9781285430867

Mary Beth Norton, Brandeis University

Mary Beth Norton, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She teaches courses in the history of exploration, early America, women’s history, Atlantic world, and American Revolution. Her many books have won prizes from the Society of American Historians, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and English-Speaking Union. Her book, FOUNDING MOTHERS & FATHERS (1996), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2011 her book SEPARATED BY THEIR SEX: WOMEN IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE IN THE COLONIAL ATLANTIC WORLD was published. She was Pitt Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge in 2005-2006. The Rockefeller Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, and Huntington Library, among others, have awarded her fellowships. Professor Norton has served on the National Council for the Humanities and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has appeared on Book TV, the History and Discovery Channels, PBS, and NBC as a commentator on Early American history.

Jane Kamensky, Brandeis University

Jane Kamensky earned her B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. She is Harry S. Truman Professor of American Civilization at Brandeis University, where she teaches courses in colonial American history, women's and family history, and the writing of history that have been recognized with a university-wide award for excellence in teaching. Her books, among others, include THE EXCHANGE ARTIST: A TALE OF HIGH-FLYING SPECULATION AND AMERICA'S FIRST BANKING COLLAPSE (2008), a finalist for the 2009 George Washington Book Prize; and THE COLONIAL MOSAIC: AMERICAN WOMEN, 1600-1760 (1995). She is co-editor of THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (2012) and the co-author of the historical novel BLINDSPOT (2008), a New York Times editor's choice and Boston Globe bestseller. Jane has served on the editorial boards of several journals as well as on the Council of the American Antiquarian Society and the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians. She has appeared on such media outlets as PBS, CSPAN, the History Channel, and NPR, and has won numerous major grants and fellowships to support her scholarship. Her next book, COPLEY: A LIFE IN COLOR, will be published by W. W. Norton.

Carol Sheriff, Brandeis University

Carol Sheriff received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. from Yale University. She has taught at the College of William and Mary since 1993, where she has won the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award, the Alumni Teaching Fellowship Award, and the University Professorship for Teaching Excellence. Carol teaches the U.S. history survey as well as classes on the Early Republic, the Civil War Era, and the American West. Her publications include THE ARTIFICIAL RIVER: THE ERIE CANAL AND THE PARADOX OF PROGRESS (1996), which won the Dixon Ryan Fox Award from the New York State Historical Association and the Award for Excellence in Research from the New York State Archives, and A PEOPLE AT WAR: CIVILIANS AND SOLDIERS IN AMERICA’S CIVIL WAR, 1854–1877 (with Scott Reynolds Nelson, 2007). Carol has written sections of a teaching manual for the New York State history curriculum, given presentations at Teaching American History grant projects, appeared in the History Channel’s Modern Marvels show on the Erie Canal, and is engaged in several public history projects marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

David W. Blight, Yale University

David W. Blight received his B.A. from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He has written FREDERICK DOUGLASS’S CIVIL WAR (1989) and RACE AND REUNION: THE CIVIL WAR IN AMERICAN MEMORY, 1863–1915 (2001), which received eight awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and four prizes awarded by the Organization of American Historians. His most recent book, A SLAVE NO MORE: THE EMANCIPATION OF JOHN WASHINGTON AND WALLACE TURNAGE (2007), won three prizes. He has edited or co-edited six other books, and his essays have appeared in numerous journals. In 1992–1993 he was senior Fulbright Professor in American Studies at the University of Munich, Germany, and in 2006–2007 he held a fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, New York Public Library. A consultant to several documentary films, David appeared in the 1998 PBS series, Africans in America and has served on the Council of the American Historical Association.

Howard P. Chudacoff, Brown University

Howard P. Chudacoff, the George L. Littlefield Professor of American History and Professor of Urban Studies at Brown University, was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He earned his A.B. (1965) and Ph.D. (1969) from the University of Chicago. He has written MOBILE AMERICANS (1972), HOW OLD ARE YOU (1989), THE AGE OF THE BACHELOR (1999), THE EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN URBAN SOCIETY (with Judith Smith, 2004), and CHILDREN AT PLAY: AN AMERICAN HISTORY (2007). He has also co-edited, with Peter Baldwin, MAJOR PROBLEMS IN AMERICAN URBAN HISTORY (2004). His articles have appeared in such journals as the JOURNAL OF FAMILY HISTORY, REVIEWS IN AMERICAN HISTORY, and JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY. At Brown University, Howard has co-chaired the American Civilization Program, chaired the Department of History, and serves as Brown’s faculty representative to the NCAA. He has also served on the board of directors of the Urban History Association. The National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation have given him awards to advance his scholarship.

Fredrik Logevall, Harvard University

A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Fredrik Logevall is Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University, where he holds appointments in the Department of History and the Kennedy School of Government. He received his B.A. from Simon Fraser University and his Ph.D. from Yale University. His most recent book is EMBERS OF WAR: THE FALL OF AN EMPIRE AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA'S VIETNAM (2012), which won the Pulitzer Prize in History and the Francis Parkman Prize, in addition to other awards. His other publications include CHOOSING WAR (1999), which won three prizes, including the Warren F. Kuehl Book Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR); AMERICA'S COLD WAR: THE POLITICS OF INSECURITY (with Campbell Craig, 2009); THE ORIGINS OF THE VIETNAM WAR (2001); TERRORISM AND 9/11: A READER (2002); and, as co-editor, THE FIRST VIETNAM WAR: COLONIAL CONFLICT AND COLD WAR CRISIS (2007); and NIXON AND THE WORLD: AMERICAN FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1969-1977 (2008). A past president of SHAFR, Dr. Logevall is a member of the Society of American Historians and the Council of Foreign Relations, and serves on numerous editorial advisory boards.

Beth Bailey, University of Kansas

Beth Bailey is Foundation Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Military, War and Society Studies at the University of Kansas (KU). She earned her B.A. (1979) from Northwestern University and her Ph.D. (1986) from the University of Chicago. At KU, she teaches courses on U.S. military, war and society and on the history of gender and sexuality in the United States. Her books include AMERICA'S ARMY: MAKING THE ALL-VOLUNTEER FORCE (2009), which received the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award; THE COLUMBIA GUIDE TO AMERICA IN THE 1960s (2001, co-authored with David Farber); SEX IN THE HEARTLAND (1999); THE FIRST STRANGE PLACE: RACE AND SEX IN WORLD WAR II HAWAII (1992, co-authored with David Farber); and FROM FRONT PORCH TO BACK SEAT: COURTSHIP IN 20TH CENTURY AMERICA (1988). She is co-editor of UNDERSTANDING THE U.S. WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN (2015); AMERICA IN THE SEVENTIES (2004); and A HISTORY OF OUR TIME (multiple editions). Dr. Bailey is a trustee of the Society of Military History and a member of the Society of American Historians. The National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars have supported her work.

Debra Michals, Merrimack College

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Debra Michals received her BS magna cum laude from Boston University (1984) and her Ph.D. from New York University (2002). She is an instructor of women’s history and women’s and gender studies at Merrimack College, where in 2008 she also served as acting chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. In 2013, Debra co-authored a permanent exhibit for the National Women’s History Museum entitled “From Ideas to Independence: A Century of Entrepreneurial Women” ( ). She is currently completing a book on the emergence of women entrepreneurs and the growing number of female breadwinners since World War II, and she has also begun research for a book about gender and modern fatherhood. Debra has been a visiting scholar to Northeastern University (2003), and served as the Acting Associate Director of Women's Studies at New York University (1994-1996), where she helped obtain and administer a Ford Foundation Grant in Women's and Area Studies and earned the university's President's Leadership Service Award. She has contributed to several anthologies, including Sisterhood Is Forever (2003), Image Nation: American Countercultures in the 1960s and '70s (2002); and Reading Women's Lives (2003), as well as the encyclopedia Notable American Women (2004). Debra has served as a consultant/editor for The History Channel and has written for the History Channel Magazine. She was the content director for The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future (1998-2000), a consultant to the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust, and currently sits on the advisory board for the International Museum of Women. In addition to her own research, Debra is a frequent editor and advisor for scholarly books and pedagogical materials in U.S. history.
  • A PEOPLE AND A NATION, Brief Tenth Edition, offers the most complete revision in the text's history. The number of chapters has been reduced from 33 to 29 (14 in Volume 1 and 15 in Volume 2), making the text easier to assign in a typical semester. Rather than simply combining sections into fewer chapters, the authors honed the narrative with an eye to reducing excessive detail, thereby sharpening and more clearly emphasizing key themes.
  • In this revision, the author team has recommitted to the founding principles of the book: to tell the story of America as both a people and a nation, discussing the relationship between the two. In addition to going beyond the political history of the United states to encompass the diversity of America's people, the book has integrated new themes and focuses over the years that reflect the evolution of historical questions as well as the scholarship and insights of new authors.
  • Jane Kamensky, Brandeis University, a distinguished scholar and an excellent writer, joins the author team in this edition. Professor Kamensky is primarily responsible for revisions in Chapters 1–7.
  • Chapter 1, “Three Old Worlds Create a New, 1492–1600,” features a new emphasis on a world in motion: the circulation of goods, peoples, ideas, and money around the Atlantic basin; and new content on African history and the African diaspora.
  • Chapter 3, “North America in the Atlantic World, 1650–1720,” includes revised and increased coverage of Atlantic slavery, with a new statistical foundation in the authoritative Transatlantic Slave Trade open-source database.
  • Chapter 4, “Becoming America? 1720–1760,” frames a new central problem: are Britain's North American colonies becoming more like or more unlike Britain in the mid-18th century? This chapter also includes increased coverage of imperial warfare.
  • Chapter 5, “The Ends of Empire, 1754-1774,” features new coverage of slavery and emergent antislavery in the context of the imperial crisis.
  • Chapter 6, “American Revolutions, 1775-1783,” features expanded coverage of loyalists (both black and white), and neutrals; new treatment of the Revolution as a global war; a new focus on the logic behind British tactics in prosecuting the American war, and on the relationship between war aims in the Caribbean and the shape of the conflict in North America; and a new section on funding the Revolution, including the hyperinflation of the Continental dollar.
  • Chapter 7, “Forging a Nation, 1783–1800,” introduces new concept of the “revolutionary settlement,” which continues in subsequent chapters; and expanded coverage of the role of culture and the arts in the creation of a national identity to encompass a highly pluralistic and divided society.
  • Chapter 29, “Into the Global Millennium: America Since 1992,” includes new material on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the presidential election of 2012, the end of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, the war in Afghanistan, and the death of Osama bin Laden.
  • “Visualizing the Past” features in each chapter treat images (such as artifacts, paintings, photographs, and advertisements) as primary sources to explore major themes. The illustrations and extended captions help students understand how the careful examination of visual materials can reveal aspects of America's story that otherwise would remain unknown. Topics include Naming America (Chapter 1; new), Acomo Pueblo (Chapter 2), Selling War (Chapter 8), The Spectacle of Gilded Age Politics (Chapter 17), Combating the Spread of AIDS (Chapter 28), and War Dead (Chapter 29; new).
  • “Links to the World” essays (one in each chapter) connect figures, topics, or events in U.S. history to the history of the greater world. Topics include turkeys (Chapter 2), writing and stationery supplies (Chapter 5), William Walker and filibustering (Chapter 12), the “Back to Africa” movement (Chapter 14), and the “Swine Flu” pandemic (Chapter 29).
  • “Legacy for a People and a Nation” essays (one in each chapter), offer compelling and timely answers to students who question the relevance of historical study by exploring the historical roots of contemporary topics. Topics include Revitalizing Native Languages (Chapter 1; new), The Modern Family (Chapter 2; new), P.T. Barnum's Publicity Stunts (Chapter 10), Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (Chapter 13), National Parks (Chapter 15), Nuclear Proliferation (Chapter 23), and The Immigration Act of 1965 (Chapter 26).
  • More than 90 maps provide an engaging visual and geographic context for the narrative.
  • The text integrates discussion of diversity throughout the narrative by examining differences within the broad ethnic categories and paying attention to immigration, cultural and intellectual infusions from around the world, and America's growing religious diversity.
  • Available with the text, Aplia™ for A PEOPLE AND A NATION is an online interactive learning solution that improves comprehension and outcomes by increasing student engagement. Founded by a professor to enhance his own courses, Aplia provides automatically graded assignments with detailed, immediate explanations on every question, as well as innovative teaching materials.
1. Three Old Worlds Create a New, 1492–1600.
2. Europeans Colonize North America, 1600–1650.
3. North America in the Atlantic World, 1650–1720.
4. Becoming America? 1720–1760.
5. The Ends of Empire, 1754–1774.
6. American Revolutions, 1775–1783.
7. Forging a Nation, 1783–1800.
8. Defining the Nation, 1801–1823.
9. The Rise of the South, 1815–1860.
10. The Restless North, 1815–1860.
11. The Contested West, 1815–1860.
12. Politics and the Fate of the Union, 1824–1859.
13. Transforming Fire: The Civil War, 1860–1865.
14. Reconstruction: An Unfinished Revolution, 1865–1877.
15. The Ecology of the West and South, 1865–1900.
16. Building Factories, Building Cities, 1877–1900.
17. Gilded Age Politics, 1877–1900.
18. The Progressive Era, 1895–1920.
19. The Quest for Empire, 1865–1914.
20. Americans in the Great War, 1914–1920.
21. The New Era, 1920–1929.
22. The Great Depression and the New Deal, 1929–1939.
23. The Second World War at Home and Abroad, 1939–1945.
24. The Cold War and American Globalism, 1945–1961.
25. America at Midcentury, 1945–1960.
26. The Tumultuous Sixties, 1960–1968.
27. A Pivotal Era, 1969–1980.
28. Conservatism Revived, 1980–1992.
29. Into the Global Millennium: America Since 1992.
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This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

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“This text has worked well for me and my students for. . . years. I always recommend this text because it challenges students to ask critical questions about issues related to social justice. This is a text that seeks to include all voices, and as many perspectives as possible, and asks the tough questions about whether we have acted morally and with integrity.”

“[A People and a Nation's] powerful and engaging perspective of social history grabs students and serves as a broad and powerful tool to teach.”

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