American Decades Primary Sources: 1900-1909

  • Volume 1
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0787665886
  • ISBN-13: 9780787665883
  • DDC: 973.91
  • Shipping Weight: 4.85 lbs ( 2.20 kgs)
  • 752 Pages | Print | Hardcover
  • © 2004 | Published



The 1900s began a century of advancement, invention, and progress in the United States. The automobile was just beginning to make what would become an indelible mark on the U.S. economy and way of life, and the Wright brothers made their first air flight. From federal regulations of the food industry to the advent of the first cartoon, the United States saw a wide spectrum of events and issues during the first decade of the twentieth century. The following documents are just a sampling of the offerings available in this volume:

  • Diary entry of December 17, 1903, by Orville Wright
  • "The Man with the Muck Rake, speech given by President Theodore Roosevelt, April 15, 1906
  • Fundamentals of Basketball, handbook written by James Naismith, creator of the game
  • "To the Person Sitting in Darkness," an article by Mark Twain
  • Ford Price List of Parts for Models "N," "R," "S" and "S" Roadster, manual written for Ford car dealers
  • Drawings by Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the "Gibson Girl"
  • "Lynch Law in America," an article by Ida B. Wells-Barnett, founding member of the NAACP
  • Letter to Commissioner of Indian Affairs Francis E. Leupp from Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first American Indian woman physician
  • "The Little Schoolboy," from The New McGuffey Second Reader
  • "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces," one of the first cartoons
  • Lecture by philosopher William James, "The Varieties of Religious Experience"
  • "The Memphis Blues," by W.C. Handy
  • Speech on "The Road Problem," by William Jennings Bryan



"This carefully crafted new offering from Gale is sure to be a worthy heir to the discontinued classic documentary American history reference source, The Annals of America (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1968-1987),.. Gale's latest contribution to the field is intended to serve as a companion to their popular series, American Decades (Gale Group, 1994-2001) and would complement many of the publisher's other prominent reference works in American history, notably the two-volume stand-alone Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America: Primary Documents (see ARBA 2001, entry 271). This work will also make an ideal companion set for the many libraries that already own The Annals, as this new work offers limited coverage, its entries usually provide essays about and excerpts from primary sources rather than the full text of the sources themselves, it is more comprehensive, and despite some inevitable overlap, its selections are generally different...American Decades: Primary Sources is certain to become the centerpiece of many serious American history reference collections. This new work is so innovative and well done that it may become a classic itself, and at its advertised price of less than $100 for each sturdy, well-designed volume, well worth the investment." --ARBA (2004)


"Aimed at the high-school and undergraduate levels, but definitely accessible to middle-schoolers, this set is a treasure trove of more than 2,000 primary sources on U.S. history and culture represented by more than 75 types of sources, such as architectural drawings, graphs, letters, magazine articles, memoirs, reports, Supreme Court decisions, speeches, and literary works. This resource is excellent as a companion to the American Decades (Gale, 1996-2000) set or as a stand-alone. Even if a library had access to all of the books, periodicals, and other items used as sources, they would lack the surrounding context and the added features, not to mention the convenience. Secondary school libraries in states with curriculum standards that require access to primary resources should place this on their priority purchase lists if they can afford it. Undergraduate and public libraries supporting historical research should also consider purchase."--Booklist (April 2004)

— Booklist

"This set provides access to information that will be difficult to find in other places without a great deal of weeding. It can begin the student thinking critically about events in history. Your students need access to this set, especially if you have American Decades."--Reference for Students ( (May 2004)

— Online