Synopses & Reviews
America's greatest historians examine thirty-one uncelebrated days that changed the course of history There are moments in American history when something old ends and something new begins. These are the days of destiny. We asked some of the most respected (and best-selling) historians of our time to choose specific days on which American history turned. Their responses make up the month's worth of essays included in this volume. Some chose wars and battles, politics and presidents; others found answers in less well-known areas of historical study: the Great Awakening of the 1740s, the Indian Wars of the 1870s, the plight of working women at the turn of the twentieth century, the countercultural efflorescence of the late 1960s. In Days of Destiny: Crossroads in American History, the Society of American Historians brings you thirty-one engaging narratives, each illuminating with crisp prose and unparalleled scholarship an event that profoundly shaped the nation and world in which we live in. From King Philip's 1675 parley with white colonial officials to the 1973 research conference at which the biotechnology revolution was announced, these vignettes will transport you to places and introduce you to people who have made a continuing difference in the history of America.
Two distinguished American historians have assembled a brilliant team to bring to vivid life those intense days that made a vital difference to the way we Americans have lived. Days of Destiny is a feast of information and insight for all who are fascinated by the jagged, turbulent course of American history. (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.)
About the Author
James M. McPherson is George Henry Davis '86 Professor of American History at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1962. He is the author of a dozen books, mostly on the era of the American Civil War. His Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1989, and his For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War won the Lincoln Prize in 1998. Alan Brinkley is Allan Nevins Professor of History at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1991. His works include Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression (1982), which won the National Book Award; The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People (1993); The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (1995); and Liberalism and Its Discontents (1998). The Society of American Historians was founded in 1939 by Allan Nevins and several fellow authors for the purpose of promoting literary distinction in historical writing. From its inception, the Society has sought ways to bring good historical writing to the largest possible audience. Membership in the society is by invitation only and is limited to 250 authors. The Society administers four awards: the annual Francis Parkman Prize for the best-written nonfiction book on American history, the annual Allan Nevins Prize for the best-written dissertation on an important theme in American history, the biannual Bruce Catton Prize for lifetime achievement in historical writing, and the biannual James Fenimore Cooper Prize for the best historical novel.