These Truths is an expansive and comprehensive history of the United States. With a painstaking attention to the voices rarely heard in the discourse of the nation's history, Jill Lepore focuses on the bloody bondage of African Americans, the silencing of women, and the struggles of the oppressed in the great American experiment. Exhaustive and engaging, Truths asks its readers to consider the consequences of democracy and argues that America's so-called self-evident truths are always being contested. Recommended By Alex Y., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Widely hailed for its "sweeping, sobering account of the American past" (New York Times Book Review), Jill Lepore's one-volume history of America places truth itself — a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence — at the center of the nation's history. The American experiment rests on three ideas — "these truths," Jefferson called them — political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise?
These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation's truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore wrestles with the state of American politics, the legacy of slavery, the persistence of inequality, and the nature of technological change. "A nation born in contradiction... will fight, forever, over the meaning of its history," Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. With These Truths, Lepore has produced a book that will shape our view of American history for decades to come.
“[These Truths] captures the fullness of the past, where hope rises out of despair, renewal out of destruction, and forward momentum out of setbacks.” Chicago Tribune
“[Lepore’s] one-volume history is elegant, readable, sobering; it extends a steadying hand when a breakneck news cycle lurches from one event to another, confounding minds and churning stomachs.” New York Times
“Sweeping and propulsive.” Vulture
“A splendid rendering―filled with triumph, tragedy, and hope―that will please Lepore’s readers immensely and win her many new ones.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
About the Author
Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her many books include The Secret History of Wonder Woman, a national bestseller, and Book of Ages, a finalist for the National Book Award.