SOCIAL SCIENCES

These Truths: A History of the United States

Norton. Sept. 2018. 960p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780393635249. $39.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393635256. HIST
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OrangeReviewStarProviding historical context for national events, Lepore (history, Harvard Univ.; The Whites of Their Eyes; The Secret History of Wonder Woman) delivers a sweeping, balanced, and finely wrought narrative history of the United States. The vaulting ambition of the book is matched by the elegance and dry wit of Lepore's writing and careful rigor of her scholarship. She expertly marshals incidents, statistics, and analysis, resulting in a chronicle at once panoramic and richly detailed—like a giant medieval tapestry. Thematically, Lepore pegs her narrative to the great truths: equality, popular sovereignty, and consent of the governed. Those truths, the author contends, formed the basis of the American experiment and have been at the crux of most of the controversies and struggles the nation has faced. Lepore is particularly clear-eyed in documenting the United State's stumbling and often shameful record in addressing racial, gender, and economic inequality. Minibiographies—often of lesser-known figures, primarily women and people of color—are sprinkled throughout, adding texture and personality to this important work.
VERDICT This thought-provoking and fascinating book stands to become the definitive one-volume U.S. history for a new generation. [See Prepub Alert, 3/26/18.]

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