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In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself—a devotion to facts, In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation 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. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. 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 traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News. Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism. Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. "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. "The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden," These Truths observes. "It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it."


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In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself—a devotion to facts, In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history. Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation 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. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. 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 traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News. Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism. Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. "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. "The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden," These Truths observes. "It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it."

30 review for These Truths: A History of the United States

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ryan B

    In an age of political polarization, Jill Lepore reminds us that there has never been an age without political polarization. The faintest familiarity with United States history should convince you that political conflict has deep roots. Some examples: the revolutionaries and loyalists fought vigorously over the issue of independence during the Revolutionary War; the Federalists and Anti-Federalists fought over federal versus state rights; the Mexican-American War was vigorously defended and oppos In an age of political polarization, Jill Lepore reminds us that there has never been an age without political polarization. The faintest familiarity with United States history should convince you that political conflict has deep roots. Some examples: the revolutionaries and loyalists fought vigorously over the issue of independence during the Revolutionary War; the Federalists and Anti-Federalists fought over federal versus state rights; the Mexican-American War was vigorously defended and opposed, as was the Indian removal policy, during the presidency of Andrew Jackson; proslavery and antislavery advocates fought intensely over whether new states should be admitted as free states or slave states; business has battled against labor since the 19th century; and the equality of races and sexes was vehemently defended and opposed for virtually all of US history. Further, congressional violence was common throughout the 1800s, as when John Wilson stabbed Representative J. J. Anthony to death during a dispute about the administration of bounties for the killing of wolves. In 1865, Charles Sumner, a prominent abolitionist, was attacked and almost killed with a walking cane by Representative Preston Brooks for criticizing slaveholders. For this act of violence Brooks was praised by many and then later reelected. Political duels were also common, as when Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in 1804. The mass manipulation of voters is also as old as newspapers themselves, which have always been in the business of supporting candidates and causes. Radio and television were always used for purposes of propaganda, and advertising agencies were immediately employed for political purposes. In 1945, Harry Truman proposed a universal healthcare bill, only to see the bill killed by a targeted advertising campaign deployed by Campaigns Inc., a political consulting firm, that ran thousands of ads capitalizing on widespread Communist fears. Labeling the bill “socialized medicine” and “a product of Germany,” the agency manipulated the psychology of millions of people with scientific precision, long before Russia interfered with the latest 2016 US presidential election. The problems we face today are old problems with new technology, but the problems cannot be said to be more barbaric or more violent than the problems of the past. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Even if this progress is frustratingly slow, the conditions of today are far superior for most people compared to almost any point in the past, as horrific act after horrific act is painstakingly documented by Lepore throughout the book. The United States, like any other nation, has a complex history of conflicting ideas, motivations, events, and institutions, with an equal mixture of well-intentioned and noble ideas along with racist, evil, and destructive ideas. Lepore doesn’t hide the negative aspects of US history, but at the same time doesn’t focus on them exclusively. Lepore notes that the US was founded on the concepts of truth, reason, science, liberty, and equality, and that current and future progress hinges on these truths. Lepore reminds us that the founders of the United States were scientists and political philosophers before they were politicians. They drafted the first secular constitution the world had ever seen—one which did not mention God or Christianity a single time—and one that mentioned religion only for the purposes of granting religious liberty. Religion is mentioned in the Constitution exactly twice: Article 6 states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States,” and the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Thomas Jefferson noted that the three greatest men that ever lived, in his opinion, were Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and John Locke—a philosopher of science, a physicist, and a political philosopher. Notice that, during an age where everyone believed in God and everyone was Christian, Jefferson didn’t include Jesus or St. Augustine or any religious figure in his list. Likewise, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay were all well-versed in the writings of the scientific revolution and Enlightenment philosophy, including Bacon, Locke, Newton, and Montesquieu, in addition to Plato and Aristotle. (How familiar do you think the current president is with the writings of Aristotle or Montesquieu?) The founders were creating, in their own words, the “American experiment,” based not on divine rule but rather on experimentation, freedom of speech, press, and religion, and open debate and free discussion based on principles of rationality. This is the essence of democracy as a political experiment; everyone is free to express their views, and differences of opinion are resolved through debates and votes rather than through violence. This is Enlightenment philosophy applied to the founding of a nation. Of course, the implementation of this ideal was far from perfect. It was not lost on anyone that the author of the Declaration of Independence owned hundreds of slaves. While arguing against the arbitrary power of English rule and stating that all men were created equal, Jefferson simultaneously denied liberty to hundreds of African Americans working his plantation. In fact, four of the first five presidents owned slaves, including George Washington, Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. At the same time, Jefferson was ambivalent about slavery and did work to gradually end the slave trade, while others like Benjamin Lay were strident abolitionists even before the Revolutionary War. And so slavery, an obvious stain on the character of the United States, was a complicated issue with people on both sides and sometimes on both sides at the same time. While the United States has much to be ashamed of in regard to slavery and racism, the founders established the principles that the country could slowly live up to, even if the founders themselves fell short. By establishing a country based on the principles of reason, democracy, freedom, and equality, rather than on religion or divine rule, the founders set up the conditions for continued progress. But progress, like always, depends on living up to the ideals of reason, free speech, humanism, liberty, and equality, and not backsliding into religiosity, racism, violence, and authoritarianism. And, like always, it also depends on an informed public, able to leverage the power of their own reason without falling victim to the manipulation of mass media or to the echo chambers of their favorite news outlet or internet site. As citizens of the US, each of us has access to more information than any previous generation, yet in practice most of us consume information from a much narrower range of sources. The remedy to the problem of mass manipulation has always been the same: the development of critical thinking skills within the population, a commitment to reason, intellectual humility, and the toleration of competing viewpoints that can be debated in a civilized manner. Regardless of which technology becomes available, progress forever hinges on our ability to live up to these ideals and these truths.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ilana

    Oof. This is a very, very good book. Difficult at times, depressing at others, always well-written, well-put together.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    It's hard to write a history of the United States from the beginning to now. Lepore is perfectly suited for the task --she's a great historian and a great writer. The best thing about this American history is that it includes the women and the racial minorities that are usually left out. As such, it's a history of America--warts and all. With so much ground to cover, it would be easy to leave out the incidental players, but as Lepore shows brilliantly, it's impossible to understand America witho It's hard to write a history of the United States from the beginning to now. Lepore is perfectly suited for the task --she's a great historian and a great writer. The best thing about this American history is that it includes the women and the racial minorities that are usually left out. As such, it's a history of America--warts and all. With so much ground to cover, it would be easy to leave out the incidental players, but as Lepore shows brilliantly, it's impossible to understand America without showing the conflict between America in theory and America in practice. There is no new history in here and for those who read a lot of history, much of this territory is known. What I thought was missing from the book is a sense of theme or even a few threads to follow. If there are any, perhaps it is communication technology and maybe race? I was hoping for more, which is why I was a bit disappointed by the book. But it is an excellent survey of American history--it's written well and to my ears at least, very fairly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    A pessimistic history that runs close to 1000 pages. Of course America has committed sins, but are there any positives to be found? According to Lepore, very, very few.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Jones

    Oof ... i want to read this, but ... 960 pages?!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Suellen

    Heard about on the Fully Booked Podcast at https://www.podcastone.com/episode/Ji...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Annabannabobanna

    Jill Lepore, professor of American History at Harvard University, staff writer at The New Yorker, and the author of many books, including her latest, These Truths: A History of the United States, talks about her new take on the full scope of U.S. history - an exploration of how well American democracy has satisfied the three "self-evident" truths in the Declaration of Independence. Prof Jill Lepore: "It is in fact a right to revolution that's inscribed in our founding documents." What did the fou Jill Lepore, professor of American History at Harvard University, staff writer at The New Yorker, and the author of many books, including her latest, These Truths: A History of the United States, talks about her new take on the full scope of U.S. history - an exploration of how well American democracy has satisfied the three "self-evident" truths in the Declaration of Independence. Prof Jill Lepore: "It is in fact a right to revolution that's inscribed in our founding documents." What did the founding fathers mean by "happiness"? Jill Lepore: Happiness wasn't exactly an emotional state in the 18th century - it was almost religious. It's not what we would think of as attending to personal needs or having the new iPhone. It's more about the commonwealth. pic.twitter.com/dfQdXvc9ph Jill Lepore pegs the 1930s as the first time "Fake News" was used: Joseph Goebbels used the radio to tell the German people what to think and sent out richly produced false news reports. Newspapers in England and US called it fake news. — Brian Lehrer Show podcast, September 21, 2018 - Runs 43 minutes

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark Burris

    By too many reviewers this book has been held up as a 1-volume history of America, from Columbus to Trump. Actually, it's much more of a history of ideas, specifically of the founding and guiding of "truths," and as such, it flows through the centuries with insight and perspective. Lepore's an excellent writer, building transitions and inserting humorous commentary that delighted this reader. "Columbus widened the world, Gutenberg made it spin faster." (p. 13) "Dewey ... proved about as good a ca By too many reviewers this book has been held up as a 1-volume history of America, from Columbus to Trump. Actually, it's much more of a history of ideas, specifically of the founding and guiding of "truths," and as such, it flows through the centuries with insight and perspective. Lepore's an excellent writer, building transitions and inserting humorous commentary that delighted this reader. "Columbus widened the world, Gutenberg made it spin faster." (p. 13) "Dewey ... proved about as good a campaigner as a pail of paint." (p. 541) Ultimately, I came away from my reading depressed by the contradictions in our quest for the truths of freedom and equality, also reconsidering what for me were more the footnotes of history ... things like polls, progressivism, and Phyllis Schlafly. "By 1992, more than four decades after it began, the Cold War, unimaginably, was over. Missile by missile, the silos began to close, their caves abandoned. The skies cleared. And the oceans rose." (p. 690) Finally, this about Bill Clinton, who at least indirectly Lepore holds responsible for the rise of Fox News and the power of super-partisanship: “A white southerner from a humble background, he appealed to the party’s old base. An Ivy League-educated progressive with a strong record on civil rights, he appealed to the party’s new base. And yet he was, all along, a rascal.” (p. 697) “In 1996, CNN had 60M subscribers; MSNBC, 25M; and Fox, 17M. Two years later, a news story broke that led to a 400% increase in Fox’s prime-time ratings.” (p. 708) “Clinton’s foolishness, irresponsibility, and recklessness in this affair was difficult to fathom.” (p. 709)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    This is the book I want my kids to use in their AP US History classes in high school. Please. I'm begging. Covers everything but covers the world inside the worlds. What a gift.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robin Morris

    This book is more a history of civil rights in the United States, not so much a general "History of the United States". I expected a general history, and think the book would have been better it the author included another 300 pages or so to round it out. That said, a very good book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael Schill

    Excellent but depressing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Hoff

    Yes! This is one of those history books which every one should read! It examines major moments in American history through the lens of the basic "truths" of American society. A very powerful historical book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    This book has been heavily touted. That makes it all the more disconcerting to see an error as early as page 8 and a whopper to boot. Indeed, beyond that as representative of numerous errors of fact, there’s numerous arguable errors of interpretation, and dubious decisions what to contain and what to omit. Behind THAT, as Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, as far as I can tell, there’s no “there” there. With that, let’s dig in. Page 8: No, pre-Columbian American Indians did NOT herd pigs because there This book has been heavily touted. That makes it all the more disconcerting to see an error as early as page 8 and a whopper to boot. Indeed, beyond that as representative of numerous errors of fact, there’s numerous arguable errors of interpretation, and dubious decisions what to contain and what to omit. Behind THAT, as Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, as far as I can tell, there’s no “there” there. With that, let’s dig in. Page 8: No, pre-Columbian American Indians did NOT herd pigs because there were none in the New World! 18: Contra Lepore, plenty of plants went from New World to Old, and quickly became common parts of Old World diets. Tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, maize and chiles are the obvious ones. 33: Kind-of sort-of on the Virginia Colony. Its original grant went to today’s Canadian border on the coast; a reformulation in 1609 changed that. Hence the worries of the Separtists fears of settling in Plimouth in 1620, even though they had no charter from the crown for anywhere. By page 45 or so, I realized that I would find little to nothing in the book in the way of facts that were new to me. So, I started skipping and grokking. (Flame me, those who will.) 116ff. Ignores larger background of Shays Rebellion, and issues related to this in the Washington Administration, ie, the promissory notes for land offered to veterans, speculation on them and repurchase, etc. 145: America had political factions, and alliances, of various sorts long before federalists and anti-federalists. And the Founders knew that. 1790s newspapers did not spring parties into being, and the Founders should have known that. World War I take? Wasting pages on Germany being criticized by fundamentalists for higher criticism, and making that the intro to Bryan and Scopes, with almost zero coverage of the controversy over entry into the war itself, and Bryan’s time as Secretary of State? Horrible. As for Wilson’s health, he arguably had at least one mild-moderate stroke, and more than one mini-strokes or TIAs, a few years before the War. 242: Polk couldn’t have “wanted to acquire Florida,” as the U.S. had acquired it all by 1821 242: Russia had renounced its Oregon claims by the time Polk became President. Spain had in the Adams-Onis treaty sidebars, and thus, any later Mexican claims (contra Lepore, there surely weren’t) would be rejected by the US anyway. 250: No, the Mexican War boundary line did NOT end up at the 36th parallel of latitude after Polk allegedly gave up on seeking the 26th parallel. El Paso is at the 32nd parallel. The Mexico-California border is approximately 32°30’. Also, I’ve never seen claims that Polk wanted Mexico down to the 26th parallel. Indeed, Polk even specifically mentions the 32nd parallel in his December, 1847 State of the Union. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/ind... (I jumped back here after moving ahead to WWI, as she said little about Spanish settlement in today’s Southwest. She had little more on New Mexico of wartime Mexico’s possession.) Even worse, on her Polk land-seeking claims, this heavily footnoted book had NO footnotes. 406: No, most the world did NOT support “free trade” before WWI. 408: No, the 1924 immigration bill did not make immigrant proportional to current (of that time) population. It went back to the ethnic numbers of the 1890 Census. 410: I see no need to put “illegal alien” in scare quotes after first reference. 450: Doesn’t mention FDR playing a behind-the-scenes role in the defeat of Upton Sinclair. Doesn’t even mention that he refused to publicly endorse him. Doesn’t mention that he tried to get Sinclair to drop out and that support was offered to GOP incumbent Merriam when he refused. 452: No, the American PR factory was not democracy’s answer to fascism. In the US, it goes back at least as far as Teddy Roosevelt. And LePore even mentions Emil Hurja’s pre-1933 work. David Greenberg has the correct answers on all of this in “Republic of Spin” as reviewed by me here. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... 548: AFL-CIO (and big biz) opposed Truman’s national health care plan, not just AMA. The unions saw health insurance as a recruiting tool. 717: Given that Bush v Gore was the apotheosis of a further rightward shift of the Supreme Court, it gets short shrift. Basically, after I got a little way into the book, I began wondering what her intended audience was, and what her angle was. I had in mind something like Howard Zinn’s book. Zinn had several errors of interpretation, but he had an interpretive focus. With LePore, as noted, it seems to be no “there” there, per Gertrude Stein. Yes, she goes intellectual with the extended references to John Locke. Yes, she goes deep history with several pages about Magna Carta (without telling you it was honored by English kings more in the breach than the observance up to the time of Charles I). Then I realized: Her target audience is readers of the New Yorker plus non-social science batchelor’s level Harvard grads or something like that. Socially liberal — the repeated las Casas references as an example — but not economically leftist or close. Wikipedia says: She has said, "History is the art of making an argument about the past by telling a story accountable to evidence". I’m still not sure what argument she was trying to make in the whole book. I eventually grew tired of trying to figure it out. I did learn tidbits and things, and learn enough about Lepore's writing, not to one-star it. Plus, I thought a two-star review would be less easily dismissed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This is a masterpiece. A few minor quibbles aside, this is an absolutely tremendous work of non-fiction writing and I cannot recommend it highly enough to every American. We all know the general myths of American history and even if you're an avid history-reader, like myself, there's still new insights and anecdotes that Lepore brings to vivid and fascinating light. I was hugely impressed with, and somewhat jealous of, her idea to base this chronological political history on the questions of how This is a masterpiece. A few minor quibbles aside, this is an absolutely tremendous work of non-fiction writing and I cannot recommend it highly enough to every American. We all know the general myths of American history and even if you're an avid history-reader, like myself, there's still new insights and anecdotes that Lepore brings to vivid and fascinating light. I was hugely impressed with, and somewhat jealous of, her idea to base this chronological political history on the questions of how America happened upon "these truths" and how we've lived up to them since. By some high-minded happenstance and blood, to the first question, and only in fits and starts, to the second. What I found most interesting and enlightening was how Lepore honed in on the relationship between our ideas and our inventions, especially in communications. To wit, Morse's first telegraph message read "What Hath God Wrought?," Frederick Douglas believing that photography would be the end of slavery since it showed him as a man like any other, Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" being peas in a pod with Goebbels' Nazi propoganda as early "fake news," and the knowledge that the first digital computer calculation was used to help design hydrogen bombs. These anecdotes and asides bring the complex texture of the past to life in vivid, thoughtful ways. I also greatly appreciated her dedication to finding and telling the stories of those who saw through our lies agreed upon. The fact that the American Revolution was one small part in an endless anti-colonial wave of revolts, otherwise composed of Indigenous and Enslaved peoples (mostly) unsuccessfully trying to throw off their oppressors. Harry Washington who fled his slavemaster, the Father of the Republic, to find his own personal liberty and became a leader in Sierra Leone. Margaret Fuller, the scorchingly brilliant writer and womens' rights activist whose intelligence betrayed the lie that this could only be a republic of men. Even, though I loathe her politics, Phyllis Schlafly's dogged determination to overthrow the high-handed liberalism of the New Deal for the dogged conservatism which now rules the political culture. If I have one complaint it's that Lepore doesn't quite stick the landing. I don't think anyone truly could capture all the threads of how and why the republic is splintering and teetering so badly right now. It's one of those issues too vast and dynamic to capture in the moment. I also do have to fault her a bit for rather uncritically taking "Kill All Normies" as a good way to understand the difference between the Right and Left's online cultures. It aligns with what I think is a somewhat lacking grasp of why/how the parties have diverged since 1968 and the Internet has opened the wounds of our racial and gender divides. But that's a minor qualm in the face of a monumental and grand achievement. Read it. Start reading it right this very now.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I bought "These Truths" because I've always been interested in the history of our country. I figured I would learn new information primarily about the founding of the country as I have in similar nonfiction history I've read covering the America. What this book showed me was how little I know about all of the things that happened after the founding of this country and our first few presidents. The closer the book got to the present, the less familiar with history I was. I don't think I will be t I bought "These Truths" because I've always been interested in the history of our country. I figured I would learn new information primarily about the founding of the country as I have in similar nonfiction history I've read covering the America. What this book showed me was how little I know about all of the things that happened after the founding of this country and our first few presidents. The closer the book got to the present, the less familiar with history I was. I don't think I will be the only one to feel this way. I believe everyone in the United States of America needs to read this book and be reminded of (or discover for the first time) the whole arc of our history, not just a snapshot or a sound-bite. Now, a few nitpicky things. This book was clearly put together quickly. There are a surprising amount of typos, repetitions, and errors (e.g "Trump's first term" instead of "Trump's first year"). Hopefully all will be corrected in future editions. I also did a lot of flipping back and forth trying to orient myself as though the book is chronological, there is a lot of jumping back and forth through time to address each new issue Lepore was discussing. In summary, it's not the easiest book to read but well worth the trouble.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kim Forney

    I loved the book! I loved how the author did not leave anything out (It was an objective view of the events)! The US history is fraught with good and bad: Opinions, Facts, Hyperbole, and Propaganda. The author explains how our history milestones were incorporated with Partisanship mixed with Religious and Moral beliefs. It is extremely interesting how Americans integrate these things into their own personal value and belief system. It is long; however, I would recommend this book to anyone who l I loved the book! I loved how the author did not leave anything out (It was an objective view of the events)! The US history is fraught with good and bad: Opinions, Facts, Hyperbole, and Propaganda. The author explains how our history milestones were incorporated with Partisanship mixed with Religious and Moral beliefs. It is extremely interesting how Americans integrate these things into their own personal value and belief system. It is long; however, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves history.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    I highly recommend the audio book, read by the theatrical author. I was so lucky to see Jill Lepore at Literary Arts in Portland last week - she is truly a stable genius and a guardian of our history! Rollicking, inclusive and exquisitely timed, "The Truths" should be required reading for thinking people who want to know how all this ends. In darkness, of course!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Kim

    I think I may almost have preferred a dry history. This was a story, a narrative, pretty well-told, from a definite viewpoint, from a definite present -- so I wonder how well this will age. Also depressing as all heck. Listened to the audiobook (which had far too many editing issues) narrated by the author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jane Somers

    A history of the United States that acknowledges the way events affected everyone. I learned a lot, and I will refer back to the hard copy of the book. The production values of the audio book could use some improvement.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ross

    My review is way too long for here, but if you'd like to read it, here: http://pokingbadgerswithspoons.blogsp...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A brilliant book that I have been enthusiastically recommending to nearly everyone. These Truths is among the very best books on American history I have ever read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Manuel

    Great writing (of course). Deep insights and chock-full of nuggets in every chapter. Well worth the 789 pages of reading.

  23. 5 out of 5

    M.L. Rudolph

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Nelson

  25. 5 out of 5

    mattu

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

  27. 5 out of 5

    John

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deb

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martha Greenough

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