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Paperback Liberty for All?, 1820-1860 Book

ISBN: 0195153286

ISBN13: 9780195153286

Liberty for All?, 1820-1860

(Book #5 in the A History of US Series)

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Book Overview

Early nineteenth-century America could just about be summed up by Henry David Thoreau's words when he said, "Eastward I go only by force, but westward I go free." It was an exuberant time for the diverse citizens of the United States, who included a range of folk, from mountain men and railroad builders to whalers and farmers, as they pushed forward into the open frontier and all their hopes and fears are captured in Liberty for All? In addition to...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The United States expands as it moves towards Civil War

"Liberty for All? 1820-1860" is the fifth volume in Joy Hakim's "A History of US," and focuses on the question of how slavery could exist in the land of the free. While this book clearly sets up the next volume, "War, Terrible War 1855-1865," which covers the Civil War, it also has some significant overlap with the previous volume, "The New Nation 1780-1850," which ends with the Compromise of 1850 that put off the coming war for a decade. There is not a neat and simple way of dividing up American history when covering the first half of the 19th-century, so it is not like there is an obvious solution to Hakim's problems of deciding where to end one book and begin the next.Whereas "The New Nation" looks primarily at the on going political experiment that saw the creation of parties and the peaceful transition from Federalists to Democratic-Republicans, "Liberty for All?" is more about the slavery question in the context of the young nation's expansion. The volume begins with the story of Westward expansion along the Santa Fe Trail and other routes and ends with the story of the Underground Railroad. In between Hakim tells young readers about Mormons moving to Utah, Texas joining the Union, and gold being discovered in California. Opening up Japan to American trade and the Seneca Falls conference on the Rights of Women are also part of this period of American history.This volume covers a lot of different topics from this time period. "The New Nation" has a much clearer sense of structure because it follows the administrations of the first presidents, but I think you can see four significant units in this book. The first (Chapters 1-20) deals with all the myriad aspects of western expansion, from the Mississippi to the west coast and beyond to Japan. The second (Chapters 21-26) focuses on the conditions faced by women and children during this time. The third (Chapters 27-31) focuses on the impact of the transcendentalists on philosophy and literature, from Thoreau and Melville to Whitman and Dickinson (including some choice poems) as well as Audubon and Caitlin. The final section (Chapters 32-38) is rather powerful dealing with the "Amistad" case, the Compromise of 1850, Stephen Douglas's "popular sovereignty" solution, the Dred Scott decision, and the idea that the entire issue of slavery was coming to head. These books are all richly illustrated, almost exclusively with historic paintings, etching, drawings, cartoons, and the like. The margins are crammed with mini-biographies, definitions, lines of poetry, and suggestions for places where young readers can find more information about a topic. This series has a deserved reputation among parents who are home schooling their children because not only is it very informative, but Hakim makes a concerted effort to engage her young readers. She is constantly asking them to put themselves in the perspective of the people being written about, whether they are pioneers heading over the Rocky M

The United States expands as it moves towards Civil War

"Liberty for All? 1820-1860" is the fifth volume in Joy Hakim's "A History of US," and focuses on the question of how slavery could exist in the land of the free. While this book clearly sets up the next volume, "War, Terrible War 1855-1865," which covers the Civil War, it also has some significant overlap with the previous volume, "The New Nation 1780-1850," which ends with the Compromise of 1850 that put off the coming war for a decade. There is not a neat and simple way of dividing up American history when covering the first half of the 19th-century, so it is not like there is an obvious solution to Hakim's problems of deciding where to end one book and begin the next.Whereas "The New Nation" looks primarily at the on going political experiment that saw the creation of parties and the peaceful transition from Federalists to Democratic-Republicans, "Liberty for All?" is more about the slavery question in the context of the young nation's expanasion. The volume begins with the story of Westward expansion along the Sante Fe trail and other routes and ends with the story of the Underground Railroad. In between Hakim tells young readers about Mormons moving to Utah, Texas joining the Union, and gold being discovered in California. Opening up Japan to American trade and the Seneca Falls conference on the Rights of Women are also part of this period of American history.This volume covers a lot of different topics from this time period. "The New Nation" has a much clearer sense of structure because it follows the administrations of the first presidents, but I think you can see four significant units in this book. The first (Chapters 1-20) deals with all the myriad aspects of western expansion, from the Mississippi to the west coast and beyond to Japan. The second (Chapters 21-26) focuses on the conditions faced by women and children during this time. The third (Chapters 27-31) focuses on the impact of the transcendentalists on philosophy and literature, from Thoreau and Melville to Whitman and Dickinson (including some choice poems) as well as Aubudon and Caitlin. The final section (Chatpers 32-38) is rather powerful dealing with the "Amistad" case, the Compromise of 1850, Stephen Douglas's "popular sovereignty" solution, the Dred Scott decision, and the idea that the entire issue of slavery was coming to head. These books are all richly illustrated, almost exclusively with historic paintings, etching, drawings, cartoons, and the like. The margins are cramed with mini-biographies, definitions, lines of poetry, and suggestions for places where young readers can find more information about a topic. This series has a deserved reputation among parents who are home schooling their children because not only is it very informative, but Hakim makes a concerted effort to engage her young readers. She is constantly asking them to put themselves in the perspective of the people being written about, whether they are pioneers heading over the Rocky M

Great Series

I bought this series for my wife so she could better understand the history of the US and improve her English language skills in an area of intense interest for her. In the end, I pored over these books and gave my wife little time with them. Written for kids but fabulous for adults with little time. Buy the index and you can find sources if you're interested in diving a little deeper on a particular topic. I hope to keep these books for out future child(ren?) and am sure they will find them intriguing. The series lets us know how magnificent a country we really live in and how dramatic the history really is. With all the turmoil and all the diversity, how do we manage to keep it together? And, there are plenty who take umbrage at the extensive coverage of race and gender equality but they really are at the root of so many of our societal problems, historically speaking.

Simply Outstanding

This highest praise I can give to this wonderful series by Joy Hakim is that my 11-year old son asks me every night, "Can we read some history?"The books work magic in making history engaging. The well-written text, the illustrations, the text boxes with small but fascinating anecdotes -- all contribute to draw readers' interest. I have learned many new pieces of United States history from these books.One small aspect of the books won me over from the start. In the introduction, Ms. Hakim tells readers that the Puritans, the founding fathers, the Native Americans are a part of every American, no matter how or when your family came to the United States - a "history of us." My children are binational, and reside overseas. I could tell when we read this part that the author's words spoke to them in a way few history books do.

Homeschooling Dream

Joy Hakim's entire series is a homeschoolers dream. The books are written so well and the pictures are so nice that interest is kept by both student and teacher.
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