Constructing the American Past, Volume II, 4th edition

  • Elliott J. Gorn
  • Randy J. Roberts
  • Terry D. Bilhartz

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This popular collection consists of a variety of primary sources, all grouped around central themes in American history since 1865. KEY TOPICS: Each chapter in this book focuses on a particular problem in American history since 1865, such as American involvement in the Vietnam War, providing the reader with several points of view from which to examine the historical evidence. MARKET: For anyone interested in American history since 1865.

Table of contents

Volume 2.

(Each Chapter begins with “Historical Context” and concludes with “Questions,” “Defining Terms,” “Probing the Sources,” “Interpreting the Sources,” and “Additional Reading.”)



1. Reconstruction and the Rise of the Ku Klux Klan.

The Documents:

Initiation Oath of the Knights of White Camelia.

Testimony of Victims of the Ku Klux Klan.

Congressional Inquiry into Klan Activities.

Hon. Job E. Stevenson of Ohio, Speech to the House of Representatives.

Benjamin Bryant, From Experience of a Northern Man Among the Ku-Klux.

W.H. Gannon, “How to Extirpate Ku-Kluxism from the South”.

2. The Great Strike of 1877.

The Documents:

“Fair Wages” by a Striker.

“The Recent Strikes” by the President of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Allan Pinkerton, from Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives.

Samuel Gompers, “...A Declaration of Protest in the Name of American Manhood...”

Marry Harris “Mother” Jones, “The Great Uprising”.

Henry Ward Beecher, “There Is No Rich Class and No Working Class Under the Law”.

3. When Cultures Collide: Wounded Knee.

The Documents:

Z.A. Parker, “The Ghost Dance Observed”.

Letters from Reservations by United States Agents.

“...No White People in the Other World...”, Selwyn's Interview with Kuwapi.

“...Indians Armed to the Teeth...”

“...Defrauding Us of Vested Rights...”

Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1891.

Three Letters by Military Leaders.

Eyewitness Reports of Indians Interviewed by the Office of Indian Affairs.

Government and Military Statements on Wounded Knee.


4. New Americans: The Immigrants.

The Documents:

Jacob Riis, “Little Italy”.

Rocco Corresca, “The Biography of a Bootblack”.

Jacob Riis, “Chinatown”.

Lee Chew, “The Biography of a Chinaman”.

Jacob Riis, “Jewtown”.

Rose Schneiderman, “A Cap Maker's Story”.


5. Building an Empire: America and the Philippines.

The Documents:

Albert J. Beveridge, “The March of the Flag”.

William Graham Sumner, “The Conquest of the United States by Spain”.

Theodore Roosevelt, “The Strenuous Life”.

Press Opposition to the War.

Theodore Roosevelt, “National Duties”.

Proceedings of the Congressional Committee on the Philippines.


6. The Woman Rebel: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement.

The Documents:

Margaret Sanger, From The Woman Rebel.

Anthony Comstock's Views on Birth Control.

Margaret Sanger, From The Case for Birth Control.

Michael P. Dowling, From Race-Suicide.

Physicians' Statements about Birth Control.

Debate between Margaret Sanger and Winter Russell.

Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race.


7. Selling the War: Recruitment Posters of World War I.

The Documents:

World War I Posters.

8. Science on Trial: Tennessee Versus John Thomas Scopes.

The Documents:

George William Hunter, From Civic Biology.

Darrow Versus Bryan.

H. L. Mencken, “In Memoriam: W. J. B.”


9. Writing the Great Depression.

The Documents:

Americans Write to Their Leaders.

Tom Kromer, From Waiting for Nothing.

Mike Gold, From Jews Without Money.

Meridel Le Sueur, “Women on the Breadlines”.

Meridel Le Sueur, “I Was Marching”.

10. In Love and War: Exploring World War II through Family and Oral History.

The Documents:

The War Letters of Skipper and Joy Bilhartz.

An Interview with Alfred John Sandberg, Jr.

Historical Statistics of the United States, 1940-1950.


11. Setting the Temperature of the Cold War.

The Documents:

Henry L. Stimson, “On Active Service” and “Memorandum for the President”.

George F. Kennan, The Long Telegram.

Henry A. Wallace, Letter to President Truman.

12. The Civil Rights Movement: Freedom Summer, 1964.

The Documents:

Anne Moody, From Coming of Age in Mississippi.

SNCC Pamphlet on Voting Rights.

Prospectus for the Mississippi Freedom Summer.

Robert Moses Memorandum.

Reporting Freedom Summer.


13. Iron Man Comics

The Documents:


The Documents:

Randy Shilts, From And the Band Played On.

Everett Koop, “The Early Days of AIDS as I Remembered Them”.

Abraham Verghese, From My Own Country: A Doctor's Story.

Religious Responses.

From the ACT UP/Golden Gate Web Site.

Margaret Conners, “Unraveling the Epidemic among Poor Women in the United States”.


Epilogue: The Presidential Election of 2000.



Published by Pearson Higher Education (September 21st 2001) - Copyright © 2002