So...Apparently I'm taking the Praxis II for Middle Grades Social Studies in November. I did a practice exam and did quite well, but definitely need to brush up on my US History. I took AP US in High School and remember some of it, so I'm not completely clueless, but it was awhile ago. I have Government and Civics covered, so am mainly focusing on the history. Anyone have any good book suggestions to achieve this goal?
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
If you only EVER read one book on U.S. history post-secondary school or college, make it this one:
David Hackett Fischer's ALBION'S SEED: Four British Folkways in America, Oxford University Press, 1989.
This is the stuff they DIDN'T teach us in school. The origins of our distinctive "American" core beliefs, thought patterns, knee-jerk reactions and founding principles. Turns out a lot of our red state/blue state differences today owe far more to the outlooks of 4 disparate groups of proto-American British immigrants than they do to practically anything that's happened since.
This book is breathtakingly accurate and for the first time I really feel I understand the culture I'm living in and how it got that way. It is like a fish becoming aware that it swims in water--THAT important to ground one's understanding.
At 902 pages you need an attention span, but believe me, what you learn there just may hold your attention long after the book is finished--and you'll be able to read between the lines of all the political rhetoric you hear this fall. "News you can use" that's 400 years old and counting . . .