Home Books American Centuries, 5-Volume Set

American Centuries, 5-Volume Set
  • Authored by: Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Ph.D., John Demos, Ph.D., Brendan McConville, Ph.D., Melanie Gustafson, Ph.D., and Robert D. Johnston, Ph.D., Editors
  • Trim Size: 8-1/2 x 11
  • ISBN-10: 0816075182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-7518-8
  • Status: In Stock
  • List Price: $495.00
  • Imprint: Facts On File
  • Published: 04/01/2011
  • Dewey Number: 973
  • Reading Level: Grades 9 and up
  • Pages: 1592


Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Ph.D.; John Demos, Ph.D.; Brendan McConville, Ph.D.; Melanie Gustafson, Ph.D.; and Robert D. Johnston, Ph.D., Editors

The Ideas, Issues, and Values That Shaped U.S. History

For the past 500 years, every century of American history has been marked by enormous changes and upheavals. The five-volume American Centuries set devotes one volume to each century, covering all of the developments and transformations in U.S. history. Each volume features 30 to 40 in-depth articles on broad, heavily studied topics, such as war, race relations, government, and the economy. This century-by-century approach allows students to follow the growth, spread, and evolution of every major issue and topic in American history—from civil rights and childhood to the environment and urban life—from the 16th through the 20th centuries.

By offering substantive articles that analyze critical subjects and themes in the political, cultural, economic, and social history of the United States, American Centuries provides students and researchers with a handy, coherent, and simple-to-use reference for study and research purposes. This easy-to-comprehend, curriculum-based reference set offers a unique, exciting, and accessible approach to American history. Students can focus on a single century, or they can examine one topic in-depth across five centuries. A distinguished historian in the field has edited each volume, and all articles are signed. Each volume contains 30 to 40 chapters averaging 2,000 to 4,500 words each and includes an introduction surveying the specific century, along with illustrations, maps, a chronology of major events, and tables and charts. A cumulative index connects all the themes and subjects across American history.

Volume Titles and Themes:

  • Volume One—16th Century: Focuses on Native American life on the eve of European contact and early European exploration and settlement.
  • Volume Two—17th Century: Focuses on life in Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, New Mexico, and other colonies as well as the establishment of European- and African-American institutions.
  • Volume Three—18th Century: Focuses on the growing wealth, diversity, and population of the American colonies; rising tensions with Britain; the onset of the American Revolution; the establishment of the United States; and the creation of the Constitution and a new national government.
  • Volume Four—19th Century: Focuses on western expansion and the disruption of Indian life; the spread and conflict over slavery and Civil War; the creation of a two-party system and extension of suffrage; and the growth of industrialization, urbanization, and immigration.
  • Volume Five—20th Century: Focuses on the nation's rise as a world power and global leader in trade and technology; the growth of suburbanization, immigration, and an advanced economy; and the experience of two world wars and the civil rights movement.


Black-and-white illustrations. Maps and graphs. Indexes. Chronologies. Further reading. Tables and charts. In five volumes.

About the Author(s)

Karen Ordahl Kupperman, Ph.D., is a professor at New York University.

John Demos, Ph.D., teaches at Yale University.

Brendan McConville, Ph.D., teaches at Boston University.

Melanie Gustafson, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Vermont.

Robert D. Johnston, Ph.D., teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Reviews and Awards

"...offers a unique approach to history and has value as a supplement to more conventional resources."


"...a great introduction for students and scholars of American history who are researching particular historical topics. Highly recommended."


"...[a] well-written, objective resource...this set will give students background and contextual information that will help them better understand often-overlooked but important themes and ideas that influenced the development of the United States."

School Library Journal

"...well written, accessible, and factually accurate...appropriate for all public and academic libraries...recommended..."

American Reference Books Annual

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