What Should I Read for American History?

If you’re interested in American history, there’s an abundance of books available that cover a wide range of topics. Whether you’re studying for a test, writing a paper, or just trying to expand your knowledge, here are some books that are worth reading:

The Founding of America

If you’re interested in the founding of America and the Revolutionary War, then “1776” by David McCullough is a great place to start. This book provides a detailed account of the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the war that followed.

Another classic book on this topic is “The Federalist Papers,” which were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. These papers were originally published in newspapers to argue for the ratification of the United States Constitution.

The Civil War

For those interested in the Civil War era, “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin provides an in-depth look at Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and his relationship with his cabinet members during this time period.

Another must-read book about this era is “The Civil War: A Narrative” by Shelby Foote. This three-volume set covers the entire war from start to finish and provides a detailed account of all major battles and events.

The Civil Rights Movement

If you want to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on American society, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” is an excellent read. Written by Malcolm X himself, this book provides insight into his life as well as his views on race relations in America.

Another great book on this topic is “Parting the Waters” by Taylor Branch. This Pulitzer Prize-winning book covers the early years of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s activism and his impact on the movement as a whole.

Contemporary America

For those interested in contemporary America, “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander is a must-read. This book explores the impact of the criminal justice system on African American communities and argues that it functions as a modern-day form of segregation.

Another great book is “Bowling Alone” by Robert Putnam, which examines the decline of social capital in America and the impact it has had on our society.


These are just a few examples of the many books available on American history. Whether you’re interested in specific eras or broad topics, there’s something out there for everyone. So pick up a book and start reading – you never know what you might learn!