This concise and stirring collection of great speeches and writings, from the Revolutionary War era to the present, focuses on key individuals and ideas that have inspired the American people and shaped the history of the nation. Here are essential speeches and writings by leaders and statesmen, explorers and historians, writers and poets, soldiers and entrepreneurs, and men and women of varied backgrounds, from key eras of the nation's history. Together, these voices are powerful, eloquent, poignant, and uniquely American. They capture the breadth and richness of American history.
This history is remarkable - first, a few British colonies on the Atlantic coast struggling for independence. Then, the new nation overcomes challenging frontiers to expand westward across the continent. A bitter and tragic Civil War is fought to preserve the Union. Movements for social justice and the principles of individual freedom - the treatment of workers and sailors, emancipation of slaves, and woman's rights-change the nation. The ingenuity, hard work, and perseverance of self-made men drive incredible advances in industry, business, and economic growth. The United States then faces the challenges of global conflict in two world wars and the ensuing search for peace. From this inspiring tapestry of American history, we see the emergence of the United States as a world power and leader of the free world.