header by Emerson Taymor, 2005

1. The Colonial Era: 1607-1763

2. The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789

3. The Early National Period: 1789-1824

4. Jacksonian America: 1824-1848

5. Antebellum America: 1848-1860

6. The Civil War Era: 1861-1877

7. The Gilded Age: 1877-1901

8. Progressivism: 1901-1920

9. The Twenties

10. Depression and New Deal: 1929-1939

11. World War II: 1939-1945

12. Early Cold War: 1945-1963

13. Social Ferment: 1945-1960

14. The Sixties

15. The Seventies and After




The Seventies and After

the national debt, 1913-; chart of highest federal income tax rate, adjusted for income, 1865-2014; historian Heather Cox Richardson on the history and purpose of taxes (2018)

THE 1970s

Barbara Mikulski, "Who Speaks for Ethnic America?" (1970); "Angry Ethnic Voices Decry a 'Racist and Dullard' Image" (1970); the Pulitzer-Prize winning photo from the Boston busing strike (1976); in excerpts from the Nixon Tapes, Richard Nixon insults pretty much everyone (1972-74)

BBC documentary on 1970s NYC (apparently a great documentary, but dead link); crazy pamphlet from NYC public unions, 1975, urging people not to visit the city

John Mitchell on the response to student violence, 1969; NYT review of "Dirty Harry" (1971); another article wondering if film violence has gone too far; a discussion of attacks on SF police, 1967-1971

an excellent survey of US-China Cold War relations; George Herring, "Preparing Not to Fight the Last War: The Impact of the Vietnam War on the U.S. Military"

from the Senate: the Church committee's report on CIA assassination plots, 1975

images from the 1970s; LA student busing images; excerpt from Elinson and Yogi, Wherever There's a Fight, on busing in the 1970s; how Kamala Harris's story fits in

Time's collection of oil-industry covers from the 1970s; Oklahoma Senator Dewey Bartlett, energy crisis speech, 1973; Jimmy Carter's proposed energy policy (1977)

Harris poll data, 1973, on the "crisis of confidence"

cover of Time when Jimmy Carter is elected president (1976); his famous "malaise" speech (1979); satirical TV character Archie Bunker on the Democrats; William Hogeland, "Whistlin' D-----," on the uses of "Dixie"

Mary Crow Dog recalls the protest at Wounded Knee (1973); Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, "Land Claims," from An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

Benjamin Hooks on continuing the struggle after the death of MLK (1980); Miami's Concerned Black Organizations for Justice, Manifesto of Collective Needs (1980); a statistical portrait of black America (1940-1990)

Marjorie Spruill on the feminist movement and the anti-feminist response, from Divided We Stand, along with the Democrats' and Republicans' 1976 and 1980 platform statements on the ERA and abortion


Jonathan Haidt, "The Grand Narratives of Liberalism and Conservatism"; Seth Cotlar, reading list on the history of American conservatism (2018)

Milton Friedman on Capitalism and Freedom (1962); Ronald Reagan warns of the dangers of the welfare state (1964); chart of marginal tax rates, 1913-2011

Jerry Falwell calls for America to repent, in Listen, America! (1980); Phyllis Schlafly on the power of the "positive woman" (1977); Donald Wildmon, "The Conscience of a Conservative Christian" (1985); evangelical schools: Patrick Henry College student handbook (2006)

cover of Time when Ronald Reagan is elected president (1980); Reagan's first inaugural (1981); cover of Time when Reagan is reelected (1984); his second inaugural

on Reagan and dog-whistle politics, from Carol Anderson, White Rage (2016); Josh Levin, "How the 'Welfare Queen' was Born," New York Times (2019)

US military spending, 1980-1990; Reagan, Tear Down This Wall" speech (1987); Kathleen Belew on the paramilitary turn in US foreign policy in the 1980s, from Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (2018); Tom Nichols, "I Want My Mutually Assured Destruction: How 1980s MTV Helped My Students Understand the Cold War," The Atlantic (2021)

Reagan's "evil empire" speech, 1982; Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, "How Dallas Won the Cold War" (2008)

the New York Times announces the end of the Cold War (1989) 

Stacie Taranto, "How Abortion Became the Single Most Important Litmus Test in American Politics," Washington Post (Jan. 22, 2018)


Maxine Waters explains the causes of the LA riots, 1992

cover of Time when Bill Clinton is elected (1992); Clinton gives a speech defending NAFTA (1993); photographs and cartoons relating to NAFTA (1993-94); Clinton meets with Native American leaders (1994)


Clinton on "ending welfare as we know it" (1996); Mary Pilon, "How Bill Clinton's Welfare Reform Changed America" (2018); Max Ehrenfreund, "How Welfare Reform Changed American Poverty, in 9 Charts," Washington Post (2016); Vann Newkirk, "The Real Lessons from Bill Clinton's Welfare Reform," The Atlantic (2018)

the 1994 crime bill: DOJ fact sheet on the bill; Cynthia Johnson, "What's Inside the Controversial 1994 Crime Bill That's Plaguing Hillary Clinton on the Campaign Trail" (2016); Hillary Clinton's superpredators" comment, 1996

Rick Bragg, "In a South Carolina Town, a Klan Museum Opens Old Wounds" (New York Times, 1996); US News explores racial profiling, 1999; Peter Applebome, "[Trent] Lott's Walk Near the Incendiary Edge of Southern History" (2002), referring to this notorious comment


timeline of post-Cold War events

Time magazine, "The Bible & the Apocalypse: Why More Americans Are Reading and Talking About the End of the World" (2002); historian Joseph Ellis, "Finding a Place for 9/11 in American History" (2006); Matthew Avery Sutton, epilogue to American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism (2014)

Frank Rich, "'Dead or Alive,'" from The Gretest Story Ever Sold, on selling the war

George Herring on US foreign policy since the end of the Cold War, from From Colony to Superpower (2008); Andrew Bacevich on "the real World War IV," from The New American Militarism (2005); Thom Shanker, "Historians Question Bush's Reading of Lessons of Vietnam War for Iraq" (New York Times, 2007)

why did the FBI and CIA mess up?: Amy Zegart, "Red Flags in a Sea of Red Flags?" from Spying Blind (2007)

the war on terror:

Susan Faludi, "We're at War, Sweetheart": on gender and the war, from The Terror Dream (2007); Faludi, "Pearl Harbor' as Code," from Cultures of War (2010)

Dorian Lynskey on protest music after 9/11: Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks, from 33 Revolutions per Minute (2010)

Susan Jaramillo, Ugly War, Pretty Package on TV coverage and the invasion of Iraq
Seth Schiesel, "On Maneuvers with the Army's Game Squad" (New York Times, 2005): on America's Army, a first-person shooter/recruiting tool

WMDs: what did we know and when did we know it? Perspectives from George Bush, Decision Points; Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies; Kathryn Olmsted, Real Enemies; Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes; Dick Cheney, In My Times; Scot McClellan, What Happened; Colin Powell, It Worked for Me; George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm; Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack; Woodward, State of Denial; Peter Baker, Days of Fire

Paul Gronke and Darius Rejali, "US Public Opinion on Torture, 2001-2009" (2010); Al Qaeda's Inspire magazine celebrates the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (2011); Jonathan Kay, "Democratizing Paranoia," on "truthers" and 9/11, from Among the Truthers (2011); Trevor Paglen, from Blank Spots on the Map, on the secret worldBruce Schneier, "How Security Works," from Beyond Fear (2003)

historian James Cobb, "Southern Exposure" (on Hurricane Katrina and history, 2005)

Senator Barack Obama's speech on race: "A More Perfect Union", March 2008; Library of Congress page on Mexican immigration; Lisa Rab, "What Makes Someone Native American?" Washington Post (Aug. 20, 2018), on the Lumbees' quest to be identified as Native people

the PowerPoint presentation that changed US strategy in Iraq for the better (2006); Michael Hastings, "A Short History of a Very Bad Idea": on the doctrine of counterinsurgency, from The Operators (2012); a pretty funny parody/critique of the NSA's cruddy-looking powerpoints; New York Times scorecard on the wars' toll in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan (2011)

are Facebook and Twitter actually returning us to small-town America?: Clive Thompson, "The Brave New World of Digital Intimacy" (New York Times, 2008)

Matthew Desmond, "How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality," New York Times (2017); charts of the national debt and its components

Allison Lange, "The Equal Rights Amendment Has Been Dead for 36 Years. Why It Might Be on the Verge of a Comeback," Washington Post (June 18, 2018)

REVIEW ESSAYS, from Modern American History (2018)

Kevin Gaines, "The End of the Second Reconstruction"

Madeline Hsu, "Asian American History and the Perils of a Usable Past"

Regina Kunzel, "The Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality"


how the 20s KKK is and is not like today's white supremacy, from Linda Gordon, The Second Coming of the KKK; David Zucchino, "American Legacy: When White Supremacist Mobs Threaten Democracy": how the Janary 6 riot was like the Wilmington Riot of 1898

the most controversial changes in the census

comparing Trump's views on immigration to those of the 20s; Caitlin Dickerson, "US Immigration Policy Has Always Been About Exclusion," The Atlantic (May 2021)

Rebecca Solnit, "Who's Living in a Bubble? The Myth of 'Real America' Just Won't Go Away," LitHub (April 2018)

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, "The New Colin Kaepernick Campaign Captures the Tensions Between Nike's Values and Its Reality," Washington Post (Sep. 2018)

the social experience of ghost work in the digital economy, from Gray and Suri, Ghost Work; Andy Newman, "I Found Work on an Amazon Website. I Made 97 Cents an Hour," New York Times (Nov. 2019).