America, Empire of Liberty is a single volume history of the United States. I just finished reading it today.
Frankly, Iâ€™ve never been a fan of American history by itself, (as opposed to in the context of world history). However, I do find specifically the history of our countryâ€™s founding extremely interesting.
In general, I look to history for an understanding of the present, as counter-intuitive as that may sound. For this reason, Iâ€™ve learned a lot more from 20th century history, on the second world war, on Hitler, on Stalin, on FDR, etc. But again, the debates of the Constitutional Convention are fascinating and arguably unequaled in human history in terms of their consequences on the social and political development of civilization.
Anyway, itâ€™s always nice to get a (relatively) short and entertaining refresher of American history. I recommend it, for anyone without the patience for a longer more detailed work on the subject.
Discussion of slavery was the most insightful part of this book. In particular, this debate sounded a lot like the modern day debate on immigration. I didnâ€™t realize to what extent both sides of the abolitionist movement were unapologetic racists. No one really believed that blacks and whites could co-exist peacefully on equal ground. The idea of â€œseparate but equalâ€ didnâ€™t seem to the majority of people (for a long time) like a contradiction. We sure have come a long wayâ€¦
Also, the book showed that political bickering we see now is nothing new and has played itself out in a nearly identical way throughout our history.