Milestone Documents in American History
Milestone Documents
in American History:

Exploring the Primary Sources
That Shaped America
Editor in Chief: Paul Finkelman, President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy, Albany Law School

Consulting editor: Bruce Lesh, Franklin High School (MD), vice-chair, board of trustees, National Council for History Education

ISBN: 978-0-9797758-0-2
List price: $385
Publication date: May 2008
First edition * 4 volumes * 2200 pages * 8.5 x 11
Available exclusively through Salem Press: 800-221-1592

  • Outstanding Academic Title, Choice magazine

  • Booklist Editor's Choice, 2008

  • Best Reference Source, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

See what reviewers are saying:

"This exceptional work will be essential to students needing assistance interpreting primary sources, and teachers will find it invaluable for incorporating those resources into their curriculums." School Library Journal, August, 2008

"A first-rate effort.... It will undoubtedly become the premier reference work devoted to the subject.... The signed essays are comprehensive, the writing is terrific, the research is outstanding, and the depth of analysis noteworthy." American Reference Books Annual, 2009

"Well written and superior in depth and quality, Milestone Documents of American History is an essential resource for reference collections." Booklist starred review, September 15, 2008

"Highly recommended for high school and academic libraries." Gale Reference Reviews, July, 2008

Conceived and produced by an expert group of teachers, librarians, and historians, Milestone Documents in American History represents a unique and innovative approach to history reference. The four-volume set covers more than 130 iconic primary source documents from the Revolutionary era to the present day. Each entry offers the full text of the document in question as well as an in-depth, analytical essay that places the document in its historical context. With content aligned to the National History Standards and signed essays written by a team of nearly 100 esteemed historians, Milestone Documents in American History offers an unparalleled reference tool for students conducting primary source research.

Each entry in Milestone Documents in American History begins with an overview section that outlines the importance of the document. Subsequent sections include the following:

  • "Context": places the document in its historical context
  • "Timeline": includes key events surrounding the writing of the document
  • "About the Author": offers a brief biographical profile of the person or persons who wrote the document
  • "Explanation and Analysis of the Document": consists of a detailed examination of the document text
  • "Glossary": defines important, difficult, or unusual terms in the document text
  • "Essential Quotes": offers a selection of key quotes from the document
  • "Audience": discusses the intended audience of the document's author
  • "Impact": examines the historical impact of the document
  • "Questions for Further Study": includes study questions for students
  • "Related Documents": features an annotated listing of related primary source documents
  • "Bibliography": lists books, articles, and Web sites for further research

Among the documents included in the set are Revolutionary era standards such as Patrick Henry's "Liberty or Death" speech, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. Important presidential sources include Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Franklin Roosevelt's speech following the attack on Pearl Harbor, John F. Kennedy's 1963 address on integration, and George W. Bush's address on September 11, 2001. Influential decisions of the Supreme Court are also included, from Marbury v. Madison to Brown v. Board of Education to Bush v. Gore. Critical documents related to minority rights are also present: Andrew Jackson's message "On Indian Removal," the Seneca Falls Declaration, Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech," and the Equal Rights Amendment. The complete entry list can be viewed here.

Other features include a general subject index as well as hundreds of photographs and other images. In addition, history educators will find eight detailed and useful teacher's guides containing dozens of student activities, all of which are aligned with the National History Standards.

Get the Online Content Free through Salem History

Milestone Documents in American History is available exclusively through Salem Press. Customers who order the print set will receive free access to the electronic version of the content through 2011 as part of Salem History.

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Publisher's Note
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