Milestone Documents in American History

Milestone Documents in American History

Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped America

Edited by Kelli McCoy

Published by: Schlager Group Inc.

2500 pages, Photographs and drawings, Second Edition

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781935306511
  • Published: October 2020



"The depth and authority of this second edition is unparalleled and deserves not just its price tag, but acquisition by serious high school to college-level American history holdings, as well as public libraries interested in well-researched, authoritative source material references." (D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review)

FREE 1-year access to Milestone Documents Online (subscription database) with the purchase of any Schlager Group print publication! Learn more.

We accept purchase orders! Email us. Also available as an ebook (ISBN 9781935306528). Check with your library ebook vendor.

The new edition of our landmark reference set deepens the original edition's coverage of major themes in American history with nearly 40 new entries (171 total), with a special focus on documents from African American history, women's history, immigration history, as well as 21st-century issues ranging from terrorism to campaign finance to LGBTQ rights. New entries to the 2nd edition include:

  • John Rolfe: Letter to Edwin Sandys - First documented case of Africans sold into servitude in North America (1619)
  • Abigail Adams: “Remember the Ladies" Letter to John Adams (1776)
  • Ku Klux Klan Act (1871)
  • United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)
  • Ida B. Wells: Lynching: Our National Crime (1909)
  • National Organization for Women Statement of Purpose (1966)
  • Andrew Sullivan: A (Conservative) Case for Gay Marriage (1989)
  • Citizens United v. FEC (2010)
  • Barack Obama: Remarks on Signing the Affordable Care Act (2010)
  • Articles of Impeachment of Donald Trump (2019)

First published in 2008, Milestone Documents in American History: Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped America launched an acclaimed series of reference sets focusing on primary sources. Pairing critical documents from America's past with in-depth scholarly analysis and commentary to help students better understand each document, Milestone Documents in American History received widespread critical praise as well as awards including Outstanding Academic Title from Choice magazine, a Booklist Editor's Choice citation, and Best Reference Source from the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association.

Praise for the 1st edition:

“The premier reference work devoted to the subject" -- American Reference Books Annual

“Well written and superior in depth and quality" -- Booklist starred review

“An exceptional work" -- School Library Journal

Our Approach

The entries in Milestone Documents in American History, 2nd edition, are designed to help students engage with and analyze primary sources through a consistent, structured approach. To this end, each entry is divided into 3 sections: fact box, analysis, and document text. Here are the entry headings:

Fact Box section

This section includes the basic facts of the primary source: Title, Author, Date, Document Type, and a brief statement outlining the document's Significance.

Analysis section

Overview gives a brief summary of the primary source document and its importance in history.

Context places the document in its historical framework.

About the Author presents 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, generally in section-by-section or paragraph-by-paragraph format.

Audience discusses the intended audience of the document's author.

Impact examines the historical influence of the document.

Questions for Further Study proposes study questions for students.

Further Reading lists books, articles, and websites for further research.

Document Text section

Document Text gives the actual text of the primary source.

Glossary defines important, difficult, or unusual terms in the document text.