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The Skeptic's Guide to American History
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Genre: History

For most Americans, the history of the United States is built on a set of long-accepted beliefs about events, each of which resonates in the nation's collective memory. But what if those beliefs-however familiar-don't really tell the whole story? Our knowledge of history-or what we believe to be history-is the lens through which we view and interpret the world. And when that lens is distorted with misleading information, it has powerful effects on how we perceive the present and how we make decisions in the future, from choosing whom to vote for to interpreting the latest developments in today's news and opinion pieces.

To take a skeptical approach to American history is not to dabble in imaginative conspiracy theories or doubt the essence of the American experiment; rather, it's to reframe your understanding of this great nation's past and actually strengthen your appreciation for what makes American history such a fascinating chapter in the larger story of Western civilization.

Sorting through misconceptions, myths, and half-truths about America's past is also a chance to revisit some of the country's greatest episodes, figures, and themes from a fresh perspective and an opportunity to hone the way you think about and interpret the past, the present, and even the future.

In The Skeptic's Guide to American History, you can do just that. This bold 24-lecture course examines many commonly held myths and half-truths about American history and prompts you to think about what really happened in the nation's past-as opposed to what many believe happened.

Delivered by award-winning scholar and Professor Mark A. Stoler of The University of Vermont, these lectures demonstrate how reconsidering some of the most popular notions of U.S. history can yield new (and sometimes startlingly different) interpretations of political, social, economic, and military events. But more than just debunking commonly accepted accounts, you'll be able to replace these misconceptions with insightful truths.

The Skeptic's Guide to American History is a journey that allows you to rethink not just the facts of U.S. history, but also their meaning. Just as important, Professor Stoler makes that process a delightful intellectual experience.

1. Religious Toleration in Colonial America?
2. Neither American nor Revolutionary?
3. The Constitution Did Not Create a Democracy
4. Washington-Failures and Real Accomplishments
5. Confusions about Jefferson and Hamilton
6. Andrew Jackson-An Odd Symbol of Democracy
7. The Second Great Awakening-Enduring Impacts
8. Did Slavery Really Cause the Civil War?
9. The Civil War's Actual Turning Points
10. The Myth of Laissez-Faire
11. Misconceptions about the Original Populists
12. Labor in America-A Strange History
13. Myths about American Isolation and Empire
14. Early Progressives Were Not Liberals
15. Woodrow Wilson and the Rating of Presidents
16. The Roaring Twenties Reconsidered
17. Hoover and the Great Depression Revisited
18. What Did Roosevelt's New Deal Really Do?
19. World War II Misconceptions and Myths
20. Was the Cold War Inevitable?
21. The Real Blunders of the Vietnam War
22. Myths about American Wars
23. Who Matters in American History?
24. History Did Not Begin with Us

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