U.S. History/Suggest any books?
While probably an outlandish goal, considering the amount of sheer dedication and vastness of information, I would like to be considerably versed in the most significant matters of my country's history (e.g., founding, wars, political matters). Is there a singular book, or series of books, that you could suggest that would, if read honestly, grant me fluidity in knowledge pertaining to our country's founding, leading all the way through to our conflicts with communism?
Thank you for your question; I'll be glad to offer some suggestions.
For a brief account, I recommend Robert V. Remini A SHORT HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (2009). Remini was the preeminent historian of the Jacksonian period, and published prolifically on that era. He was also the Historian of the House of Representatives for a time. This particular book is a distillation of more than 60 years of studying American history. Remini's history is traditional but not necessarily conservative. While every historian has biases, Remini was not ideological and tried to remain objective. He was also an excellent writer and generally a nice man.
For greater detail, I recommend the multivolume OXFORD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (1982-current). Twelve volumes are planned, of which 8 have been published. Several have won Pulitzer Prizes and other historical awards - and one is rather famous (at least as famous as history books can be - Jim McPherson's BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM). The volumes published so far cover 1763-1865; 1929-2000; and foreign relations 1776-2008. Each volume is intended to be read separately so readers are not disadvantaged by current gaps in the chronology. Each volume is rather substantial (500+ pages), is written by an acknowledged expert on the period, and has been very well-reviewed. The perspectives of the historians is traditional (like Remini) but again, not particularly conservative. None of the historians is an ideologue.
Any of these books will provide a solid grounding for further exploration. I hope that this was helpful, and my best wishes on your study!