A reader, Stephen Bauer, recently asked me via Twitter (@johnfea1) what readings I assign in my United States history survey course. This course is a staple of my teaching load at Messiah College. I teach it once a year. (In 2016-22017 I will be teaching it in the Spring semester).
Here is what the students read:
Concise edition of James Oakes, et. al, Of the People: A History of the United States, Vol. 1
John Fea, “The Power to Transform: Thinking Historically About the Past,” unpublished essay, much of which made its way in my Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past
James Merrell, “The Indians’ New World: The Catawba Experience,” William & Mary Quarterly 41 (October 1984), 538-565.
Trial Transcript of Anne Hutchinson, 1637
Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, 1791
Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
Declaration of Independence, 1776
United States Constitution, 1787
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale (Documentary video)
William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator, 1830s (excerpts)
Thomas Dew, The Pro-Slavery Argument, 1852 (excerpts)
George Fitzhugh, Cannibals All! Or Slaves Without Masters, 1857 (excerpts)
Frederick Douglass, Narrative, 1845
Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, 1865
Of course these readings are supplemented with my lectures (twice a week) and discussion sections (one a week) with me and the excellent adjunct instructors who work with me in the class. (Shout out to Cathay Snyder!).