"What defines an American? Is it the love of liberty, the pursuit of justice, the urge to invent, the desire for wealth, the drive to explore, the quest for spiritual values? The paradox of American identity is that although the United States is a melting pot of many different traditions, motives, and ideals, there are nevertheless distinctive qualities that define the American character. In this series of 48 fascinating lectures, an award-winning teacher and author explores the national character by introducing you to notable men and women from every era of American history - some of them famous, some unknown, some even infamous - whose lives speak eloquently about the qualities, for better or worse, that make one truly American. Focusing on various character traits and attitudes that have indelibly shaped the national psyche, Professor Allitt takes you on a journey from the very first settlers to the present, showing how certain characteristics have persisted through time and also how certain traits and beliefs have changed. And while the lectures are enjoyable as a well-told series of biographies, they do much more, helping you gain a deeper understanding of the trends and ideas that have shaped America and continue to influence American society today."
by Patrick N. Allitt
by Peter N. Stearns
by Daniel N. Robinson
by Patrick Grim
by Dorsey Armstrong
"Professor Allitt has composed half-hour biographies of famous and not-so-famous historical figures in American history to characterize our national identity. His skill at weaving fascinating details about his subjects into the narrative makes us forget we're being lectured to. The professor's enthusiastic and cheerful speaking sometimes erupts into poetry as he shares intimate information gleaned from uncommon sources. His conversational style never sounds scripted; indeed, his spontaneity gives the impression we may be the first listeners to hear this. Let this teacher demonstrate the joy of learning to you. J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"
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