Agent: Sandra Dijkstra
Forging America speaks to both the complexities of historical experience and the meanings of the past for our present-day lives. Warning against the assumption of preordained outcomes, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Steve Hahn focuses the reader's attention on those moments when historical change occurs. He weaves a history that is continental and transnational, a history of the many peoples whose experiences and aspirations-oftentimes involving struggle and conflict-went into the forging of a nation.
"Forging America is superb: the treatment of power, conflict, and crisis within the US is convincingly located within the dynamics of global transformation. The narrative is illuminating and vivid - sometimes troubling, in the best of ways - as it charts how American history is marked not only by achievements won in the realms of equity, autonomy, and human dignity but also by longstanding as well as unprecedented threats to social justice and human survival. It judiciously explores clashing perspectives. And it highlights turning-points and ruptures, making contingency come alive while also tracing long patterns of change over time, helping students to understand the relationship between past and present." —Amy Dru Stanley, University of Chicago
"Forging America is a brilliant effort to reimagine the complex history of the United States by placing events in a global context, establishing the central role race and gender played in the emergence of the republic, and demanding that we recognize the nation's development as a contingent process rather than a pre-determined outcome. It demands that students reflect on history, consider alternative outcomes, and find viable explanations when confronted with a wide range of causal factors." —Thomas Summerhill, Michigan State University
"This is an innovative, sharply written, fast moving history of the United States, one that places the US within broader worlds not of the country's own making. It demonstrates the role of everyday people, particularly non-white people, in shaping the country." —Gregory P. Downs, University of California, Davis
"Steven Hahn's Forging America is a tour-de-force. His fast-moving narrative provides a global history of US history while simultaneously centering the experiences of people of color whose lives are often marginalized in survey texts. It is a major scholarly achievement." —Karlos K. Hill, University of Oklahoma