AP Summer Institute





 An Annotated Supplementary Bibliography for APSI 2015 
      Ira Berlin, The Making of African America. The Four Great Migrations.   New York:  Penguin Books, 2011.

One of the foremost experts on the history of slavery in the Atlantic world, Berlin has reconceptualized and reperiodized the history of African Americans in this pathbreaking book.   His conceptualization of African American history as "four great migrations" meshes almost perfectly with the new AP curriculum framework and is especially innovative in offering a convincing new interpretation of the role of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 in spurring the fourth great migration.   See especially the Prologue, Chapter One and Chapter Five.
     Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg, Madison and Jefferson.   New York:  Random House, 2010.

A revisionist interpretation of the respective roles and collaboration of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson in the founding and early history of the United States.   The authors convincingly argue that the role of James Madison in the development of our form of government and in energizing the political collaboration between these two founders has frequently been underestimated.   This book is particularly valuable for examining the origins and evolution of political labels, especially the term "Federalist," during the 1790s, an important task that most scholars have neglected.
     Roger Daniels, Coming to America. A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life.   Second edition.   Harper Collins:  New York, 2002.

Daniels' detailed survey is still the best general history of immigration to the United States, and it is particularly suited for use with the new AP curriculum framework because it addresses the issue of naturalization and provides in-depth analyses of both the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 [Hart-Celler] and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 [Simpson-Mazzoli].   It explicitly addresses a number of important myths and covers most important developments in the recent history of immigration to the year 2000.
     Joseph J. Ellis, Founding Brothers.   The Revolutionary Generation.   New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.

Ellis does an outstanding job of bringing Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Abigail Adams to life, and he explains their respective roles in the development of our nation's political institutions clearly and in detail based on a thorough examination of the relevant primary sources.   His complex interpretations and extensive use of primary sources serve as a model of what every student of U.S. History should aspire to.
     Joseph J. Ellis, The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789.   New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.

Ellis does an excellent job of demonstrating that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Washington, and John Jay deliberately orchestrated a movement to replace the Articles of Confederation with a completely new form of government in which the central government, rather than the state governments, would be the locus of sovereignty.   He argues convincingly that their movement and the resulting United States Constitution became instruments for forging a new nation in the future rather than bringing that nation into being in 1789.
     Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! An American History.   Seagull Fourth Edition.   New York:  W.W. Norton, 2013.

This compact version of a very popular college text stands out not only because of its excellent scholarship, but also because of its thematic unity, focusing at it does on "the changing contours of American Freedom."   With the adoption of the new AP curriculum framework, Foner's thematic approach and his successful blending of social, economic, political and intellectual history has made all of the different editions of this widely-used text more attractive to AP teachers wishing to help their students master the new curriculum and test.
     James A. Henretta, Rebecca Edwards and Robert O. Self.   America. A Concise History [for Advanced Placement].   Fifth Edition.   Boston and New York:  Bedford/Martins, 2012.

This widely-used college text, one of the first to successfully integrate the new social history with traditional political and diplomatic, is now available in a concise edition specifically designed for use in AP U.S. History courses.   Already popular with AP teachers in both its full and concise editions, Henretta's text has recently attracted additional positive attention from high school teachers because its approach to the survey course fits very comfortably with the new AP curriculum framework.
     John J. Newman and John M. Schmalbach, United States History:  Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination.   2015 Edition.   Des Moines, IA:  Amsco School Publications, 2015.   The 2015 Edition of this most widely-used AP U.S. History review book has been updated to conform to the new curriculum framework and exam.   Only time will tell how well the authors have been able to create exam questions that mirror the new style AP U.S. History questions, but there can be little doubt that they have made every effort to produce and include numerous such examples and to write a new introduction to their book explaining to students how to prepare for the new exam.  
     Glenn Porter, The Rise of Big Business, 1860-1920..   Third Edition. Wheeling, IL:  Harlan Davidson, 2006.

A student of famed business historian Alfred D. Chandler, Porter views the rise of big business primarily through the lens of technological innovation and advances in business organization.   He makes every effort to counter the interpretation that pictures the business leaders of the era as "Robber Barons," arguing that illegal or unfair business practices were neither necessary nor sufficient to build and maintain a big business.   He discusses a number of the enduring big businesses built during this period, including Standard Oil, American Tobacco, Swift and Company, Carnegie Steel, General Electric and the United Fruit Company.   He also analyzes "The Great Merger Wave" in some depth.   Finally, he devotes considerable attention to the public response to creation of large concentrations of wealth and power, emphasizing that disquiet over the feeling that the United States was no longer a land of opportunity was at least partially offset by the recognition that the standard of living of large numbers of Americans had been raised substantially because large companies were able to lower the prices of most consumer goods.
     Tricia Rose, The Hip Hop Wars. What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-And Why It Matters.   New York:  Basic Books, 2008.

Rose is the first well-respected scholar to offer a thoughtful, in-depth analysis of the role of Hip Hop, and especially Rap, in American society.   Critical of the negative, sexually exploitative, misogynistic tendency of much of recent Rap music, Rose argues that Hip Hop also has a positive side, one which offers important insight into recent changes in African American society and the reaction of young whites to those changes.   This book provides numerous insights that an AP teacher might build upon if he or she wished to have students take a serious look at the cultural significance of Hip Hop in recent U.S. History.
     Daniel Sargent, A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s.   New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Professor Sargent offers a new perspective, not only on American foreign relations in the 1970s, but on the impact of growing economic interdependence and globalization on United States foreign policy from 1945 to the present.   He argues convincingly that the impact of growing economic interdependence helped destabilize United States foreign policy in the 1970s without contemporaries consciously recognizing what was happening.   Professor Sargent demonstrates that American policy makers in the 1970s struggled to improvise solutions to the difficult financial, economic and geopolitical challenges the United States faced and were only partially successful in their efforts to reshape United States foreign policy.   Most surprising, perhaps, is his conclusion that only President Jimmy Carter and his National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski consciously sought to adapt to the changing financial and economic realities of interdependence, only to be compelled by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to abandon their innovative approach and return to the policy of containment that they had been trying to move beyond.
     Daniel Sargent, The United States and the World since 1945.   History 130B.   Fall 2010.   Itunes U.

Although a few of the lectures are missing from this collection on iTunes U, Professor Sargent's account of U.S. foreign policy since 1945 is one of the best available.   And it's free!   Professor Sargent offers a particularly insightful account and interpretation of the origins, evolution and end of the Cold War.   His excursions into the historiography of U.S. foreign policy are particularly helpful to AP US History teachers who wish to introduce high school students to both historiography and history as an interpretive endeavor.   Professor Sargent podcast this same course again in slightly updated and, in some instances, more complete form in the Spring of 2014.   That series of lectures can be accessed at
     Alan Taylor, Colonial America. A Very Short Introduction.   New York:  Oxford University Press, 2013.   An excellent, thorough yet succinct interpretation of both the pre-colonial and colonial periods.   It does an excellent job of explaining the Columbian Exchange and its most important consequences, and it explores the role of different groups of Native Americans in significant depth.   One of its major objectives is to replace an Anglo-centric, "American Exceptionalist" view of the colonial period with one that does justice to the Atlantic world, the Caribbean colonies and both Spanish and French colonization.   All of these strengths make Taylor's book ideally suited to the new AP curriculum framework.  
     Gordon S. Wood, Empire of Liberty.   A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815.   New York:  Oxford University Press, 2009.

Although wordy at times and probably not suitable to assign to high school students, Wood's soon-to-be classic account of the quarter century from 1789 to 1815 contains an excellent explanation of the evolution of American political institutions and culture.   It does a particularly careful job of explaining the origins and evolution of groups which may or may not deserve the name "political party."   Although he omits the evolution of Republican party organization between 1796 and 1800, in every other respect he offers a subtle and convincing explanation of the evolution of American political institutions and culture during the period 1789-1815.

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